Image by acfb.org
The holiday season is the time of year when seeing friends and family is hard to avoid. We also find ourselves with more vacation days during these winter months. However, even though these two holiday realities suggest cheer and relaxation, they don’t always mean we’re taking the necessary time to slow down and appreciate what really matters. Instead of just eating and drinking your way through the next weeks, why not harness the holiday spirit and take a pause to help your fellow New Yorkers in need? There are hundreds of opportunities to volunteer from now through the New Year, and the list we’ve compiled below is a good place to start.
6sqft’s list this way
Image credit: Museum of the City of New York.
In dealing with the examples of ill-behaved humanity that still plague the city’s subway today, the powers that be in 1909 thought they were doing the ladies a favor when they suggested the addition of women-only subway cars, according to Ephemeral New York. Called “suffragette” cars (though women didn’t win the right to vote in New York until 1917) they were introduced on trains of the Hudson Tubes running from Manhattan to Hoboken (today’s PATH line). In trial runs, the last car in each train was reserved for women. Officials of the five-year-old IRT line began considering the idea–thought to be a success in its earliest trials–for the New York City subway.
Find out more
The Times Square shuttle platform, via Wikimedia
At the platform of the Times Square-Grand Central shuttle, a train track is hidden in plain sight. At both ends of the two-station line, tracks are numbered 1, 3 and 4, with no Track 2 to be found. As the New York Times explained, Track 2 once ran in its appropriate spot, between Tracks 1 and 3, but was taken out of operation nearly 100 years ago. After an attempt to expand the original 1904 line turned to major confusion for commuters, transit officials covered Track 2 with wooden flooring to make it easier for New Yorkers to walk to the new tracks.
More this way
Joggers in Central Park, via Wikimedia
If you’re suddenly feeling inspired to start running with all the talk of the New York City Marathon on Sunday, a map created by the Central Park Conservancy will help you get moving. While Central Park no longer serves as the only spot marathon contestants race through as it did during the city’s first marathon in 1970, it remains an oasis for runners of all experience levels. The conservancy’s guide maps out the many loops and trails of the park to help you hit the ground running in preparation for next year’s marathon, or even just starting a new hobby.
Find out more
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial featuring Fala, via Wikimedia
While the subway can always be a bit creepy, there might be more behind those spooky feelings when standing underground than just frighteningly bad service. Allegedly, a ghost haunts Track 61, the secret track hidden under Grand Central Terminal, according to Phil Schoenberg, a New York City historian and founder of Ghost Walks NYC. And not just any ghost, but the spirit of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Scottish Terrier, Fala, who apparently roams the shuttered train track. The president famously used the private track as a way to escape the public eye, keeping his paralysis a secret (h/t WNYC).
Get the spooky scoop ahead
In April, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city will spend $100 million on closing the gap that stretches from 53rd to 61st Street along the East River Greenway in Manhattan. Beginning in 2019, the city plans on connecting all 32-miles of the greenway’s coastline with waterfront amenities for the public. As ArchDaily learned, an interdisciplinary design practice, wHY, has submitted a request for proposal to the New York City Development Corporation for the greenway’s 1.1 mile-long, undeveloped gap. The firm’s $70 million proposal calls for two lanes: a slow one for plants and pedestrians and a fast-lane for bikers and runners.
Find out more
Cubic MTA payment system. Rendering courtesy of Cubic Corporation.
Cubic, the San Diego-based company who was awarded the job of creating the MTA’s new cardless fare system, has just announced that the $539.5 million contract award (with additional options worth $33.9 million) has been approved by a vote of the MTA Board. As 6sqft previously reported, Cubic is the same company that developed the MetroCards that replaced subway tokens over 30 years ago. The new MTA system is modeled on the one that has been in use in London’s Underground and commuter railroads.
See the new fare payment system in action
Flooded Battery Park Tunnel after Hurricane Sandy. Image: Timothy Krause via Flickr.
With the October 29th anniversary of superstorm Sandy approaching and storms leaving the world’s coastlines waterlogged, 6sqft recently covered a new report predicting rising sea levels and a growing flood risk. Now a new study, published Monday, found that New York is almost halfway through a 500-year span of rising seas that began in 1800–and the worst is yet to come. But according to the Washington Post, this increased likelihood of flooding has a silver lining.
Find out more
Screen capture of ‘Hocus Pocus’
Halloween is a lot like real estate; both the holiday and the industry place a premium on size and neighborhood, it’s not unheard of to hear phrases like “tons of it” and “prime location” used to describe trick-or-treating or a new listing, and when it comes down to it, apartment hunters and trick-or-treaters want the same things: the best block, thoughtful exteriors, attention to details, and most importantly, value. Ahead, 6sqft has put together a list of some of the best blocks across the five boroughs to score sweets and scares. Just remember to bring along your
broker parent and to count the square feet pieces of candy.
Where to spend Halloween this year
Image: Phil Hollenback via Flickr.
6sqft previously reported on the launch of testing on a mobile device scanning and fare payment system with the goal of eventually phasing out the use of MetroCards in the New York City subway system. New turnstiles have already been installed in the Bowling Green and Wall Street Stations, where riders can make the transfer using scanners that allow them to swipe their phones. According to the New York Times, a rollout of the new fare system citywide is not far off: The new readers will hit 500 subway turnstiles and 600 bus fare boxes starting in late 2018; the remainder of subway stations and buses will have them by late 2020.
Find out more