navigating nyc maps

Not sure why I have a Manhattan bus map since I rarely rode the bus in Manhattan. And not sure why I have two different subway maps, 2009 and 2011 (but not the newest, correct 2013 map), but I like how the 2011 design (which I believe is still current) looks much more retro than the older version. Doesn’t really change much anyhow, and with all the construction and redirecting of trains, sometimes the maps themselves aren’t all that helpful and it’s best to keep an eye out for posted signs.

Now where can I get my hands on a physical Queens bus map? Or are these physical maps a thing of the past? Sure I have PDFs of these maps saved on my Kindle … but what if my Kindle dies?


au revoir manhattan!

For the past two years I have lived in Manhattan. I was in the city, in “New York, New York.” I’m no longer there, and though the rent is much cheaper out in the boroughs, it’s still a bit bittersweet. Upper West Side, Harlem, West Village, SoHo, Chinatown, Chelsea … I’ll miss you. But I’ll be seeing you soon. Well, probably not Harlem. I won’t go back there – long story.


I like this picture, taken at the Broadway Station in Queens, because of its overwhelming horizontality. I rarely used to venture outside of Manhattan and rarely ventured above 125th so it still freaks me out when the subway is above ground (because that completely goes against the “sub-” prefix). I just about got the Manhattan subway map memorized, but now I’m having to learn new stops and door opening sides, new train and bus routes, new street name equivalents and numbering quirks, et cetera. Seriously, Queens is a whole new ballgame.

snow again – for realz!

Today, New York City was snowing her little head off. Woo! It’s been all over the news; these are supposedly “blizzard conditions” … but not really – at least not in Manhattan so far. When I left for work this morning it was snowing (sideways), when I got to work it was sleeting (sideways), when I actually started working it was raining (sideways). My temporary desk faces the window, so I was watching stuff fall (sideways) from the sky all day. Kind of hard to concentrate! No one wanted to go out for lunch so we ordered some pizzas and ate together at the big conference table, which was nice. Then the rain suddenly turned into snow! It was snowing! And it kept snowing!

And then I left work. It was still snowing, but … ew. Dirty slushy slippery snow ain’t great to walk around in. It’s still snowing and it’s supposed to continue through the night, so I wonder what it’s going to look like when I wake up. Right now there’s only about an inch on the ground because all the sidewalks had been heavily salted since yesterday. As much as I hope there’s a lot of snow, tomorrow morning I need to head to campus and then trek over to Queens, so that might not be a very fun trip.


after the storm … just eh

That cataclysmic event never really happened where I am. I’ve gone through hurricanes before, so I thought everyone was unnecessarily freaking out about this Hurricane Sandy thing, but I got prepared anyway. Well, where I live things are just peachy. There was some wind and rain, but no flooding or building damage, and no loss of power or water. I’ve seen pictures from elsewhere in the city and wow things look bad! But not so much in upper Manhattan.

Central Park is closed but Morningside Park was open. A few trees were down and there were branches and leaves everywhere, but otherwise not too bad. Life uptown is going on fine, lots of people out and about. Only issue is … HOW LONG ARE THE SUBWAYS GOING TO BE SHUT? Because seriously, that’s going to be a problem. Guess that means no work tomorrow!

oil in them thar … manhattan

This is the “Manhattan Oil Project” by Josephine Meckseper, down at the corner of 46th Street and 8th Avenue … in Manhattan. Oh yes, there are oil pump jacks (from Electra, Texas) plugging away down in Manhattan. All in the name of art, of course. There’s no actual oil, which would be a ridiculously crazy notion because Manhattan is basically rock due to the schist.


It’s just one of those weird juxtapositions, of the skyscraper versus the oil pump, of the quintessentially New York with the quintessentially Texas. It was fenced off with signs warning of danger, and although I knew it was meant as an art piece, there were obviously many other people who did not. It was interesting like that. It was less about the sculptures themselves (although the repetitive movement was quite relaxing to watch) and more about how people perceived the structures in a space such as downtown Manhattan. There were no indications that it was art, no signage to that effect, but even if one didn’t have the prior knowledge about Manhattan’s schist, there was still this sense that the oil pumps did not belong in that space.