Monday, July 24, 2017

There's all kinds of candy stores...

...from a photographer's notebook

What does it take to turn a New York Subway-loving photographer into a kid in a candy store?

Walking into the Fulton Street Transit Center one June day was all it took for me, as I looked up to see all of the route emblems for the many Subway lines this modern underground rail nexus now integrates. The view here is from a street level entrance, but the distinctive shopping and subway station complex can also be reached via the underground concourse leading from the Oculus at World Trade Center, which also links the Subway lines here to the modern WTC PATH terminal with its trains to points in New Jersey.

Not sure what the symbol at the far right, next to the 5 Train signifies. But that’s all right – It’ll take several trips originating from the various tracks and levels of this “candy store” before that even becomes a concern ;-)

Speaking of candy stores, methinks I hit upon a great idea – M&Ms for Subway Lovers. Yeah, I ran it by them and got a form letter from "[my] friends at Mars" to the effect they don't take product suggestions coming from outside their Marketing Department. That's OK, Mars, I'll still eat your crunchy shelled little chocolates...

And speaking of original ideas, my attention was so focused on the M&M's...err, Subway "bullets," that I didn't notice the "Subway Library Selfie Contest" poster to the left of the escalators while I was shooting. I doubt I would have looked more closely while there, as selfies are not exactly a passion of mine. But in editing my shots, I found myself wondering just what a "Subway Library" could be and why it would spawn such a contest.

Turns out I missed something special. It's over now - the contest, that is - so put away your selfie stick, but imagine this...just one of those wondrous things that NYC manages to do with such panache - and scale. The New York Public Library thinks straphangers should have something good to read while tearing through tunnels or cruising to Coney (to eat baloney on a roll?) and is providing free e-books. The special train will run on the Sixth Avenue Line as an F train or on the Eighth Avenue Line as an E.

And, for its part, the MTA has "wrapped" a special subway train in vivid "Subway Library" colors. OK, we've all seen "wrapped" rapid transit or city buses, but, as I was saying about style - and this is what I must say I was sorry I missed! - the inside of the cars is "wrapped" to resemble the Rose Reading Room of the Public Library - complete with skylight and "shelves" of books. Hope they included a stern librarian "shooshing" the noisy ones yammering into their i-nuisances...

Come to think of it, I think I would take a selfie with her!

Happy reading...and subway riding.

©2017 Steve Ember
P.S. You can ride with me and the cameras on some favorite MTA lines by clicking here (and then "transferring" to other trains by leafing through my NYC images).

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