Categories
Misc.

Very Cool: Video Footage of NYC from the late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

Embedded above and on YouTube here: footage of New York City from 1896 through 1905.

Via Kottke.

Categories
Misc.

It Is Hot and Humid Here in NYC

2013 07 18 nyc hot

That is all.

Categories
Misc.

Spotted on NYC Subway: (Fake) Ad for ‘Canine Plastic Surgeon’

I spotted this “ad” for a “canine plastic surgeon” recently on the 1 train here in New York.

2013 04 25 canine plastic surgeon

Despite the silliness of the concept, the ad is pretty convincing, since it’s done very much in the style of many local NYC subway ads. (Dermatologist Dr. Jonathan Zizmor‘s ads come to mind.)

However, a quick visit to PuppyLift.com, the (hilarious) URL mentioned, reveals that the “ad” is actually for Comedy Central’s “Kroll Show.”

Pretty clever.

Categories
Misc.

Springtime Weather Arrives in NYC

This was the scene on the Columbia campus around mid-day yesterday:

2013 04 10 springtime nyc

Yes — it was sunny. And with temperatures in the 60s, it felt almost hot after the last several months of winter.

People were wearing shorts. And napping on lawns. And buying treats from a frozen yogurt truck.

Yes, springtime weather has arrived.

Finally.

Hallelujah.

That is all.

Categories
Tech

My 2 Favorite NYC Public Transport Apps

2013 03 24 nyc subway

Navigating New York City’s massive subway system, seen above, can be difficult. Especially for those, like me, who are new — or newish — to the city.

I use two helpful iPhone apps to streamline my various journeys.

Embark

The first is called Embark.

Opening this free app reveals a touch-responsive map of the city’s subway system:

2013 03 25 embark1

The stations are clickable. You simply 1) choose your starting point, then 2) choose your destination, as I’ve done in the screen shot above.

Then, when you click on the arrows at the top right of the screen, Embark will tell you which trains to take, when they’re arriving, and how long your journey will last:

2013 03 25 embark2

When beginning, if you know which station is closest, you can simply click that stop.

Or, if you need guidance, you can click a button and Embark will use your device’s GPS functionality to find the nearest station. Then the app will direct you, step by step, to that stop.

The maps are all built into the app, so you can use it underground, where there’s no mobile service. (GPS functionatliy, however, only works above ground.)

The maps showing your routes are simple and clean:

2013 03 25 embark4

One especially useful feature is that Embark will re-route you in the event of subway service interruptions.

So if, for example, a train stops running before you make your return trip, the app will automatically suggest an alternative route.

You can read more about Embark’s design and functionality here.

Exit Strategy

The second app I like is called Exit Strategy. It costs $3.99 and is available in iOS, Android, and Blackberry versions.

2013 03 24 exit strat3

The app contains detailed street-level maps of the city. But I primarily use Exit Strategy for what may seem like a trivial task: figuring out which subway car to ride in so that I’m closest to the exit when I reach my final station.

Some of the city’s stations are quite expansive, and have multiple exits. Knowing how to beat the crowds out of the station can save substantial time.

(Indeed, from a design perspective, I find it fitting that the icon, above, features a stick figure in mid-run. This feels like an apt graphical representation of NYC transport from a commuter’s perspective.)

Exit Strategy’s station maps look like this:

2013 03 24 exit strat1

And here’s what the street-level maps look like:

2013 03 24 exit strat2

Readers who navigate NYC’s public transportation system: What are your favorite apps? Am I missing any gems?

(NYC subway image: Wikipedia.)