Central Park, image via Trina Merry
Trina Merry, a painter and photographer from New York, just released a striking series of photographs that feature female subjects painted and positioned to camouflage seamlessly into iconic New York City backdrops. As featured on Refinery 29, the artist has the following motive in “New York City Camouflage”:
“My series is an homage, and a challenge, to Big Apple women who feel the need to blend in with everyone else in Gotham. I think many women move here hoping to live ‘Sex and the City’ lives when the reality is most women have to ditch their fancy designer heels on the subway for more practical sneakers.”
Twice a year, Fashion Week descends upon New York like a swarm of well-dressed bees. There are clothes! There are models! There are famous people! There is media attention! Here’s my brief brush with fame for the week: on my way to sketch night on Tuesday I was annoyed to find my path blocked by a herd of excited people staring at the door of the Belstaff store on Madison Ave. Uggghhh, I thought, get out of the waaaay. A small army of photographers were laying in wait with cameras at the ready, each of them dressed in black. Which celebrity was about to grace us with their anointed and highly-paid presence? And out sauntered a grinning David Beckham in a leather jacket, followed by a trail of lesser-known models, also in leather. It was a really nice jacket.
New York City boasts 468 subway stations, and many more entrances. In the past, we have covered how businesses have creatively occupied stations to provide unexpected services like hair cuts, or having your keys made.
This week, we’re calling out the Bushwick Ave-Aberdeen Street stop off the L train. Usually, small businesses house their services within a station, but at this stop, the subway entrance itself is housed between two used car dealerships. The station was built in 1928, but the two plots around it were approved for automotive sales and services in 1946.
So why haven’t these car dealerships been cleared for trendy apartments and lofts like the rest of Bushwick? Perhaps because the Bushwick-Aberdeen train station is located in a region zoned as a C8-1 Commercial District. According to the Department of City Planning, these regions are designated for “commercial and manufacturing uses that often require large amounts of land.” Uses can include “automobile showrooms and repair shops, warehouses, gas stations and car washes.”
Right east of this zone lies a M1 Manufacturing District Zone, where the borders of Bushwick, East New York, and Bed Stuy meet at Broadway-Junction, a major subway hub that connects the A, J, C, and L trains. The M1 zone is designated for “light industrial uses, such as woodworking shops, repair shops, and wholesale service and storage facilities.” From the L train platform, you can view an example of this in the massive East New York Yard where the J, M, Z and L trains are stored and repaired.
East New York Subway Yard, image via Flickr by OBI*ONES*KENOBI
Perhaps the surrounding area’s lack of residential opportunities explains why subway ridership at the Bushwick-Aberdeen Station ranked 403 out of 421 in 2013. Still, it can’t hurt to have a business near a train station that potential customers pass by every day. Perhaps these businesses have hopes that commuters can be lured into purchasing that 2007 Toyota Camry to forgo a crowded train ride to work. We’re not sure if even a car could compete with those high-speed aerial gondolas, though.
If you have any New York City subway finds, share them with Anna Brown via her Twitter handle @brooklynbonanza.
Here’s what the Untapped staff is reading in the HQ today:
Image via Pentagram
Ever wonder about the NYC’s subway signage? Most New Yorkers who use the subway daily have probably never heard of the design firm Unimark. In 1970, designers Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda of Unimark created a language not only for how people would read subway signs, but also the way people would use the NYC subway for the next 44 years. The published document was a 13″ x 13″ Standards Manual held together in a 3-ring binder. And now, Pentagram is hoping to bring it back via a Kickstarter campaign that goes until October 8th. It’s been so popular that they have raised more than 5x the $108,000 goal so far.
Article via Montreal Gazette, 1956
As the water levels of the oceans worldwide continue to rise, and natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy pull scientific conjecture into a tangible reality for New Yorkers, it might feel as though the island of Manhattan is rapidly sinking into the harbor. This fear, as it turns out, is nothing new to it’s inhabitants.
During the spring of 1824 as legend would have it, a now infamous (possibly fictitious) local character, a former shipbuilder by the name of Lozier—apparently an early and outspoken proponent of global warming—took it upon himself to save the Island from meeting its fate at the bottom of the Hudson River. Due to the rapid and heavy industrial construction being developed near the Battery, Lozier claimed, the southern part of Manhattan was sinking.
The plan? Saw off the Island.