Parisian trainspotters have for years hoarded a special secret. It’s located next to the Metro Station Villiers in the 17th arrondissement, in a storage track that used to be a terminal loop for Metro Line 3 before it was extended. Inside, some very old trains lie dormant, their slumber undisturbed by regular visits by spray painters and photographers. Most of them are in an advanced state of decay.
Soon, this heritage will be gone, the trains will receive judgement: damned to dismantlement, or, for a select few deemed the most emblematic and unique, blessed with preservation. Take a tour with us today in this photo series taken over the course of two months from December 2014 to January 2015 of the abandoned trains, as well as a warehouse for restored metro cars.
From our time writing about the subway system at Untapped Cities, we’ve come to know some of the real transit buffs in New York City. The community is a passionate one, always ready to provide new, fascinating information to our readers, and correct inaccuracies on Wikipedia. Now, transit aficionados can take things one step further, by decorating their home in color palettes inspired by the NYC Subway. LINE x LINE just finished a successful Kickstarter campaign to create graphic posters and postcards that surface both colors and historical meaning from New York City subway stations.
Where do the cryptic designs on manhole covers come from? What is the meaning of those spray-painted neon symbols in the street? With this field guide in your pocket, the answers are close at hand. Ingrid Burrington’s Networks of New York: An Internet Infrastructure Field Guide is sure to change the way you look at the concrete jungle. (And the internet.)
Someone had to do it, and the Wall Street Journal took on the challenge. Here is a (not so) Fun Map of bacteria found at New York City’s 466 open subway stations, using data collected by Weill Cornell Medical College. The project took 18 months and genetic material was collected from 15,152 different species. According to WSJ, “most of them [are] harmless or unidentified,” and almost half belonged to bacteria. Of that, 67 species were “associated with disease and infections.” Fortunately, a lot of species are good bacteria, keeping the city livable by eating up toxins and hazardous chemicals.
In New York City, where the income gap is still large and looming among neighborhoods across the five boroughs, experts are constantly refining how to discuss the issue. Coming from a completely different angle is Brain Foo, an artist we previously covered in his project Continuous City, who recently created a song on his site “Data-Driven DJ” that explores income inequality through music. At 4 minutes and 45 seconds, Brian’s music track takes something as simple as a ride on New York City’s 2 train line and recreates it into a sonically inventive experience for music listeners.
There’s a lot of buzz about the expanded 5 borough ferry service Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in his State of the City address. Gothamist has a map of what that system would look like, which would connect Soundview in the Bronx to East 90th Street on Manhattan, Astoria to Roosevelt Island, Long Island City to Manhattan, South Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan and Staten Island, and a proposed route from Coney Island to Staten Island to Wall Street.