01/09/17 10:23am
Every subway station now has cell service and wifi, and a new era of bitching at the MTA has dawned

Via MTAPhotos on Instagram.

As of this morning, all 279 NYC subway stations are connected with free cell phone service and wifi, wiping out one of the last service-free black holes of modern life. That news is being heralded by by go-getters who couldn’t stand to be incommunicado for even a few minutes of their commute, and mourned by those of us who live in a frazzled state of constant overstimulated and relished the few minutes free of app alerts and text messages when underground.

In some ways, wiring the subway, the crucial lifeblood of the biggest city in the country that millions of people use every day, seems long overdue, an oversight of planning that added an anachronistic to your commute. In other ways, with all the problems the MTA has every day — from overcrowding to delays to its vastly crumbling infrastructure — it seems like a lower priority: oh THIS is what you thought needed fixing? It didn’t help that commuters this morning were met with a tangle of subway delays that affected 16 (!!) lines. Having cell service on every station means you can tell your boss right away why you’re running late — and take to twitter to rage at the MTA without delay. Here’s how people are reacting to the first day of connectivity underground: (more…)

11/30/16 11:31am
New etiquette rules now that you can watch Netflix offline on the subway

Via Flickr user randombydefinition

Today Netflix came to the rescue of people with long commutes who hate reading books (or are maybe too hungover to read on the way to work because girl we’ve been there) by finally letting you download videos for offline viewing. The streaming service now allows you to save certain episodes and movies on your mobile device (iPad or iPhone, for instance, but not your laptop). Now you can crush some eps of Stranger Things or the entirety of Minions while underground or on an airplane or at your weird relatives’ house that doesn’t have wifi over Christmas.

As with every new upgrade of commuter technology, we must embrace new etiquette rules for being a respectful subway rider while still enjoying your entertainment. Here then is your comprehensive etiquette rules for watching Netflix on the subway: (more…)

07/13/16 3:32pm
Uber commuting: It's like the subway, but much slower and less efficient! Via Gilt City.

Uber commuting: It’s like the subway, but much slower and less efficient! Via Gilt City.

I have heard tale of mysterious creatures of New York, the privileged souls who refuse — actually refuse! — to take the subway under any circumstances. I knew of one lady who called a car every morning from her Manhattan apartment and waited for it to take her to the other side of Manhattan. These folks shun the subway, a goddamn miracle of civil engineering that’s basically a warp tunnel installed below ground that can shoot you from one end of the city to another in an hour or two for under three bucks. Instead, they rely on the lowly car, that crass and inefficient means of transport we associate with the suburbs, where people exile themselves on population islands far away from all the stores, food, hair salons and Pokemon they need to survive. Even when driven by a professional, a car is still a car.

This week, Uber, the car service company with the vaguely fascist name, announced a plan to start selling “Commute Cards” that you give you unlimited uberPOOL rides in Manhattan during rush hour. They cost $79, which works out to $2/ride, cheaper than the $2.75 subway fare. This is all part of Uber’s war against any other means of transit, and their effort to get you take a car to work every day instead of a subway, bike, skateboard or anything else. Don’t buy it: The Uber Commute Card is a trick that will only clog our streets, take money away from our much-needed subway system and still make you late for work. (more…)

04/08/16 11:57am

My No. 1 reason for not liking ebooks, in addition to the fact that I HATE TREES (jk), is that I get a lot of my reading recommendations from the subway. It’s my own personal New York Times underground book review, where I can see what new books are trending, which old favorites are making a comeback and just how few people are actually reading City on Fire (the grand total still stands at zero). That also makes me a bit of a creepster on your reading habits I guess. Comedian Scott Rogowsky had some fun with this kind of nosiness, reading a series of absurdly titled books on the subway, including Human Taxidermy: A Beginner’s Guide; 101 Penis Lengthening Tips You Can Do At Home, At the Office or On the Go; and Definitely Not Porn.  (more…)

08/13/15 2:57pm
We're all stuck here together. via Flickr user Roman Klugov

We’re all stuck here together. via Flickr user Roman Klugov

Ah, the subway delay. Go-to story for frequently late employees and boyfriends, but as it turns out, it’s not as far-fetched as skeptical bosses and boyfriends might think, at least according to a new report from the comptroller’s office that amNewYork shared. Turns out that 26% of weekday subway trains and 19% of weekend trains ran behind schedule between 2013 and 2014. Or if you hate percentages, that’s about 500,000 trains. Either way, that’s a lot. (more…)

03/25/15 11:23am
Photo by Flickr user carnagenyc.

Right? There is, isn’t there? Photo by Flickr user carnagenyc.

Brooklyn may not be where I was born and raised, but eight years, six jobs, five apartments, three ER visits, and one Brooklyn Bridge tattoo later, it’s where I belong. I’ve been in love and had my heart broken here. I’ve trained for a marathon here. I’ve woken up to water bugs crawling out of the drain, dead rodents, and roommates’ random hookups. I’ve made friends, lost friends and attended funerals. I vote here. My nephew was born here. I’ve dipped my toes in the Gowanus, kissed on the Brooklyn Bridge, and volunteered after Hurricane Sandy. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way.  (more…)

02/05/15 4:01pm
Meet your fellow commuter, urinary tract infection bacteria

Meet your fellow commuter, urinary tract infection bacteria

What do you think about when you ride the subway? How crappy your day at work is going to be? How you wish you could somehow break free of the capitalist machine chewing us all up? Something dirty about that really attractive person in the same car as you? Here’s a new thing to think about after you swipe a MetroCard: what specific bacteria were you hanging out with at your station? You can know now, thanks to an interactive map the Wall Street Journal helped put together. (more…)

01/05/15 3:28pm
subway mariachi band

And not just people who perform on the subway! via Flickr user gaspi *yg

As New Yorkers, it’s our god-given right to complain about the subway. It’s late, smells weird, keep breaking down, smells rank, is run by the Rat King’s army of rodent thugs, and oh sweet lord the smell’s getting stronger. The whole getting you from place to place thing is nice though, and as this study from the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management suggests, plays a huge role in your chances of gainful employment. (more…)

12/17/14 3:02pm
crowded subway

These people have been waiting for a train for six days. via Flickr user Russ Allison Loar

As you’ve sat patiently or paced impatiently looking down the tunnel waiting for a train, did you ever think to yourself, “Man, this is taking longer than I feel like it does”? Ordinarily we would say you were just summoning up some persecution in your own mind, but no, it turns out that the MTA really was screwing you over more than usual, because a new report says that a quarter of trains showed up late between October 2013 and October 2014. Too bad your old boss won’t rehire you even though some of those late arrivals weren’t technically your fault. (more…)

Behold: complete, utter isolation. (Photo courtesy of I Quant NY)

This morning, I Quant NY released their ranking of Brooklyn neighborhoods in relation to subway distances. Greenpoint topped the list for having the most apartments the closest to the train, but bear in mind that train is the G. Can we even call the G a train? Is Greenpoint really close to a train at all?

According to I Quant NY though, “The five neighborhoods whose centers are farthest from the subway are Marine Park, Sea Gate, Bergen Beach, Mill Basin, and Mill Island.” And the least convenient home to find your number one spot for showtime dancers is (drumroll, please)… (more…)