The New York City subway of today is what one might lightly call “starkly different” from its predecessors. In the 1980s, over 250 felonies were committed every week in the system, making the New York subway the most dangerous mass transit system in the world. Over the course of a decade, New York public transportation would lose over 300 million riders, largely due to its reputation as a hotbed of crime and drug use. In the gallery below, we take a look at what the New York City subways were like in the 1980s:
The pace is manic, there are seemingly a billion people crammed into a very small space, and it feels as though you are annoying each and every one of those one billion….
Due to the nature of the news cycle, the world’s darkness will almost always seem to eclipse its light. Good deeds, happiness and progress don’t make for catchy headlines, and yet it doesn’t mean that none of them exist. Here are three recent, heartwarming stories that will help you remember that life has just as much capacity to be good as it does bad.
Bettina Banayan’s Cake-Sharing Antics
We all know that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. But as New York performance artist Bettina Banayan recently demonstrated, you can eat free cake from a subway stranger.
As you can see in the video (below), Banayan began her friendly performance by frosting a cake in the middle of the subway, amidst a sea of unsure observers. Once Banayan finished frosting the cake, she began cutting and serving slices to other hungry passengers. Skip to 6:50 to see what happens when she starts handing out cake!
Banayan says, “New Yorkers aren’t very personable with each other and we’re constantly in people’s private space, especially on the subway. I think it’s important to have some kind of community.” While artistic ambitions may very well have underpinned her frosted benevolence, Banayan’s baked goods are a small way of making the world a better—and tastier—place to live.
Happy Birthday Colin!
One mom’s wish for her son to have a great 11th birthday has turned into one of the top heartwarming stories of the month. In early February, Jennifer’s son Colin, who has Asperger’s syndrome, told her that there was no point in having a birthday party because he had no friends. Due to his condition, Colin often has a difficult time in social settings, and is frequently excluded or made fun of at school.
Most people look to Google Maps to help navigate the present. For Brooklyn-based programmer and designer Justin Blinder, though, Google Maps is an apt device for understanding the past — and potentially the future. Utilizing Maps to showcase the facelift that New York City has received under the Bloomberg administration, Blinder sheds light on gentrification, urban planning, and their implications for some of New York’s oldest neighborhoods.
Blinder made great use of NYC Department of City Planning’s PLUTO dataset to create his Vacated photo project. With that digital storehouse at his fingertips, Blinder successfully scoured for buildings constructed within the past four years and then used Google Street View’s cache to distill years of structural revamping into a single frame.
We’ve waxed on Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg’s fantastic cinemagraphs before, and now we’re at it again. Visualizing one of their favorite subjects, New York City, in a new light, the design duo caters directly to the viewer by providing them with lenses with which they can focus on the Big Apple’s vibrance. The team complements their technical prowess with style: this most recent series is called “Seeing New York — through my Giorgio Armani lenses”.