Saturday, October 29, 2005

Subway Dreams

Subway Dreams

One of the great things about living, working, and loving in New York City is the grimy convenience of the subway system. It is fairly reliable and practically gets you anywhere you need to go in the five boroughs. Yet, as with anything that has been around for a hundred years, it could use some aesthetic and practical upgrades. Here are 9 half-serious suggestions on how I’d improve the metro, if I had it my way.

* Offer free iced coffee to passengers while they wait during the summer, and black subway fleece blankets, like the airlines, during the winter.

* Make all the little punks who carelessly toss their gum, candy wrappers and otherwise on the platform perform 100 hours of community service for each piece of litter, making them hand scrape every piece of blackened, hardened gum on every platform of this old grand metro.

* Grant funds for local grammar schools to beautify local platforms with the mosaic, painted and chalk-drawn art of all the brilliant, precocious minds in their care.

* Build gossamer fiberglass sidewalks, so that people from each direction could see silky shadows of those on the other side. For some of these light-shedding projects, I’d use groups of small multi-colored circles that let in streams of various hues.

* Create an exchange program of buskers, musicians and various other artists and performers with other subway systems from all over the world.

* Pump in waves of soothing acoustic, electronica and new age music onto the platforms to calm all the rushing, waiting, weary souls.

* Build free hand sanitizing systems at the sides of station exits that allowed people to swipe their hands over scans of some sort of ultra-violet light or other to promote better health and reduce the pervasive transfer of cold viruses.

* Shoot a laserbeam of light across platforms, a foot away from the edge, in conjunction with campaigns advising people to stand clear, preventing unnecessary accidents and encouraging anxious passengers to let others get off the train first.

* Hand out Atkins diet books, so that overtime more people fit comfortably in the train.

Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten
From the Battery to the top of Manhattan
Asian, Middle-Eastern and Latin
Black, White, New York you make it happen

Brownstones, water towers, trees, skyscrapers
Writers, prize fighters and Wall Street traders
We come together on the subway cars
Diversity unified, whoever you are
We're doing fine on the One and Nine line
~An Open Letter To NYC, Beastie Boys


this musing and foto are featured as part of 100 NY Stories (High), book sixteen of the lost man chronicles.

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