New York City – June 2019 – Random Views

As with any week spent in the city, you always run across interesting sights.

Starting with the Puerto Rico Day Parade





The view from the Roosevelt Island Tram





A Public Art exhibit on the High Line.









Brooklyn Subway Station Details – those familiar with the area will notice it is actually from two different stations.









Staying in Brooklyn – Barlay’s Center Arena.



A cool art deco power substation for the subway in Greenwich Village



Park Avenue just north of Grand Central Terminal.



Hudson Yards





The Alexander Hamilton House



And finally – the Apollo Theater in Harlem!






New York City – June 2019 – Different Ways to Get Around Town

On the ground, on the water, or in the air there are many ways to get around the city.

Let’s start with a city bus. Not just any bus, but a collection of historic buses from the MTA Museum:











Via the water…









Always a favorite – the Roosevelt Island Tram.



Or the train…



For now it is time to get out of town – over the swamps of Jersey.






New York City – June 2019 – East River Views

Most of my time in New York City is spent on the Jersey side, therefore most of the photos of the skyline is from across the Hudson. On this trip I had a chance to view Manhattan from the East River.




































New York City – June 2019 – Sit Down or Hang On

A slang for someone who rides the subway a lot is a ‘strap hanger’. The term comes from the early days where there were actual straps that the standing passengers held onto.

This posting illustrates the history of New York City Subway cars and the changes in the seats, and ‘straps’.



Only the very oldest cars have the cloth straps! In addition this BMT Q car has rattan seats that are very cool.





Very early on the cloth straps were replaced with metal ones.





The next version has already moved to the metal bars. I am certain the straps wore out quickly, whereas the bars last forever.





Our next version loses the rattan seats, replaced with these stylish green and yellow stripes. The bars have also evolved to be much larger, so more people can hang on while standing.

This is an IRT R-12 car dating from 1948.





On the IRT R-15 car the bench seating continues, only in solid red, while the bars are still large and protruding. This car dates from 1950.





The first plastic seats make an appearance on an R42. This type of car was most famously used in the 1971 movie The French Connection, where the good guy is in a car chasing the bad guy who stole a train.



Time to board our next car – the ‘straps’ have returned! This car is a R33 ‘World’s Fair’ car, so named as it was released in 1963, the same year the city hosted the World’s Fair.







The last of the straight bench seating makes an appearance.



As we move closer to the modern design, randomized seating.





Finally by the 1970s it looks essentially the same as today’s cars. Not nearly as elegant as the cloth straps and wicker seats, but far more functional and durable.



Time to hang out on the benches in the station and reflect on the changes of the subway over the last 100 years.








Brooklyn, NY – May 2018 – Coney Island Lunch

Since we were in the area and I have never been there, we stopped by Coney Island for lunch at Nathans!

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After our nutritious and delicious lunch we took a walk on the boardwalk.

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Even though it was a beautiful summer day (the day after Memorial Day) the place was empty for 1 PM.

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They even have a palm tree on the beach (which is actually a misting palm tree)

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Having seen photos of Coney Island my entire life it was cool to see it in person, with the tall apartment buildings in the background.

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The pier appears to have been recently refurbished.

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We continued down the boardwalk past the various rides, shops and restaurants

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Ending up at the iconic Coney Island subway station.

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Brooklyn – May 2018 – Vintage Subway Car Interiors

The New York Transit Museum, located in downtown Brooklyn, has a great collection of vintage subway cars. This posting documents the change in interiors over the years

Traditionally subway riders have been known as ‘Straphangers’. To todays subway customers this makes no sense since there are a plethora of metal bars to hang onto, but in 1908 they had true straps.

Below are a series of photos of the interiors (hopefully I got the details on the car types correct)

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Early 1900s car with rattan seats and wood grab bars. While stylish it would’ve been very hot in the summer, even with the hat chopping paddle fan

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The ‘Million Dollar Car’. Built in the 1940s in anticipation of the Second Avenue Subway (which finally opened in 2017).

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1930s IND ‘City Car’ with striped rattan seats.

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R40 Subway Car from the 1960s – 1970s. While more practical they still had some style.

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R38 subway car from the late 1960s

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R44 subway car. To be realistic they should’ve left graffiti. By this point they are not nearly as stylish as the earlier ones.

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Brooklyn – May 2018 – Subway Mosaics

The New York Transit Museum hosted a talk and book signing with Phil Coppolla who for the last 40 years has gone around the subway system sketching the mosaic signs and artwork that is omnipresent throughout the system.

 

After a film maker showed a 22 minute film on Phil they had a panel discussion.

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As we left we passed a great example in a nearby station.

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The next day at Grand Central Terminal where the Museum has a store and small gallery. They were featuring Phil’s work, including a number of his original sketch books.

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Also included are some of the artwork. Astor Place is named for John Jacob Astor, who was one of America’s first millionaires in the early 1800s. He made his first fortune on furs, hence the beaver sculpture.

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One of the original 33rd Street pieces.

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Phil had very detailed sketches for each one.

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After viewing the exhibit you will find yourself looking at the stations in a different light, actively seeking out the artwork.

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