Having been around for over 100 years, the subway system in New York is replete with ghost stations, abandoned platforms, and tunnels to nowhere. There’s so much of it that the MTA’s neglected property has become something of a fascination, and while projects like the Lowline seek to transform abandoned platforms into pleasant public spaces, mostly these unused areas become depressing garbage pits. But artist Andrew Diemer, a graphic design student at Pratt, has transformed one of these phantom spots with a simple installation.
There are few useful maps that blur the lines between reality and fantasy as completely as a subway map. Curves are smoothed, the space between stations is adjusted and even geography itself is modified, all in the name of helping riders understand which train will take them where they need to go.
“It’s both form and function,” said Andrew Lynch, a New York City-based artist and cartographer. He’s part of a vibrant community of armchair urban planners who spend their spare time reinventing official transit maps. Their work, scattered across the blogosphere, is mostly functional but mixed with a healthy dose of creative license. Some maps add in entirely new subway lines where none exist in real life, citing ridership data that supports their presence. Others are unashamedly pop art, an abstract series of lines and circles representing routes and stations. The maps are making a big impact, though — both as art and as a source of ideas for actual improvements to transit systems.
With the G train’s dreaded five-week shutdown set to go into effect tomorrow night, DNA Info has published a handy rundown of alternative ways of getting from Greenpoint to Long Island City. But they left this one out: the folks at Uber just e-mailed to tell us they’re offering free rides along the stretch of the G train that will be closed till Sept. 2.
The nouveau newsstand at the Metropolitan stop just got even funkier — and we’re not talking about your typical subway-station funk. The guys from Chances With Wolves — the awesome and dizzyingly eclectic show on East Village Radio — will DJ there tomorrow at 7pm, so do take out your earbuds when you’re transferring from the L to the G. This is hands-down the best thing to happen to the subway system since countdown clocks.
Like any relationship fraught with “issues,” riders of the G train know acute highs (like catching the train just as it arrives at the dank Broadway station at 3am) and despairing lows (like, ugh, having to ride the shuttle bus from Greenpoint to Court Square half the summer). Good or bad, the G knows how to keep things interesting!
The MTA’s full review of the G line, released yesterday and embedded below, made us see our relationship with the G in a whole new light, and like a good couples counselor it finally helped us get some questions answered. Starting with…
Greenpointers, if you were jealous of Williamsburgers and their increased L train service, hold tight: it could happen to you!
Today the MTA announced that a review of the G line, completed last week, resulted in the following recommendations.