Monday, May 3, 2010

Subway Stop Project, Part 1: The 6, Episode 1: Tulip Season

So Alex and I have decided on a new project: To get off at every subway stop in the five boroughs. Very exciting! We'll walk at least two blocks in every direction from each stop, so as to get a feel for the neighborhood and what's around. We're free to walk around as much and as far as we want, of course; two blocks is just the minimum. And every time we set out on the project, we'll do at least three stops - so as not to dawdle about it or get lazy!

On Saturday, we began. We're starting with the 6 line, heading downtown from Grand Central; when the 6 ends and splits off into the 4 and 5 into Brooklyn, we'll explore those, then switch to the 6 uptown. We're not skipping any stops, even if we've gotten off at them before - don't want to allow any leeway for cheating! Besides, there's always something more to see, especially if you've only gotten off at a stop before as part of going somewhere specific.

So we disembarked first at 33rd and Lex.

There, we explored all around, more to the east and north than to the west and south. We took a couple pictures of a lovely neighborhood at maybe 31st and 2nd or thereabouts.

Then we hopped back on the train!

Disembarked at 28th - wandered into a movie theatre, wandered out, stumbled upon a Verizon store where Alex took advantage of the opportunity to reduce the minutes and texts on his plan and get a free new phone, and decided that because the 6 was so crowded, we would walk down to 23rd instead of getting back on the train.

On the way to 23rd St., we saw (and explored the lobby of) the Gershwin Hotel, aka Fire Tusk Elephant Ridonkulous Building:

and also the Museum of Sex:

which charged for admission, so we did not explore their "History of Condoms" exhibit, although we did admire their window displays:

Next up, we hit Madison Square Park, which is between 5th and Mad, and 26th and 23rd. It is in full bloom!

Tulip season in NYC!

Especially around the fountain!*

The weather was in the 80s, so the sunbathers were out in force:

Madison Square... Beach?

Madison Square Park is home to the Shake Shack, where Tom and Alex and I might venture today. It is also half managed and maintained by the Madison Square Park Conservancy, which often makes use of volunteers from Credit Suisse, which lives across the street and looks like it is part of Metropolis:

Credit Suisse was having a Kentucky Derby party. Large hats abounded!

You can't see the hats very well in these pictures,
but take my word for it,
they were exciting!

Parked outside was an exciting car.

Yay! Exciting car!

Next, we hit Lexington or 2nd or something, around 24th St., and discovered a street fair! The street fairs have been in hibernation for a while, so this was very exciting.

First street fair of the season?

We bought Mexican food from a booth, in an irrationally hopeful frenzy; unsurprisingly, it disappointed. Next time we'll hit up the Thai booth instead.

We wandered east, in and out of an upscale thrift store (oxymoron?), through Stuyvesant Town, which Alex had never visited and which feels eerily like the New York version of Irvine - equally circular and green and family-friendly but marginally less precisely manicured and with taller buildings and, of course, pleasantly close to a real place (in short, it actually seems like a nice place to live, and not Irvine-creepy or super expensive) - and all the way out to the East River! We sat on a bench by the river for a few minutes, both of us soothed by a body of water (I miss 15-minutes-to-the-ocean; for living on an island, it is a surprising schlep to the beach), and then headed home!

I will leave you, though, with the most surprising, freaky, and hilarious thing we saw all day:

Ok, I give up. I can't think of a caption
that equals the amazing wtf-ness
of this sign.

*Actually, I think those pictures are from Stuyvesant Park, through which we walked later, and in which we saw a very cute wedding, in which the bride wore a cupcake-y white poof knee-length dress with a turquoise frill and the groom had an eNORmous 'fro and they were all very cute. But we didn't get close enough to get a good picture, although you can kind of see it going on in the background.


  1. I am following along on my handy Manhattan street/bus/subway map!

  2. What am I missing in this picture? What does wtf-ness mean? Actually you were right near where my cousin Doris lives - around Lex and 35.

  3. Hanson is a boy band from the 90s, whom I'm pretty sure nobody has heard from in at least a decade. They had one hit, but were pretty popular among the tween/teen set when they were around.

    WTF stands for "what the f***," and wtf-ness therefore means "producing of boggled confusion," although it is possible that I made that up.