Tag Archives: F train

Stuff You Should Be Seeing: Cinemagraphs, Antique Prints & Psychedelic Collages

These things might be old news to you, but they recently surfaced new and cool to me.

Let us begin with the cinemagraph gifs featured on Jamie Beck’s “From Me to You” Tumblr. In April, a post on My Modern Met featured Beck’s work. Shortly thereafter, a more in-depth article further illuminated the work she does with partner Kevin Burg to combine film and photography into awesomeness.

Now, five months later, I am arriving at the party.

Anyway, I find the mini-movies mesmerizing. One of my favorites is the never-ending train pulling into (or out of) the Rockefeller Center subway station. I wish I could tell if it is my old nemesis the F train.


Next up, another great art/design blog: BilbiOdyssey. I came across the site when a Lost At E Minor post about the blog featured an antique print of squid. Squid freak me out; therefore, I am inexplicably drawn to them as design. I have a similar love/hate relationship with jellyfish (which, by the way, as a group may be referred to as a smack of jellyfish).

Basically, BibliOdyssey presents scans of vintage and antique book illustrations ranging from scientific illustrations and diagrams of cephalopods to nineteenth-century Japanese woodblock prints (the current headliners) to eighteenth-century fashion satire etchings. Entries include historical background on the works in question and a plethora of high quality, large-scale images. It’s a great resource for those interested in design, history, printing, or just looking for some extraordinary images for inspiration, stimulation and entertainment. Scroll through the blog chronologically or start by clicking on a topic tag at the bottom of the main page and see where you end up. It is addictive.

Wang Pou (Oho) visits a grave during a storm


And lastly, something you can buy on Etsy: Fantastical collages by Living Feral. I always like to think that if I wanted to make really cool collages, I totally could—but I never do, and most likely they would never be as bizarrely captivating as these occasionally Dali-esque dreamscapes by Tracy Jager. I might need to clear up some wall space…

They Only Had A Moment

She Called It Freedom

You could buy this one for me, if you really wanted to. I wouldn’t mind in the least.

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The F Train Strikes Again



I don’t know if you’ve heard: I hate the F train.

And here is yet another reason for my hate of said train.

Let’s take a look back at my Friday evening, shall we? It was not a good night. Much of that blame lands on the F train, although to be sure, a good portion must be allocated to the spiteful cosmos.

First of all I was feeling a bit off on my way to happy hour in midtown. When the place we wanted to go was packed with a million hour wait, Kathleen, David and I decided to head alllllllll the way uptown to their ‘hood in the hopes of wider drinking pastures.

There were still waits. It was inevitable. Friday was a gorgeous day: hot but dry with a breeze—perfection in the summertime. And so we waited there—way up there, above 100th on the west side.

And then I began to feel more than a little nauseous. To quote Lucille-Two, I sensed the “dizzies” coming, soon to be followed by a departure from consciousness on a Manhattan sidewalk.

I chose another way, only slightly more dignified: I tottered over to a low, filthy marble stoop and sat with my face on my knees.

It was attractive.

At one point, despite sitting down I was hit by yet another urge to leave the world behind. The street before my eyes dimmed, the sidewalk appeared to rock back and forth. Kathleen looked worried. David continued to bargain with the hostess a few yards away.

Once that wave of doom passed, I wondered if it would be worth getting up, walking back to the front of the restaurant and allowing myself to collapse right there. I mean, that would merit expedited seating, don’t you think?

What does all this have to do with the F train? Just wait for it. The F train is Act II.

As you may have astutely inferred, I never got to have my margarita. Other people had margaritas and nachos. I had diet Pepsi and water. And some rice.

After holding down our table for as long as possible, we headed back to a couch since clearly I would not be going out further that evening and was not yet ready to suffer the subway ride home.

Hours pass.

At midnight, I toddle down to the 1 train. Despite inordinately loud and never-ending track announcements, my 1 train experience was lovely. The train came almost immediately and even though they were power washing (story of my life) at Columbus Circle, all was not bad. The D train came right along and I slipped into a coveted seat.

And then it happened. We pulled into 34rd street I suppose, just as an F did the same.

“Oh jolly,” I thought, “An F train, that will save me a few minutes on my walk home, and they never come. What luck.”

What disaster, you mean.

There I am all pleased with myself as the train leaves West 4th.

Then there I am wondering why we haven’t stopped yet.

And then, there we are pulling in to the C-E stop at Spring Street.


Not Broadway-Lafayette. Not Second Avenue. Not even Spring Street on the 6 track. Spring Street at Sixth Avenue.

I almost died right there on the train. Luckily, I managed to scramble out in an effort to minimize my disaster. There was nothing for it. I started to walk.

Did you know that the walk from that stop is nearly two miles to my apartment?

Recall that it is now 1 a.m. on a night during which I have already nearly passed out multiple times—due to not the slightest debauchery, I assure you.

I was haggard. I was gray. I was dragging my corpse-like body through territory far too trendy for me to have had to deal with in that moment. Heels were clacking, lines were roped off, I was cranky.

Why, you might ask, did I not take a cab?

Because I am poor. That is why I have a blog.

Obviously. If I was gainfully employed, would I have time to watch nearly every World Cup game and generally rant here all the time? No. I would not.

It was a bad night.


Filed under Dear Life

Happy Easter: I Hate People, Especially in the Subway

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After a heady night of live-tweeting the annual television broadcast of that cinematic masterpiece The Ten Commandments, it was time to head uptown for some church-going followed by Easter brunch and fun. The sun was shining, the breeze was warm, the F train behaved itself beautifully and I even made a delightfully timed transfer to the B/D, which is where all the trouble began.

First of all, I cannot even tell you whether I was on a B or a D train because on the weekends such minutiae  are immaterial to the MTA, which prides itself on ever-changing weekend routes and schedule, an utterly inaudible public address system and a malevolent sense of whimsy regarding the fate of its passengers.

This is a rant.

So there I am–listening to some Bishop Allen on my iPod, fully reflective sunglasses still propped on my nose despite the undergroundness, brunch supplies safely stowed in a large tote– just minding my own business. At Columbus Circle the long and foreboding announcements make their appearance. I pause the music and attempt to decipher the message, which indeed did sound a lot like a recent New York Magazine reconstruction:

“”Ladies and ____lemen the ___ stop will be ______erhorn. To repeat, the ___ stop will be Broad____ . If you are traveling to ____lin Street _____ now and ____for the ______ train on the ____bound track.”

The train continued to idle as the driver repeated his instructions a few times and I slowly came to what I thought was a sense of clarity regarding my transport destiny. My understanding was that my train would run express to 96th Street and then switch to local service. My destination being 103rd, I thought to myself, “Perfection.”

Mind you, the train is still idling inexplicably and the announcements are droning on and on as more passengers enter the subway car. Also keep in mind that according to New York Magazine, the D train is one of the top three worst lines for announcement clarity and that overall 55% of subway announcements are unintelligible. Note it.

An older man boards my car, looks right at me (you remember, the girl listening to her ipod, reading a magazine and wearing sunglasses so as not to be disturbed) and asks, “Is this training going to 96th?”

At first I ignored him since clearly I was not to be interacted with, but once I realized that for some reason he had chosen to discuss the matter with me, I confirmed.

Downhill, downhill, downhill.

The train did not stop at 96th. It did not stop at 103rd. It did not stop at 110th. It did not stop until 125th Street. As the B/D zoomed through 96th the old man got up, walked over to my seat where I was thinking, “Oh crap, good thing I was running early because this is mucho unfortunate,” and started to scream at me about subway direction etiquette.

In case you are wondering, subway direction etiquette involves not lying to people whose days you are clearly trying to sabotage. Clearly. Nevermind that it was an honest mistake, nevermind that he had chosen to ask an unapproachable person for information, nevermind that the MTA is notoriously useless on the weekends and unintelligible in general, and lastly: nevermind that I too had obviously missed my stop and would have to backtrack (along with half the passengers on the train based on what happened once we pulled into 125th Street and all crossed platforms together).


Might I add that I did in fact apologize, even though clearly one asks strangers for weekend subway advice at your risk.

The topper?

A lady sitting across the way turns to him in the middle of his rant and says, “Oh yes, we’re going to 125th Street, you’ll have to go up the stairs and cross over to the other track.”

She had been sitting there through the entire slurry of announcements, had clearly noted that not only was I mistaken but that I was accidentally misleading this crazy old man and had not said a word, until the opportunity to be uppity about it came along.

I hate people.

On the upside, a C Train showed up almost immediately and I made it to my destination on time. On the downside, my Easter morning was no longer idyllic, but just an average angry New York weekend-subway-riding fiasco.

Then in my attempt to be a good person, I went to church and almost passed out due to the horrendous over-use of incense. Thanks.

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F Train News Again, Part III

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And now the F train is torturing Brooklyn specifically, which truly doesn’t really bother me, but since the F is clearly one of my trending topics, let’s all thank Molly for the tip on this tale.

New York Magazine The short story.

New York Post The full story.

More from me on the topic: The F Train & The Ghost F Train

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Filed under Really.

The Ghost F Train

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The mysterious and vexing ghost F train haunts me.

For those of you who don’t live and love in New York, allow me to explain: A ghost train occasionally runs on the F/V line. It’s an ancient vintage museum collection of subway cars. Sometimes it is by itself. Sometimes it is running with maintenance cars. Sometimes it is dark. Sometimes it is lit up. Sometimes there are MTA employee passengers. Most distressing is when it rolls into the station and the doors actually open, and the ads in the cars are up to date but the lights are not fully on… creepy. The first time this happens, one is forced to stand there on the platform and wonder if the MTA is serious: “Am I seriously supposed to get on this relic? Is the MTA trying to kill me?”

After a while you get used to the ghost train and its malicious nature. The ghost F usually rumbles through the station when you’ve already waited an exorbitant amount of time, preferably in the middle of the night–or better, full on into the wee hours. I once mentioned the ghost train while waiting on the platform on such a night. Just to spite me, it appeared within 45 seconds. I almost threw myself into its path in an effort to end the pain.

On occasion the ghost train even dares to show its face during the day so that I can be late to wherever I am going. I don’t have a  job per se, so I have very important places to go.

And thus ends parts two of my issues with the F train.

New York Magazine: MTA: Hey, Everybody, the F Train Is a Mess. Did You Know That?

New York Times: On the F Train, the MTA Confirms What Riders Already Know

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The F Train

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Last night I did a crazy thing and went to the mystical place, East Williamsburg. Some will tell you it doesn’t exist. Others proclaim its magical existence. I leave the ultimate judgment to my reader(s).

At any rate, this involved taking the L train back from into Manhattan, whereupon I was left with two choice: get off at First Avenue and walk a ways, or ride until 6th Avenue, transfer to the F/V and thus have less walking about in the cold.

Got on the train with Kathleen, la la la, suddenly we’ve gone under the river, my ears hurt and we’re pulling in to First Avenue. I cry out in a panic:”Do I get off here, or try my luck with the F?!”

[Background: the F train and I have a very hot and cold (read: antagonistic) relationship. In past weeks we’ve been doing better but last Wednesday it all took a turn for the worse.]

Kathleen: “Mmmm….”

Me: “The F does tend to hate on me.” I start to lean forward.

Kathleen: “It does kind of hate you, but also just doing its job.” I’m in that weird half-sitting half-standing place.

Me: “Well, it’s gotta do what it’s gotta do, I gotta do what I gotta do.” I dash through the doors with my Droid.

And you know, it’s true, the F train just has to hate sometimes. It cannot help itself. I accept this.

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Filed under Dear Life, Really.