Times Square. July 16, 1979.
6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites artists to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Philip Ashforth Coppola shares some of the sketches from his life-long “Silver Connections” subway drawings. Are you an artist who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
Despite its functional woes, the subway is absolutely teeming with historic art, from tile mosaics of station names to ornamental ceiling wreaths and wrought iron handrails. Philip Ashforth Coppola has committed himself to paying homage to these details often looked over by rushed straphangers, drawing the designs with meticulous care and attention. For the past 40 years, he’s been on a mission to draw every subway station in New York City. Though he’s not there quite yet, his amazing work has been compiled into a series of volumes called “Silver Connections.” Ahead, Philip shares some of his drawings and discusses why he started the project, how he goes about his work, and his thoughts on the subway past and present.
Step into Coppola’s world
Photo by John Fraissinet / Flickr
Per the MTA’s Weekend Subway Service Advisory, there are a ton of changes in store for straphangers this weekend, which, when compounded with the weather forecast, makes for all the more reason to stay home. There are a number of trains that have scheduled delays or will be making local stops – ahead are the direst of the weekend service changes.
In a city where hundreds of interesting happenings occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Art Nerd‘s philosophy is a combination of observation, participation, education and of course a party to create the ultimate well-rounded week. Jump ahead for Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer’s top picks for 6sqft readers!
Celebrate Pride Month with a Rubin Museum tour, by dressing as the Wizard of Oz at the McKittrick Hotel, or by joining Luke Neocamp at TransPecos for his video trilogy release. If you’re Hamptons-bound, take in some international art at the annual Art Hamptons Art Fair. Free French Films continue in Greenpoint with Luc Besson’s Subway this Friday, and adult storytellers share a little show and tell at Roger Smith Hotel. Finally, come meet me and enjoy Peter Gronquist’s work at Joseph Gross Gallery!
More on all the best events this way
It might be time to trade in your metro card for a bike. Straphangers could soon see yet another fare hike if the MTA is unable to bridge its $15 billion budget gap. The NYDN reports that top transit officials are warning that the increase could ring in at as much as 15 percent, upping subway fares to $3.15 from $2.75. The agency tacked on 25 cents just last month to a single ride, much to the dismay of millions of commuters.
FInd out more here
The MTA’s latest fare hike went into full effect yesterday, but instead of just lamenting over another 25 cents lost, we’re taking stock of all the ride increases over the last 100 years (gluttons for punishment?). We’ve also uncovered a catchy little commercial created by the New York City Transit Authority back in the ’60s, released as a way to encourage folks to hop on a train to enjoy one of the city’s most momentous events—The World’s Fair—during what was also one of its most tumultuous times.
All the fares and film here
- SantaCon’s drunken debauchery is abandoning its traditional East Village route and heading to Bushwick. [Bushwick Daily]
- All those backpack wearers and “man spreaders” are going to get a public shaming when the MTA rolls out its subway etiquette awareness campaign in January. [am NY]
- Explore the “poison cauldron” of Newtown Creek in photos. [Gothamist]
- After 15 years in the West Village, Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks is losing its space. [Vanishing NY]
- Well, this is convenient. An aerospace engineer developed a carry-on suitcase that charges your smart phone, tracks the luggage’s location, and has a built-in digital scale. [Phys.org]
Images: SantaCon via drpavloff via photopin cc (L); Bad subway etiquette via cisc1970 via photopin cc (R)
Plans for a Second Avenue subway have been on the drawing boards since flapper dresses were all the rage. But not until now has this pipeline dream started to take shape.
One of the hottest discussions among the locals is undoubtedly the new line, and according to the MTA, 65 percent of Phase I is now complete. When it debuts in December 2016, it is slated to carry 200,000 straphangers, which in turn will reduce overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue Line by as much as 13 percent (that’s 23,500 fewer passengers on an average weekday). Phase II will extend the line from 96th to 125th Street, and the MTA just announced that $1.5 billion (only a third of the total estimated cost) is now set aside with the hope that the federal government will chip in, too. But those who wonder when the 8.5-mile stretch of tracks (125th Street to Hanover Square), you’d better hold onto your hat—it’s 2029! Though this is still 15 years away, that hasn’t stopped the prices of properties flanking the SAS from riding high in anticipation.
Why buyers are looking at construction workers starry-eyed
- How Does Your Train Stack Up?: Animal New York covers The Straphangers Campaign’s annual ranking “State of the Subway.” Find out which train was considered the best and the worst – hopefully you’re not taking the latter any time soon.
- Pepper Spray Doubles As A Camera: This innovative design, now asking for funding on Indiegogo, snaps a pic of your attacker when you pull its trigger. We’re not exactly sure where the photo goes or how the emergency service is able to find you, but find out more about this campaign on Daily Dot.
- A Growing Pot For A Growing Plant: You won’t have to repot your greenery anymore with Emanuele Pizzolorusso’s Fold Pot that grows with your plant. Check out DesignMilk to see the snappy design.
- Understanding Your City with Graphs: CityLab interviews the founder of I Quant NY about his open data graphs. In case you were wondering which convenient store is dominant in each of the boroughs: For the Bronx, it’s Rite-Aid; for Manhattan, it’s Duane Reade (duh); for Staten Island, it’s CVS; and Brooklyn and Queens love all convenient stores equally.
Left: Fold Pot courtsey of Design Milk; Right: Wikimedia Commons
For anyone in the world who’s ridden the New York City subway, they’ve undoubtedly taken a curious gander at the system map, full of its rainbow-colored, crisscrossing lines. But what many riders may not know is that in 1972, a man named Massimo Vignelli was commissioned by the city to create a very different version of this map, immediately sparking controversy for its geometric simplicity and geographical inaccuracy. In 1979, Vignelli’s map was replaced with a more organic, curving version like we see underground today.
In 2008, the MTA commissioned Vignelli’s firm to update their map, and a new version was put online to serve as the Weekender, highlighting weekend service changes. But now, underground map enthusiast Max Roberts has gone one step further, and claims he’s come up with a perfect compromise between the Vignelli work and the MTA’s signature map.
See what Mr. Roberts has come up with
- A Catalog of Manhattan’s Subway Tile Mosaics: Last summer Adam Chang lived every New Yorker’s nightmare – he spent 20 hours on the MTA, stopping at every stop and photographing the mosaic signs. Citylab has more on the beautiful result of his sheer insanity.
- Man Seen Flying Kite from the Bowery: Let’s go fly a kite! Bowery Boogie has snapshots of a man who though the weekend weather was perfect for indulging in a childhood pastime. We’re just sad he didn’t have anyone to battle with.
- KWC’s Zoe, Your Kitchen’s Sexy New Addition: She has curves that are out of this world and she washes dishes like a pro but she’s no 1950s housewife. Architizer introduces the new high-end faucet that has become the talk of the kitchen.
- Elle Décor Adds New A-List Designers: 6 designers have made it to the big leagues as Elle Décor announces their annual A-List. Their Editor-in-Chief discusses it with Editor At Large.
- Lenox Hill Townhouse Asks $40mil: A five-story townhouse flaunting a décor that will make you dizzy is asking $40 million and Curbed has some strong opinions on the matter.
- Machine Turns Fruit Juice Into Fruit: Engadget has some exciting news for those who want to find more ways to pretend they’re eating healthily.
- How to Ask for Favors Online: We all get by with a little help from our friends, and Gizmodo tells us how with results from a Reddit study on successfully asking for favors online.
Images: Manhattan Subway Tiles (left), KWC’s Zoe (right)