Q: Serious question: If, god forbid, I fall onto the tracks or someone I am willing to risk my life for falls into the tracks and is knocked out – and a train is coming (lets say 30sec away) – what should I do? Are those pits between the rails by the platforms made for people to hide in in a worst case scenario?
A: The best thing you can do is run as far down the platform as you can (in the opposite direction from where the train enters the station) and wave your arms frantically to get the train operator and passenger’s attention. Believe me, the passengers WILL be doing the exact same thing, as nobody wants to see you get run over and their train get delayed. If you can get to the far end of the platform, it gives the train more room to stop, and there is a ladder at the end of each platform where you can climb back up — do NOT try to climb up from where you are. So many people have been killed trying to jump back up rather than getting away from the entrance end of the station.

A subway conductor tells all. Very interesting how the internet makes it possible for laymen to become unofficial spokespeople with well-amplified voices and messaging.

These masks that protect from the sun feel like overkill. Also, they’re kind of scary. Also, is it really comfortable to sit outside in them? Also, they have to be sold on the black market?

(Just another weird trend piece from the New York Times.)

(thanks for sharing Chris… hopefully it wasn’t a recommendation that I wear one!)

2011 was the best year for traffic safety in New York City in more than a hundred years. In fact the 243 traffic fatalities our city endured last year was the lowest number since records started being kept in 1910. And in 1910, most people went by horse-drawn carriages.

Good work, Mayor Bloomberg. Please run for president in 4 years. Thank you.

Biking In Heels: Cycling For Women

I took an awesome (and free!) bike class at the Brooklyn Brainery last month taught by Emily Scott, an avid cyclist with enthusiasm and smarts to boot. We covered everything from proper gear (Isle Jacobse’s great raincoats and a white helmet for increased visibility, for instance) to highest risk situations (like cars making left turns while you’re in a protected bike lane). With Emily’s permission, and in honor of National Bike Month, I share below some of the notes I took and tips that I found most interesting:

For purchasing a bike:

  • What kind of cyclist are you? Commuter? Errands? Recreational?
  • What do you want in a bike? Speed? Lightweight? Ability to carry things? Ability to stay dry? Type of frame (stepthrough or not)? How many gears?
  • No hand breaks = dangerous!
  • To determine the proper frame size, use a chart. Inseam is a more important factor than height. My inseam is 27”, so for my next bike purchase, I should get a 48-50cm frame.
  • You can often “trade up” on craigslist, meaning that when you’re ready for something new, go for it! Your old one will sell.

Be lawfully safe and satisfactorily dry:

  • Wear a helmet.
  • NYC law says that you must have a white light in the front and a red light in the rear.
  • Test brakes before going out.
  • Keep things off your body as much as possible, because it makes you less sweaty. Racks/baskets on the back of the bike or side baskets that fold can help with this.
  • Good temperature management means that you wear 1/3 less clothing than you normally would walking around in that weather. Strip down then you feel yourself getting warm
  • There are solutions out there for butt sweat.

Miscellaneous tips:

  • Think like a car and act like a car, but have the awareness of a pedestrian.
  • Be aware of cyclists behind you. If you’re going to go slower, hang to the right.
  • Draw attention to yourself when needed. Ring a bells. Use your voice. Make eye contact.
  • The best bike shops are where the bike delivery men go. They’re honest and no frills.
  • Keep your purse where you can see it; if you stop at a light, someone can swipe it out of a back basket.
  • 97% of people who died on bike were not wearing a helmet.

The perfect way to let #mom know you got there ok.

I can’t wait until the next time I travel or decide to let mom know where I am. Even if she reads about this awesome service called hashtagmom.com here first, the first call will undoubtedly result in lots of giggles and sighs of relief, followed by confusion and reasoning, followed by a call to my Grammy to relay the crazy phone call she just received. Let’s just say: #predictable.

If any of you readers sign up too, please share how it goes!

You might not want to read this.

NYC has now put all of its health inspections online in a really great searchable format. The criteria for scoring is certainly interesting and I love the transparency.

BUT

I got curious about what in my neighborhood got lots of violations and is STILL OPEN. This place Beast that I like, for instance, is still open, but it appears to have many many violations and a pending grade. That can’t be good…

… especially because it should probably be closed.

EEESH. Think twice before lunch.