City of women

maps, People

A portion of the map by Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, courtesy of the New York Transit Museum

Three years ago, journalist Rebecca Solnit and geographer/writer Joshua Jelly-Schapiro created City of Women, a subway map that replaces stations with significant women in NYC’s history and cultural landscape. The map was originally part of their book “Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas,” but they’ve now done an updated version that’s currently for sale at the New York Transit Museum. In this revamp, they’ve assigned a woman to all 424 subway stations and have added 80 names, including Cardi B and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ahead, we chat with Joshua to learn more about the inspiration behind the map, how they chose the names, and what’s next.

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City Living, maps

Modern cities are filled with signs that mark history, and that history often bears men’s names. In New York City, for example, we have Astor Place, Washington Square, Lincoln Center, Columbus Circle, Rockefeller Center, and Bryant Park, just to name a few. In introducing a new book that addresses this status quo, The New Yorker points out that history-making women, on the other hand, “are anonymous people who changed fathers’ names for husbands’ as they married, who lived in private and were comparatively forgot­ten, with few exceptions,” and that their names are notably missing from our streets. In their forthcoming book “Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas,” Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro offer us a New York City subway map that attempts to set the record right. “City of Women” pays homage “to some of the great and significant women of New York City” in the places they lived and made a difference.

See the full-size map here

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