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.

I am SO EXCITED by my new custom-made kicks courtesy of guicemann (aka Charlie)! When I was recording Flee The Scene, Kasey and Dave told me about their own spiffy sneakers, and I loved the idea. I asked Charlie if he could possibly do a pair with all of my favorite Brooklyn things, and he surpassed my expectations. I love how unique they are and how perfectly suited they are for me. I highly recommend getting a pair of your own perfectly-you shoes; I’m happy to connect you! Such a great small business.

(Fun Fact: You might notice the black bike on the sneakers. I’ll never forget you, bike!)

Check out Arts for Transit (the app or the website) to learn more about the incredible artwork in the NYC subways. There are a lot of gems and significance; read up on your favorite stations to appreciate them even more. As an example, here’s what I see as I arrive at work every day:

and here’s what they have to say:

57th Street – 7th Avenue


Carnegie Hall Montage, 1994

Ceramic tiles on north and south mezzanine walls; porcelain enamel on north mezzanine wall

Carnegie Hall Montage is a colorful arrangement of images in porcelain on steel that shows the range of artists who have performed on the world-renowned stage. Some depict Carnegie Hall’s classical pedigree, such as Leonard Bernstein and Marian Anderson, for example, while others portray the Beatles, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Eleanor Roosevelt, as testament to the importance of the stage. Nearby, hundreds of white tiles with text commemorate the names, professions, and appearance date of notables who graced Carnegie’s stage. In the words of Carnegie Hall activist Gino Francesconi: “I have always felt that the subway station directly below Carnegie Hall should reflect the history of the building just as the subways of Moscow and Paris do their own cultural institutions … It reminds one of the connection between the city and its art.”

Interview with Shelly Huang: DIY Bride

When a friend requested that I pick up subway maps, for his friend who is soon to be married, I was intrigued. I love anything with a DIY touch, and Shelly Huang’s idea for her wedding makes me smile. I talked with her to learn more:


Jen Bokoff: Your idea of making 1000 paper cranes out of NYC Subway maps for wedding decorations is amazing. Where did it come from?

Shelly Huang: Our wedding theme is “Rustic City Love”, combining natural rustic elements that represents our laid-back style with our love for NYC, the wonderful city we fell in love in and now call home. The idea of 1000 paper cranes is a Japanese tradition that grants the bride & groom 1000 years of happiness, much like the cranes who mate for life and are said to live for 1000 years. I’ve always been deeply moved by this tradition and wanted to incorporate it into my wedding but for the longest time, I couldn’t find the linkage to the “city” part of the theme. Then one day I was riding the F train when I noticed a group of Japanese tourists intently studying a subway map. That’s when it hit me –  I would combine my wishes for my marriage along with my love for NYC in these subway map cranes!

JB: Are you going to make all 1000 cranes, or will you have help? And will they all look the same?

SH: Many of our family and friends have already offered to help collect maps and fold cranes! I’m so excited because it would be such a dream to be married under a canopy of cranes embodying the blessings and wishes of all your loved ones! We’re going to hold a paper crane folding party at one point with white wine and funny wedding movies. We’ll probably have to give people tutorials, but I’m not really interested in getting “perfect-looking” cranes so much as cranes folded with love.

JB: What will you do with all of the cranes after the wedding?

SH: That’s a good question! I really hadn’t thought that far, but maybe I’ll pass on the blessings and wishes to another bride. Or maybe the MTA might be interested in getting their subway maps back and would like to display these in the MTA museum! I guess I’ll cross that bridge after the wedding.

JB: Being a crafty bride is wonderfully ambitious! Do you regularly delve into creative projects?

SH: Both my mother and grandmother were very crafty ladies.  My grandma custom designed outfits for my barbies and my mother used to make me funky outfits with matching scrunchies and because of them, I’ve inherited a penchant for tinkering with DIY projects here and there. I’ve made many Halloween outfits, and I recently created a “will you be my bridesmaid” project with a hollowed out secret book filled with photos, color inspiration from paint chips, and paper dolls with the bridesmaids’ names on them.

JB: A little birdie told me you need some help. What can New Yorkers do to help see your wedding dream come to fruition?

SH: Well, my fiance told me to ask for donations so we can see our (not-so-cheap) NYC wedding come to fruition! But seriously, I think it would be amazing if people wanted to contribute to the cause of collecting subway maps, or even if you want to fold your wishes into subway map cranes and send them over! Also, if any crafty brides want to bounce off ideas, I’m always excited to make new friends!


If you live in the NYC area and can help contribute maps, or if you want to connect with Shelly, shoot her an email. Shelly will marry Brian Blitz on June 22, 2013 at The Foundry in Long Island City.

This fire grew really quickly from a garbage can in the 72nd street B/C subway station. It got super smokey. There were no fire extinguishers, and the attendant was on the other side. After contacting emergency people, the entire FDNY showed up.