Over the years I’ve run this site, one question often posted to me concerns its origins. How did I become so interested in transit policy and the New York City subways? I often talk about my formative years spent journeying to the Transit Museum with my parents, my interest in urban growth and development, and, of course, my love of good design and mapmaking. Put it all together, and out came Second Ave. Sagas.
Despite the frustrations New Yorkers often express toward the transit system, I’m not the only person who find the subways strangely alluring. From abandoned, half-built station shells to shuttered stations at 91st St. or the Romanesque Revival architecture on display at City Hall, the mysteries of the subway system are more romantic and appealing than the day-to-day drudgery of riding the rails. Heading down that rabbit hole at LTVSquad is always dangerous.
This Thursday, I’ll be part of a panel talking openly about the appeal of the unknown underground. Hosted by urban explorer and author Moses Gates, the panel will take place at Fort Greene’s Greenlight Bookstore at 7:30 p.m. Here is the official description:
New York City’s subways are an object of fascination for tourists, kids, commuters, city dwellers and urban explorers alike. What is it that makes those 722 miles of track and train cars so interesting? Tonight’s discussion of the appeal of the subway will be hosted by Moses Gates, author of the new book Hidden Cities: Travels to the Secret Corners of the World’s Great Metropolises. He’ll talk with Eric Ruggiero, an explorer and photographer from New York City; Benjamin Kabak, the proprietor of the popular subway blog “Second Avenue Sagas”; and Stefanie Gray, transit campaign coordinator for Transportation Alternatives, and the latest person to attempt to break the record for quickest trip through the entire subway system. Join us to share the obsession and learn some subway secrets from some serious urban adventurers with discussion, images and video.
Join us for an intriguing discussion on the hidden world all around us. I can’t tell you how to get into the South 4th St. shell, but I can certainly tell you why everyone wants to see it.