so riding the dc metro has been oddly nice. first and foremost, there are very handy signs that tell you the estimated arrival of the next train (some london bus stops have this, which is so mind-blowingly useful), and these make me realize that i don’t care all that much about waiting for a train, as long as i know how long i am going to wait. on nights when i used to wait for over an hour to catch the f train back to brooklyn after tech at nytw, had i known i would be waiting 80 minutes for a train, i might have made the informed decision to take a cab, or to try the n/r line. suffice it to say, they can’t move this implementation along fast enough in new york.

the advertisements are strange though: instead of ikea and movies, they advertise tanks and planes. i find it an odd strategy to basically lobby for defense contract dollars by putting up a poster in the subway, but not nearly as disturbing as the ad picturing a little boy wearing a grenade that said something to the effect of “he’s already decided what he’s going to be when he grows up: only your money can stop terrorism…” and i’m not exaggerating all that much.

i can’t help but marvel at the subway stations themselves: huge vaulted tunnels buried surprisingly deep, entirely constructed of pre-fabricated concrete blocks and thus uniform but, hey: they’re air-conditioned, and someone at least thought of lighting when they were built. nice as all of that is (and i bet it’s the first time i’ve wanted to photograph a subway station), i miss the character of the new york subway platforms: the mosaics covered in grime, exposed beams and pillars bathed in harsh, bare light. but i realized that the thing i miss most is watching the smeary stream of graffiti weaving in and out of the darkness as i barrel towards brooklyn on the d or n before popping up to see the statue of liberty between the cables of the manhattan and brooklyn bridges.

ok, so, i miss new york, where there are no carpeted subway cars, so that you may drink coffee your with abandon. c’mon: no coffee for your morning commute? no wonder nothing gets done in this town.