6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. This week’s installment comes courtesy of a new exhibit at the Transit Museum, “Deconstruction of the Third Avenue El: Photographs by Sid Kaplan.” Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
After the city consolidated its underground subway lines in 1942 (they were previously owned by private companies), fewer New Yorkers were riding the elevated lines. This decreased ridership, along with the fact that the Els ate up valuable street-level real estate and created dangerous dark spaces, led to the city taking down the Second Avenue Elevated line in 1942. In 1955, the Third Avenue Elevated came down as well, catching the eye of a then 17-year-old Sid Kaplan, whose photos of the dismantling are currently on display at the Transit Museum’s Grand Central Gallery Annex. The museum tells us, “From his perch on the roof of an apartment building, or leaning out the window of an office, his images capture a unique perspective of the removal of a hulking steel structure, the hard-working people who dismantled it, and the ever-changing landscape of New York City.”
More on the El history, Sid’s work, and all the amazing photos
In a city where hundreds of interesting events occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Ahead Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer shares her top picks for 6sqft readers!
Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day around the corner, and Times Square is proving that Love Trumps Hate with a day of weddings, engagements and of course public art. Brookfield Place is celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year with a site specific installation by Amy Kao, and the New York Transit Museum is celebrating the long-awaited opening of the Second Avenue Subway. The Center for Architecture is highlighting 20 talented African American Architects, and there’s a 6,000-pound ice spectacle to be found in Central Park. More details on these events and a flurry of others ahead.
More on all the best events this way
Via *Bitch Cakes*/Flickr
Regardless of your faith, the holidays in New York City are a one-of-a-kind experience that many of us look forward to all year. For die-hard New Yorkers, it’s not so much about the big attractions, but the smaller festivities that show the spirit of the city. Here at 6sqft, one of our favorites is the MTA’s and New York Transit Museum’s Nostalgia Trains. According to Gothamist, this year, they’re rolling out eight subway cars from the 1930s to ’70s and vintage buses from the 1940s to ’80s, so holiday shoppers and history enthusiasts alike can revel in a little old-school charm.
Get the details
On the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street in Downtown Brooklyn is what looks like a regular subway entrance. But upon further inspection, it becomes clear that there’s no uptown and downtown platforms here. This is the New York Transit Museum, the largest museum dedicated to urban public transportation in the country. It’s fittingly located inside a decommissioned–but still working–subway station. And over the last 40 years, it has told one of New York’s most important stories–how mass transit and city development are intricately connected and how public transportation is one of the city’s crowning achievements, in spite of its delays and crowded rides.
Gabrielle Shubert has served as the museum’s director for the past 24 years. She transformed a young institution into a go-to destination for learning about and engaging with urban history. From vintage cars to subway fares, Gabrielle has offered visitors a chance to go behind the scenes and marvel at the wonders of New York City’s incredible public transportation system.
On the eve of her retirement, we sat down with Gabrielle in one of the museum’s vintage cars and found out about her early days as director, the range of exhibits and programming she has overseen, and the institution’s bright future.
Read the interview here
- Photo series explores the faith and modesty of Orthodox Jewish women from Brooklyn to Paris. [Elle]
- A new Williamsburg hotel will open a bar/lounge in a rooftop water tower. [Bedford + Bowery]
- Here are the 11 best 100-year-old restaurants in NYC. [Thrillist]
- Sad about the closing of Streit’s Matzo? Take a look at these historic photos of the factory’s original Lower East Side location. [Bowery Boogie]
- Register for the Transit Museum’s Transit Trivia! [Brokelyn]
Images: Water towers via Lucio Santos via photopin cc (L); Grand Central Oyster Bar (R)
There are some major ways to get your arty party on this week! Get weird and kick off the weekend while spurring your creativity and head to Brooklyn for Michael Alan’s Alice in Wonderland themed draw-a-thon, complete with costumed models, booze and live music. Or go classic in Manhattan, break out your best whites and join the New Museum for their Annual White Party (just be careful with the open bar).
But before you party, school yourself with the best in Italian Street Art, or channel your inner rocker on the Lower East Side with live music for The Cast‘s street party. Finish it off by indulging in an art film, with a free screening at the Tribeca Screening Room.
All the best events here