Bruce Davidson: 1980s NYC Subway Photos

I found these originally on Flavorwire and fell in love with Bruce Davidson‘s collection of photos of NYC Subway photos from the 1980s. They remind me of the gritty, realistic eyes of Melissa Weimer’s Lake. Sky. Vans and Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe‘s latest Anthology: Faces, Places, Spaces.  Here’s an excerpt from the original article:

Children hovering by the subway window to the glow of Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel. A man cowering from a pointed gun. A young vandal at work in a tagged subway car. A punk brooding at a station. In the mid-80s, photographer Bruce Davidson captured New York City’s subway commuters in a ground-breaking series first published by Aperture, freezing the subject in powerful, split-second vignettes.

The Illinois-born photographer has described his subjects as “the people in the subway, their flesh juxtaposed against the graffiti, the penetrating effect of the strobe light itself, and even the hollow darkness of the tunnels, inspired an aesthetic that goes unnoticed by passengers who are trapped underground, hiding behind masks, and closed off from each other.” Decades later, the images seem familiar yet distant, cinematic yet tangible. See flash-frightened women in furs and vigilante crime patrollers in our gallery and look for the third edition of Subway available soon from Aperture.

New York’s City Hall Ghost Station Re-opened!

New York’s famous City Hall subway station, one of the most gorgeous gems in the world of mass transit, has been closed for decades. Now it can be viewed again by in-the-know riders of the 6 train. Here’s how. Read more

The MTA’s Financial Posture

15558In April 2005, I sent an email to the NYC’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (or MTA) with a suggestion for helping them be more green.

You may or may not know that the MTA has 5,800 subway cars that run on 656 miles of track through 68 bridges, 14 tunnels and four boroughs, and carry 4.7 million people (1.7 percent of the US population) each weekday though 468 stations. You also may not know that the MTA, like most of NYC, runs off of electric power generated by oil-heated, steam-powered generators. So while the impression is that the MTA is green (because it’s not diesel-powered), it still consumes oodles of fossil fuel each day.

This is what prompted me to write them back in 2005, and to resend my letter on the four-year anniversary of it’s lack of a response. Read more

Manahatta: (NYC Subway Map v. 1937 Buffalo Nickel)

Every time I look at the MTA’s system map, I always see a Native American’s face in profile: Manhattan is the stately bridge of the nose, Riker’s Island is the gleaming eye, and even the Rockaways are a feathered headdress. Partially because of this physiognomy, but more due to its sartorial charm, I presume it looks the most like Sioux, Crow— probably the ethnicity of my great-grandfather on my mother’s side—Blackfeet, Cheyenne, or Plains Cree.