Posts Tagged ‘MTA’

NYC: On the Street

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

I’ve been in New York for about a month now, and what an overwhelming month it was. Between cramming everything I own into my tiny car and driving from Michigan, to meeting my ten (ten!) new housemates, to getting scammed, to getting scammed again by the stupid transit system, to navigating the New York University campus, to getting off at the wrong subway stop, to getting utterly lost while on a run– it’s been anything if not exciting.

One of the most immediately striking features of New York City is the swirl of languages, food, and dress on every corner. Of course, it would be silly for me to see this diversity as proof that NYC is post-racial or completely harmonious. New York has issues, as does every city.

A metaphor I’ve developed for thinking of the city’s culturescape is the subway. Essential yet hated by most New Yorkers, the subway is dirty, unreliable, and overall frustrating- but it’s most people’s only option. NYU is exactly 6.1 miles from my house in Brooklyn- it takes 50 minutes to commute into Manhattan, and that’s on a good day. After dodging drips from the sagging ceiling, I jump the gap between the platform and the train to squeeze in with the other haggard commuters. The subway is the great equalizer: in the dark damp, it’s hard to be superior to others when you’re lumped into a mass. Fancy clothes are at risk of being soiled, and uncomfortable shoes don’t lend themselves to the constant walking required to transverse the city.

One of the stations I frequent. Courtesy Tumblr

One of the stations I frequent. Courtesy Tumblr


In the subway, there are no barriers. The privileged cannot use tall gates, expensive cars, or newfangled security systems to distinguish themselves from the “rabble,” us common folk. We are the human condition, pressed into a small, shabby subway car together. We are all subjected to the same delays, the same discomfort, the same noises and smells. We all pay the same price (3 bucks a pop!) to push past the turnstile and descend.

The only method of separation available to subway passengers is a bit of flimsy plastic: earbuds that provide music, but also sound barriers against the din of the subway. Our earbuds denote a small pool of personal space- a little island of privacy in the dense crowds of people, not to mention the sometimes alarming squeal of the train on its tracks. This personal space, however, is an illusion- someone can sway into and bump you when the train jerks to a stop. Also, safety is at least at the back of each passenger’s mind- especially if the passenger happens to be of the female variation. At any point, the 1% of the crowd that harbors unsavory intent might slip a hand into a pocket or worse.

Every time I curse the faulty public transit system, I know I should remember that this is how most of the world travels- via feet, bicycle, bus, or creaky subway train. At the very least, I should take it as a reminder of privilege, and that my entitlement is as illusory as that personal space we try to claim when crushed in amongst the crowd.

By Anna Lindner

Anna is a Campus Clipper intern and a first-year Master’s student in NYU’s Media, Culture, and Communication program. Her research interests include critical race and gender theory and their resultant intersectionality. When she’s not studying, Anna enjoys visiting friends, catching up on TV shows, and lifting weights. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.

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Sandy Recovery

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

It’s no secret that we’ve just experienced what could arguably be one of the worse natural disasters in our city’s history, and even though we’re almost a week past the event, it’s still all anyone can really talk about.  That’s mainly because we are still suffering from Sandy’s wrath and will possibly be for the next couple of months.









By “suffering” I don’t mean we’re at the mercy of devastating winds and arctic rain, I mean it in almost every other aspect besides the most literal. The level of damage done to public transportation is still unknown and parts of the city are still without power.  Trains are running on a “limited service” schedule anywhere in the city…above 34th Street. If you’re headed anywhere else in the city, you’re going to have to walk.

Brooklyn commuters may have it worst of all. With substantial amounts of damage done to the borough and parts of Lower Manhattan, getting into the city seems like an almost impossible task. A simple 20- to 30-minute commute may end up taking almost three hours at the height of rush hour. We can only hope that things get better soon, but it will take weeks and maybe months to get the subways running the way they used  to (hopefully even better.)


A line to catch a bus into the city, the only way to commute into Manhattan from Brooklyn.

There is a slight positive to all of this madness. With all the difficulty that comes with the commute, the MTA has granted free train rides for the next two days. Here at Campus Clipper we’re all about “free,” so this was really great news for us to hear. Although it did take me about 2 hours to get into work today, I have to admit that not paying definitely made it a little bit better.

All of us here at Campus Clipper hope everyone is okay and doing their best to return to normalcy. We can all use a little “normal” after the week we’ve had.


Carlos L., Monroe College. Read my blog!!  Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Let’s Dance: Subway Performances

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

New York City’s MTA has raised prices and made service cuts since my Freshman year in the city, but one thing it hasn’t cut is the arts. The subway system of Manhattan is a large and sometimes overwhelming beast, but at least it’s never dull.

As part of an initiative to keep the subway stations looking clean, interesting, and exciting, the MTA began the Music Under New York program. We’re not talking about the random homeless guys singing on the subway trains, or the great Mariachi band that frequents the N train. No, the MUNY program sponsors artists formally in the stations themselves, complete with signs and microphones. Artists must audition and attend orientation prior to performing for the NYC public.

One of my favorite performers is Alice Tan Ridley, who I normally see at the Herald Square station. She always attracts a crowd – this is actually her profession, and she is good at what she does. Ridley is well known not just for her soulful singing, but also for being the mother of Gabourey Sidibe, star of the recent movie Precious. She is adamant about not living off her daughter’s paycheck, however – so if you see her rocking out in the subway, feel free to throw a dollar or two her way.

So next time you’re looking for a show and don’t have money for a student priced ticket, just spend some extra time on your next $2.25 subway ride and find a show. There are almost always performances going on at the major stations (42nd Street, Herald Square, etc.) and a more detailed schedule can be found at the MUNY website – and let me know your favorite performer, I’m always looking for new shows!

-Meghan Q.

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Commuter Blues: How to Make the Most of Your Daily Ride

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

For some students, the optimal college dorming experience is not a feasible financial option and the only choice available to them is to make a daily commute to campus. Although it is oftentimes a long, tiresome affair – Believe me I know!  I commuted almost two hours a day from Queens to the Bronx for over three years! – there are some things you can do to make the most of the time that you spend stuck in the car or on the train. That way when you do finally make it to your destination, you will have less work to do and will have more of a chance to relax after a long day of commuting and learning.

If you are taking public transportation to get to school, then your commute is probably the best time to get all of that assigned reading out of the way. So before you bolt out the door in the morning, check to see what needs to be read for your classes and try to devote your commute to completing that task. It’s a relatively easy way to get things done. Honestly, there is not much you can do on a train or a bus, so remembering to grab those books or that e-reader (i.e. Kindle, Nook, iPad) in the morning will also save you from countless hours of commuter boredom. And, on the plus side, when you finally get home, you will have less to do and can maybe even squeeze in a little relaxation time before you have to start the cycle all over again.

Even if you drive a car to school, there are still ways that you can get some of your homework done before you pull into your driveway. Although you can’t actually read a book while driving, you can listen to one. So my advice would be to see if you can find the audio book versions of those novels for English class, and listen your way to some free time.

-Christina Brower

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