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The New York City Subway- 468 stations. 1 poster-Alex Daly & Hamish Smyth-Vignelli Standards Manual

This particular Kickstarter definitely doesn’t need more help, and that’s certainly not why we’re writing about it. But designers, transit enthusiasts, and architects are going gaga over this subway poster, inspired by the specifications of the original Standards Manual for New York City subway signage by Bob Noorda and Massimo Vignelli. Last year, this same team, successfully funded a Kickstarter to reissue The Standards Manual. Now, this poster is an affordable way to “get it into many people’s hands,” they write, with the opening price at $35.

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Seastreak-Sea Jitney-NYC Ferry-Long Island-Port Jefferson-Hamptons

Whether you’ve made the trek from New York City to the Hamptons and Montauk, to the North Fork wineries or perhaps to the Revolutionary War spy town of Setauket, you’ve likely either sat on a crowded Long Island Railroad train or been in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Long Island Expressway. A water alternative, The Sea Jitney (operated by Seastreak and Hampton Jitney), has just opened, bringing passengers from East 35th Street in Manhattan to Port Jefferson, from where you can either explore the historic area or board a Hampton Jitney that goes to Southampton, East Hampton, Sag Harbor and Calverton.

We recently took a ride to the ferry’s ribbon cutting ceremony and we realized the best part of the ride, in addition to be just under two hours, is what you get to see going in and out of Manhattan. One after another, “untapped” gems from abandoned islands to notable lighthouses passed into view. Here’s a preview of what you’ll see:

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We received two sound clips from an anonymous source, rather mysteriously recently, in response to our recent photo expedition down in the construction of the Second Avenue Subway. All it said was that the attached sound files were the “loaded” train announcements for two stations stops along Phase I, the rerouting of the Q train from 63rd Street to 96th Street. Above, we’ve made a quick video mixing the sound clips and some our Second Avenue Subway photographs.

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Second Av Subway_NYC_Untapped Cities_bhushan mondkar_04

Rome was not built in a day, they say. And neither was New York City or its 24/7 subway system. All good things take time, and more so, when it cuts through some of the densest neighborhoods in America. On our fifth annual pilgrimage through the monumental construction site of the Second Avenue Subway, Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, president of the Capital Construction at MTA, led us through three new stations and 23 blocks of tunnels–from 63rd street to 86th street some 115 feet below Second Avenue.

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Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance-2015-Horatio Hownblower-Hudson River-NYC-9Hell Gate Bridge, Photo by Mai Armstrong/Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy forced us to reconsider how we view the many billions of gallons of water that surround us in this city of islands. While we are still rebuilding from the destruction it wreaked on our habitat, it also reminded us that we maybe haven’t been addressing it so intelligently over the last couple decades. The ocean is right in our backyard (and front and side yards), and while sometimes threatening, it can also be quite useful, and we need to learn how to live with it and treat it better.

That was the general sentiment espoused at the 2015 Metropolitan Waterfront Conference earlier this month, an annual convention of over 700 scientists, planners, academics, builders, seamen, and various others interested in the relationship between surf and turf in the New York City area. Aboard the Hornblower Infinity, panelists argued, elected officials orated, and young professionals imbibed, against a backdrop of Lady Liberty, Governors Island, the East River bridges, and Roosevelt Island sailing by.

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Commuters-Isolation-Transit-Toronto-Untapped Cities-Glenn Pritchard20

The TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) carries 525 million people a year and 1.6 million people on a typical weekday, meaning that more than half of Toronto’s 2.8 million people use public transit to navigate the city during the week. Contrast that to the 1.75 billion passengers served per year in New York City and you get the picture, but Toronto Transit Commission subway stops have a rich history and incorporate elements from several periods of design. Today we’ll be looking at the unique design of the system’s stations, similar to what we did with New York City and Montreal.

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