Monday, January 31, 2011

What's the craziest thing you've ever seen on the subway? -Kid on the A train

A friendly, talkative person will tell you just about anything on the A train after the doors close at 59th Street and you are headed express to 125th.

Here's how one kid answered this blog's main question.
"What's the craziest thing you've ever seen on the subway?"

Share you own stories or links to youtube videos below.

Dr. Zizmor--and his namesake

I remember being 15 and using the NYC subways for the first time by myself. I remember the old Redbird trains, clattering along the Lexington Avenue line.

And I remember the ads for a doctor, who promised, with a rainbow, that you, too, could have beautiful clear skin.

Who is this Dr. Zizmor....who for decades has created the kitchiest and most memorable ads in the New York City Subway?

One goal of this blog is to find out more about this man, with the rainbows and the beautiful clear skin.

A friend of mine from college, also impressed by the posters, once got a pet rat. Rats equal subways, and subways, somehow, equal Dr. Z.

Here's a picture of my friend's rat, Zizmor. She's a very lovable, friendly, and domesticated non-subway rat. A fine pet.

(p.s. check out zizmor's human's blog here)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Subway Music Creates Subway Poetry

14th St. Station on Wednesday, 19 January ~ 2:45 pm

Saw Lady

I descend into an alphabet maze
of Union Square Station
there entranced by ethereal sound
teasing me in, on, around—
a subway pied piper—to you,
you and your steel music partner
in a protean pas de deux at once
instruments of another and I, for
a perfected instant, fall in tune.

Willa France, Manhattan Poet on
Natalia Paruz "The Saw Lady"
Celebrated subway musician and player of a musical saw. Her work has been featured on NPR, ABC, MTV, VHI, PBS and others.
See Natalia's blog and where to find her and listen to her live at:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Idiotarod...Subway Style

Congratulations to all of you who braved the cold and snow to participate in this year's Idiotarod.

Check out this vintage (2005) shot of some C-train friendly Idiotarodders from LarimdaME.

Check out some photos of this year's events at Dumbo Books of Brooklyn

Congratulations to the winners, too!

Best Metrocard Art Ever***Artist Uses Metrocard Art to Protest Fare Hikes***

Spectacular artist Juan Carlos Pinto shared some of his truly incredible art this morning. Check it out. And see links to more of his sites below. Mona Lisa is great, but the Bob Marley portrait pulsates with life.

Blog ping service">
Blog ping service

Friday, January 28, 2011

Man Hit by G train--lives--to be accused of murder!

Windsor Terrace man attempts to slay parents, then tries to kill himself by jumping in front of the G train. He lives, as did his father, but has been picked up on murder charges.

I recommend this excellent post at Ink Lake:

The detail here? The G train is obviously too unreliable, even for a suicide attempt.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

SNOW DAY!!!!!! -- What was your Subway Ride like Today?

Was your day at work this hard?

Maybe it felt like it, getting to work.
There was a THUNDERSNOW!!!!
Share your stories below!

I will post comments.
We've all got a snow story!

Hey Lady--Pay attention to the wildlife!

A while ago, a co-worker lived in rougher section of Crown Heights. She was waiting on the subway platform one morning and a man across the platform shouted “Hey Lady!” She ignored him, because she was used to getting harassed a bit.

Again, the man shouted “Hey Lady!” Again, my co-worker ignored him. He kept shouting. Untill he said,

“Hey Lady, RAT!!!”

My co-worker looked down. A rat was crawling up her boot.

She ran.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Metro North Rider Next to Open Door on Cold Snowy Day (Commuter--SUCCESS!--Metro North FAIL)

Pee-Wee's Great SubVenture


Returning a lost purse--filled with dark secrets

A while ago, I found a purse abandoned on the subway. The phone and wallet were there, the cash and credit cards were gone. I figured I'd get good karma and return it to the owner.

I looked through the purse. There were cigarettes, makeup, a blackberry phone, perfume, a bottle of klonopin, two watches, and a bunch of lighters. Looking for clues as to who this was, I read the text messages in the blackberry's outbox.

What kind of girl leaves her purse on the subway? Perhaps this girl, Irina, girlfriend of Jason.

In the box of cigarettes, there were 4 packets of whitish powder wrapped in paper and sealed in packets. Initially, I thought this might be cocaine. But it turned out to be something stronger.

Later, I spoke with Colleen (in phonebook as “momcell”) who called me on the blackberry, now in my possession. She indeed was Jason’s mother, who asked if there were any drugs in Irina's purse, like any heroin? I covered for Irina and said no. Apparently, these kids have a problem, stemming from the fact that Jason lost his father on 9/11. (Story checked out online, though I'm changing all the names out of respect.) Colleen needed to talk, talked for ten minutes, told me all about how they were arrested a few days ago, Irina got out first. There was a court appearance notice in the purse.

Irina’s dad came to pick up her purse, he met me a few blocks away from my house. He thanked me. I flushed the heroin. Irina might want it, but there was no reason to hand it over to some clearly worried parents. She had two i.d.’s in her wallet. The first was a driver’s learner permit, she looked young and beautiful. The second was a NY State benefits card, with the same girl, looking sunken and pale.

I’m worried about Irina, too.

Here are the text messages from what was clearly some rough times. I copied them from the phone message in-box. They still haunt me.

sunday may 10/ 11:55
Colleen he doesn't want to go to the hospital what should I do he hurt him self.

may 10/ 11:15
ITS IRINA CAN I PLEASE HAVE YASMINE NUMBER OR PLEASE CAL ME JASON IS BLEEDING I THINK HE NEEDS STITCHES HE BROKE ALL the doors in half he so mad that you think he did that he's hurt pretty bad what should i do colleen

Ray (Mobile)
Ray you can put your car back in the spot i got to a fight whit my mom. So go ahead
may 10/ 9:05

to a 347 number, not in address book
sat may 9/10:38
You am out side by my building let me no something at least

may 9, 10:36
J you ok at least am worried

may 9 10:21 pm
Ma I can't stop crying on how bad u think of me I never thought that I was that terrible but I guess in your eyes I am and am starting to think that way but I must say I tried to keep faith but am losing it by the minute I guess all this shut is really getting to me for the first time any way ill never stop loving you even. Thought I see you have up on me a long time ago that's hog cold your heart feels these last few years you try hard but it doesn't feel genwine any more I feel better of dead this aunt life no more for me speak to you in my dreams hopefully there be peace full love Jason

347 number
sat may 9th
R you almost here yet let me no when to come down Jason

May 9th 9:38
Mom I'm sorry but I had a bottle in one hand and another hand i nocked your purse over by accident I didn't think youwould get so up set at your son I must meen nothing to you so ill cry it out but it will never go away

May 9 9:17
Colleen your son is crying one u have a bottle of booze and pills he feels that when he nock over your purse that he didn't even realize at first but. When he did he didn't think you would big out on him for trying to place it back cause he had a big bottle in one hand how much could he do with one hand

347 number
From Tmobile
May 11 2009 10:29 am
The billing address for your T-Mobile account has changed. If you didn't authorize this change, please call 1-800-937-8997 or dial 611 from your T-Mobile phone.

from Kate, Brooklyn

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Belated Christmas--Santas enter the subway.

Subways are among the most beautiful things created by human beings on earth.

Like a lot of native New Yorkers, the subways are where a good deal of my life has been conducted. I've had swell days on the trains, and miserable ones. From an emotional standpoint, I sort of feel like Subways are among the most beautiful things created by human beings on earth. Seriously, they are more poignant, more lovely and heartbreaking than any work of art I can think of. Sometimes I'm amazed that humans, as selfish and creepy and petty as we are, were able to get it together and make something as sprawling, functional, and democratic as the subways. Although building them relied a good deal on exploiting cheap labor for dangerous work, the subways were built for the common people, to be used by everyone. As I understand it, the city managed to keep the price at a nickel for a long time, based on this philosophy. And I think there are unintended, healthy social consequences to putting people in a train car together.

Larry, Brooklyn