Archive for June, 2010

Mon 28 Jun 2010 7:22 pm   //   Posted in: Photos, Weather

How hot was it in New York today?

Photo of an electronic sign at a Real Estate office in New York that says 192 degrees

Sat 26 Jun 2010 11:55 pm   //   Posted in: New York is different, Transit, Videos

Video: Party on the last V Train

Because of budget cuts, the New York City MTA canceled two subway lines on June 25, 2010. This video shows the party that subway fans threw on the last V Train, which departed 2nd Avenue at 11:33 p.m. on June 25.

Fri 25 Jun 2010 6:38 am   //   Posted in: New York is different, Transit

Dueling transit funerals

Today will be last time trains with the V and W designations will ply the rails beneath New York City. The MTA budget cuts are killing these two subway lines. This occasion triggers a little-known New York City custom: The transit funeral. By tradition, a crowd of people jams into the last car of the last train for a raucous celebration.

Tonight there are dueling transit funerals in the New York subway.

  • The V: Levy’s, a tour company that has organized farewell paries in the past for the Q Diamond and the 9, is throwing a farewell party for the V train. It leaves 2nd Avenue at 11:33 p.m. sharp and heads to Forest Hills. The whole ride should take about 38 minutes.
  • The W: People on Facebook are organizing a rally for the final W train. This party leaves Astoria at 10:17 p.m., exits at Union Square, crosses the platform, and boards a Queens-bound W train at 11:02 p.m. for the final run back to Astoria.

I’m with the V party. The W plan is too complicated and requires two trips to Astoria and back—no thanks. And if a transit funeral is a celebration of the absurd, the V train is the more absurd of the two choices. It’s the youngest train in the system and beloved by no one.

But a loss is a loss, and we must commemorate it. I’ll see you at the back of the 2nd Avenue platform at 11:33 tonight.

Thu 24 Jun 2010 10:52 pm   //   Posted in: Photos, Travel

New travel page: Dublin

I just posted a page of photos from my recent trip to Dublin, Ireland.

Tue 22 Jun 2010 7:09 am   //   Posted in: Holga, Photos

Photo: Sbarro, Times Square

Shot with a Diana F+. June 6, 2010.

Mon 14 Jun 2010 10:09 pm   //   Posted in: Transit, Typography

Spotted in the wild: The new subway map!

These are interesting times for our transit system.

Because of budget cuts, two lines are going away later this month. (I hope to attend one of the transit funerals for the V or W train! Anybody with me?)

A currently unused stretch of track—the Chrystie Street Connection—will be reopened to make way for the rerouted M.

All kinds of bus routes are being changed.

And in a strange move, this week the MTA accidentally posted a monument to Internet woe when it labeled the 14th Street/6th Avenue station with FML (“fuck my life”) signs.


The new routes take effect June 27, but new subway maps are already up in some stations, including Atlantic Avenue/Pacific Street in Brooklyn.

What’s new about the map? The most obvious change is that the color of the land has been adjusted from beige to an earthy khaki color. The designers have tried to make the map simpler, eliminating some confusing and seldom-used information about bus connections and which lines operate at which hours.

Here’s the new map:


Sat 12 Jun 2010 10:49 am   //   Posted in: Photos, Travel

Snaps of Dublin (first edit)

Hello from Dublin! I’m here for the CEPIC Congress, but these snapshots aren’t of the conference; they’re of other stuff I’ve seen in the city. Please enjoy. I’ll do a full edit and create a travel page for Dublin when I have time.

(P.S. to the CEPIC folks who asked about my Diana camera: I’ll post those pictures on this blog in a few days, after I get the film processed.)

Aviva stadium, Dublin, DART train

A DART train (Dublin’s metro) and the brand new Aviva stadium, where the conference was held.


Sun 6 Jun 2010 8:31 pm   //   Posted in: Brooklyn, Technology

What Facebook thinks Brooklyn looks like

What the hell, Facebook? I understand you probably need a little 50×50 graphic for every town in the world, but what’s up with Brooklyn’s?

I mean, what is that? A shot of the old Pier 1 warehouses seen from Manhattan? Or Omaha, Nebraska, on a hazy afternoon?

It’s not like we have a shortage of icons. A rooftop water tower. A slice of pizza. The F train climbing the Culver Viaduct. The Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building clock tower. The Parachute Jump. The Cyclone. And isn’t there a bridge in Brooklyn that people might recognize?

Come on, Facebook. The 2.5 million residents of Kings County deserve better.

Sun 6 Jun 2010 9:29 am   //   Posted in: Bicycles, Weather


During the winter, the sun doesn’t rise in New York until 8. Right now, because of daylight saving time and the change of seasons, it’s getting light at 5. That’s three extra hours of light in the morning before the city (which likes to sleep in) really gets humming.

Lately I’ve started waking up early and taking long bike rides in the sleeping city. Some mornings I do a few laps around Prospect Park. This morning I rode the Belt Parkway bike path most of the way to Coney Island and back.

I find this so enjoyable that I’ve started pondering what it would be like to live at a lower latitude, where before-work bike rides were possible year-round. (I don’t mind cycling in the dark, but cold air, wind and ice make it unpleasant.) I bet I’d get tired of it. Something about the fact that it’s only possible to ride early in New York five months of the year—and even then, only when the weather behaves—makes it feel like a rare treat. It’s something to be earned by suffering through a grueling winter.