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For tourists and locals traveling below the streets of New York City, there’s a new way to get around the massive subway system. The traditional subway map is getting an upgrade, and that means they’ll finally replace some of those printed ones that have long been missing information due to too many people running their fingers along popular routes.
Digital maps have already invaded some subway stops, like Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station and the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center stop over in Brooklyn, but now the the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is planning to hook up stops with at least 77 more touchscreen "On the Go!" panels.
Travel Contests / New York City / Subways / Brooklyn Travel / Sweden Travel / Music Travel / → All Tags
In his novel Motherless Brooklyn, Jonathan Lethem takes pity on the G train, New York's most maligned subway route. He says that the train's legendary terribleness is because the G, like the runty kid in school, gets picked on for being the only train line that doesn't touch Manhattan.
Like it or loathe it, the G is in major need of a PR boost. So local hopmasters Brooklyn Brewery are sponsoring a contest. They're asking songwriters and musicians to compose original songs about the G train and post them on YouTube. After that, they'll chose a few favorites and ask readers to vote. The winner scores a free trip to Sweden for the Debaser Music Festival in August.
Might we suggest "The Waiting 40 Minutes at 4 AM Blues" as a possible title?
Update! One day after releasing the badge, Foursquare has made it an expertise one. That means "leveling up" is now possible. Yippee!
Foursquare, the location-based social app, has been on quite the run with issuing new badges for those who like to get out and explore beyond their city...but into the world. From Baltimore to Moscow, the focus has been on highlighting individual cities. Today, however, the table turns to transportation and how we get around those cities. Please put your hands together for the new Trainspotter badge.
It's essentially the train version of the popular Jetsetter badge, which has existed since the early days of Foursquare a couple years back.
Videos / Photo Gallery / Subways / New York City / Historical Travel / Vintage Travel / Retro Travel / Train Travel / Holiday Travel / Christmas Travel / → All Tags
Traveling to New York City for the holidays means long lines, crowds everywhere and cold weather. BUT...it also means really excellent, unique diversions like what we've twice now run into underground on the city subway lines: the "Nostalgia Shoppers' Special Train." Since the end of November, this vintage subway train (think 1930s through 1950s) has been again plying the tracks every Sunday, clanking between the Queens Plaza and 2nd Avenue stops.
A ride on the train costs the same as every other MTA ride$2.25and you can find it's arrival/departure schedule here. This upcoming SundayDecember 26is its last run for the season, and we highly highly recommend it. It's the first time we've smiled on the subway in a long time, thanks in part to the awesome crowds who get dress up in period clothing for the occasion, and turn the train into their own personal vintage Christmas party (complete with cheery musical trio).
Here's more from the two journeys we've taken on it:
You hear all the stories about guys on the subway who get touchy-feely and the problems that creates, and then you also hear that things like women-only cars have been created to combat this problem. Well, we are happy to report that yes, they do exist, and we recently rode in one in Tokyo. [sidenote: yes, I am a female]
Although we were tempted to take tons of photos of the civility that reigned inside the car, which was the last carriage on a rush hour train out of the Shinjuku station, we instead took a moment to play local, and only snap this photo while awaiting the train.
For the men out there missing out on the women-only subway cars: you are missing out. It's a nice ride! Our train even sported sakura flower decals and little Hello Kitty stickers on the doors, where she warned riders to keep their fingers clear or risk having them injured. Super kawaii!
Around 11pm last night EST, which would be during the morning rush hour in Moscow, two separate female suicide bombers detonated themselves in the subway underground of the city. The first occurred in a train at the main station Lubyanka, killing 23 on the train and platform and the second came at the Park Kultury station, killing another 12. The attacks again raise important questions about the safety of public transportation while turning an eye to Russia and their terrorism problems with Islamist rebels fighting for independence in Chechnya.
Russia is not new to subway bombings, but then neither are Tokyo, London or New York, the latter of which has foiled several attempts of terrorists to bomb and even cyanide gas the system. As a result, expect subway security to be beefed up in big cities around the world, especially in New York. Plan for random bag checks and remember that using common sense is a good defense. While there's probably no need to bring your flame-retardent suit on the train today, it's also a good idea to be aware of what's going on around you.
· Moscow Subways Attacked, NYPD Increases Subway Security [Gothamist]
· Two Blasts in Moscow Metro, Dozens Killed [RT]
· Tragedies [Jaunted]
You can travel around the world by plane, bus, ship, or even pogo stick, but what if you could go from New York to Alexandria, Egypt simply by changing trains in Lyon, France? This is the dream of Mark Ovenden, who partnered with an illustrator and the London Transport Museum for this special inclusion in the book "Metro Maps of the World."
Although it might be a dream, the idea is so appealing. Perhaps if we had world peace, better tunnel-drilling technology and faster bullet trains, it wouldn't be such a fantastical idea. But we don't have those things, and so we must be content with staring at the full size version of this map and imagining the possibilities. How awesome would it be to hop an express bullet subway train in Newark and be in Bucharest after only 5-6 stops?
We do have one issue with the map, however. As inspiring as it is, they've put Chicago further out than Minneapolis. Switch! Illinois comes before before Minnesota when you head west, and we're not so sure Chicago would be happy as anything less than a hub. Do we need a 2010 revision of the map? Perhaps!
· Full-size of the world metro map [Flickr Creative Commons]
· Google Earth Zooms In on the US Military's Huge Aircraft Graveyard [Jaunted]
· Maps [Jaunted]
[Photo: Mark Ovenden/Annie Mole on Flickr]
Guess what we saw this weekend! That's right, it's the rumored Holland Tourism train, which is really just the S Train in the New York City subway system, but wrapped in advertising.
The genius ad campaign comes from the Netherlands Board of Tourism, who are hoping that when you're sandwiched into a subway car filled with their images of bicycles next to canals and famous Dutch paintings, that you'll get it into your head to maybe vacation in Amsterdam or anywhere in Holland during one of your two weeks off a year. We don't think we've ever been on the S Train simply because the 7 Train does the same route, but when we spotted this one idling at Times Square, we noted that it was packed with people who were about to fall prey to the subliminal messaging of the ads. Score for Holland!
One more picture after the jump
Travel Advertising / Travel Ads / Holland Travel / Amsterdam Travel / New York City / Subways / → All Tags
The Dutch just won't let New Yorkers forget that they could be living in "Nieuw Amsterdam" and not "New York." Holland may have lost their grip on Manhattan back in 1674, but they can still find their way in somehow...and these days, they're hoping to gain access to the wallets of New Yorkers by enticing them to vacation in the Netherlands. And what better way to get the attention of jaded New Yorkers than by taking over their commute and decorating the interiors of subway cars? Sure, it's been before, but it never fails to delight.
All through the rest of February, the S Train will be wrapped inside and out with scenes of Holland, like a canal with bikes or a dark wood museum gallery with Vermeer's Girl With the Pearl Earring on the wall. And because everyone loves freebies. street teams will be handing out "Holland-themed giveaways" each week at the Grand Central and Times Square stations.
And then there's the big prize...
Thanks to a Jaunted reader who emailed to bring this craziness back to mind, we present you with the infamous train pushers of Japan. The video above is the craziest we've seen yet on YouTube, but the most famous one is this clip from the subway.
Our tipster also included the remark: "and we thought the MTA was bad!" That would be the New York subway systemthe Metropolitan Transit Authorityand yep, although NYC's subways system can get crazy crowded, videos like these remind us that it could well be worse.
It's even worst than in Rome, where we'd wait an average of four trains before we could get in one during rush hourand those aren't air-conditioned, and you're contending with touchy-feely smarmy guys who don't make distinctions when they reach out and touch someone. Do you know any other cities where the public transportation gets this bad? Share your stories in the comments, so we can all learn where to keep our jackets zipped up and our bags small.
· Japanese Train Pusher videos [YouTube]
· Taxis, Cable Cars and Ferries, Oh My! A Guide to Hong Kong Transportation [Jaunted]
Subways / New York City / Holiday Travel / Shopping Travel / Train Travel / Retro Travel / → All Tags
C'mon, ride the train! Okay so before we quote the Quad City DJs' song any further, let us just let you in on something very coo, very unique that's happening on Sunday in December in New York City. It's called the "Nostalgia Shoppers' Special" and it's a vintage New York subway train that's plying the underground just as it used to decades ago.
This year, you'll find the vintage subway train on the V line between Long Island City and lower Manhattan every December Sunday from 10am to 5pm. Take it from Rockefeller Center to Macy's Herald Square, or continue down to Greenwich Village at the West 4th Street stop, or hop off when it terminates on the Lower East Side. We tried to catch it last year, but didn't put enough effort into it (aka we got on whatever train arrived first and didn't wait for it). But if you do wait, you'll enjoy padded seats, incandescent lightbulbs, ceiling fans, and all the vintage design touches you can handle.
[Photo: j.reed via Gothamist]
In New York City, you can take a tour of everything from the city's luxury chocolate shops to Bob Dylan-relates sites, so why hasn't anyone thought of developing a tour of the city's best subway and street performers? Well, actually someone has: The Huffington Post, and they're looking for help locating your favorite roving mariachi band.
The HuffPost is looking for video submissions of the best acts from around NYC, whether above or below ground. After a few weeks, which will hopefully include our favorite performersthe man who wheels an entire piano down to the subway platform and the Xylophone-playing furriesHuffPost will highlight them on their site, hopefully with a guide as to their usual location. Bingo: instant, crowd-sourced subway music tour guide. Now if only it could be organized so that groups could visit them all during a day on the subway lines...but that's asking too much of such free spirits.
Submit your NYC street performer video here via YouTube, and be sure to add location data so we can find 'em!
· New York Subway Performers Project: Help Capture and Map The City's Street Talent [HuffPost]
· Music Travel coverage [Jaunted]