As my pal Matt refers to these on his wickedly popular blog Boy Culture… I had the audacity to frame a “Guydar” subject on the subway Thursday eve, thanks to my iPhone, flash off. I’m going with big score! *
Two lovely individuals who didn’t mind a bit when I took what I thought were covert picolas on the subway… that is, until I realized the flash had gone off. Lady Blue offered a beautiful smile and he… well, the hair says all. As they departed, she said, “Enjoy the photos,” with another wide grin.” How could one not love New York?
On Nov. 5, 1888, the Fifth Avenue Brooklyn Rapid Transit Elevated line opened, carrying passengers from Fulton Ferry just across the Brooklyn Bridge (which opened in 1883) through downtown Brooklyn to Bay Ridge. At the bottom of the top pic, you’ll see passengers waiting to board streetcars, while construction is taking place along the tracks.
Like most BK lines, funding in large part came from developers of Coney Island, who wanted to make it easy for all New Yorkers to reach the beach. The line also connected with the Long Island Railroad.
It was efficient, but what a bloody mess, huh? In 1940, the line was demolished, along with the majority of elevated lines in New York City. (Photos: NYC Vintage Images)
How the hell did they ever build the New York subway, anyway? The notion of burrowing under established streets, digging deep & precise tunnels and engineering a public transportation system at the beginning in the 20th Century—which continues to transport hundreds of thousands of passengers today—is mind-boggling.
However, as we see in this series of photos from Life magazine, it wasn’t always easy going… Above, in 1920, two elevated subway trains collided at a right angle, one of several deadly disasters within a few years time.
1900: Excavation of the Seventh Avenue subway line came to a halt when a taxi lost control and veered into the work site. At that point, construction workers used a cut-and-cover method, which required them to dig into sediment, create a passageway for the subway, then rebuild the road above it.1915: A dynamite blast caused the overhead road to cave in on the Seventh Avenue subway line, sending a streetcar collapsing onto the rubble. Seven died and nearly 100 were injured.
1900: Yikes! It all started with a single train line, the Interborough Rapid Transit, on Oct. 27, 1904, running from City Hall to 145th Street. This is scaffolding precariously balanced inside a newly excavated tunnel.
Some things never change: Times Square at rush hour in 1940; and Coney Island-bound in 1948.
Photographer Stephen Mallon captured these breathtaking images of the new life that comes to retired NYC subway cars, which are dramatically dropped into the ocean to become artificial reefs for sea creatures.
The city decided a decade ago to donate the old cars so that mussels, barnacles and even sharks could glom on and weave in and out of the structures off the Eastern seaboard. His images are from 2008-2010, with cars ending up off the coast of Virginia, Delaware and Maryland.(Photos: Stephen Mallon/Works Artists/Frontroom Gallery)
I posted this long, loving look at the New York subway back in February and now, with The Smoking Nun’s new template, I offer an encore look, with the bigger, bolder, brighter images. This is a goodie.
Here’s a historic look back over the past 100 years of New York’s venerable New York subway system… from the 1920s to the 2010s. (P.S. This was a whopper to put together; I spent more than five hours collecting webbie photos from every conceivable locale.)
I honestly thought this was an April Fool’s joke, because seldom have I seen an idea as utterly asinine as the MetroMitt, one of those products you never realized you needed until you read how dangerous life can be without it.
According to MetroMitt.com, manhandling a New York subway pole is likely to invade your delicate system with countless deadly diseases, including: * Hepatitis A: causes jaundice and diarrhea * Staphylococcus: zits and boils * Pseudomonas: infects wounds * Streptococci: sore throats * Shigella: more diarrhea.
How’s this for a panic attack? The webbie states, “Human hands are among the most common ways for bacteria and viruses to be spread. With over 5 million people riding the New York City subway system on an average weekday, bacteria and viruses can be transferred by holding poles, touching seats and grabbing doors. MetroMitt is a free, disposable hand mitt benefiting riders conscious about personal hygiene.”
Further grossout statistics: a typical human hand carries about 150 bacterial species, bacteria reproduces every 20 minutes even after using hand sanitizer, and according to the NYC Subway Shmutz ’09 survey, 50% of subway cars across all lines are considered dirty.
Surprise: You can purchase ads to stamp on MetroMitts. Now I believe I see the real dirt here. It’s called opportunistic fear.