Monday, January 14, 2008

1 Train - 110 St. (Day 1, stop #21)

In: Newly retiled station, also in very good condition. Similar to 116 St, but with tile mosaic sign reading: “110 St.Cathedral Parkway”. The color scheme here is green and brown/pink. Two platform, three track layout with express bypass. No mezzanine and no crossoveravailable; booth next to track one level below street.

Out: Clearly still in MorningsideHeights/Columbia Area. The vast majority of people are well-off, of all different races but white predominates. There are a number of largeapartment buildings, two of which are clearly very new.

A couple of upscale grocery stores as well as some nice-looking restaurants and clothing stores, along with some banks and a couple of smaller shops surround the intersection.

1 Train - 116 St. (Day 1, stop #20)

Out: Now it is clear that this neighborhood is very gentrified. Many white people, others of varied races, but all look pretty upper-class. Lots of well-maintained apartment buildings, especially down a small hill toward Riverside Drive & Riverside Park to the west. On the east side of the intersection the buildings of Columbia loom over Broadway, along with the large black gates the mark the entrance to campus. 

A few well-designed restaurants, a stationary store, and trees in the median. Not too many commercial outlets right by the station because of theColumbia and Barnard campuses.

In: Station is in quite good shape, with obviously new tiling on the walls. Mosaic tiling for station name as well as tiled border on top of walls. Tiles are rectangular and shiny. Light blue stripe of tiles also there to represent Columbia University. Lighting is bright. There is a crossover available on the smallish mezzanine, just a short flight below the surface. Layout is 2 plat, 3 track with express bypass. There are white tiled, square columns by the platform edge.

1 Train - 125 St. (Day 1, stop #19)

Out: The huge understructure of the subway line dominates the streetscape. A large, arching construction with thin metal girders and peeling paint, the above ground portion of the 1 stretches for over 10 blocks around here. Besides this there is the typical array of fast food and some small mom and pop stores. A few signs of gentrification, with some white folk around. Pretty close to Columbia. Mostly black, though; pretty busy intersection in the shadow of the train tracks. Most of the buildings around are red-brick tenements, some low-slung commercial.

In: Elevated station, very high off the ground. Looks recently renovated, with white panels with green separators. Also some frosted, thick glass on windows overlooking the side. Station house is fairly small and offers crossover to other side. 2 plat, 3 track setup for express bypass. From the plat can see Riverside Church, GWB, the elevated portion of Riverside Dr., and over to NJ.

1 Train - 137 St. (Day 1, stop #18)

Out: The neighborhood still seems quite mixed between Hispanic & Black. Probably more Puerto Rican & Mexican than Dominican, but not clear. Broadway here has a very open feeling as another small street intersects at an angle, creating a small park across from the station exit. There also appears to be a large school on the east side of Broadway. Even though the stop says “137 St-City College”, none of City College is immediately visible from the stop. Buildings are mix of tenements but also smaller building with more intricate architecture. Drew a sketch of a bay window on one of these buildings, with square-jawed “tiger cat” accents on both sides. The bay window was all in brown.

In: The walls are made of square white tiles (~8 inches per side) with grey tiles of the same size on the bottom of the wall and on the wall. In some places there are small bronze/metal crescents and other shapes sticking out of the wall tile; different type of artwork. The station is much better lit than 145 and 157, but does not have any mosaic tiling. Definitely seems more open and modernized. 2 plat, 3 track setup with express bypass. Rounded columns painted in white and grey near platform edge.

1 Train - 145 St. (Day 1, stop #17)

Out: 145 St. itself is a wide boulevard with 4 lanes of traffic. To the west is a sloping hill down towards the Hudson, offering an expansive view of the New Jersey cliffs and homes across the river. 

Can also see the entrance to Riverbank State Park. To the east there is a pleasant line of red brick tenements leading up a hill (is this Sugar Hill?). There is an interesting 2-story, smaller building at the SE corner of the intersection. The other stores are pretty typical: mom & pop, pagers, Banco Popular. People seem mixed between Latino and black. A Mexican food place nearby; maybe not as Dominican here?

In: Station very similar to 157 St. Platforms are slightly wider, but still dimly lit with dirty white tiling on walls. 2 track, 2 plat setup.

1 Train - 157 St. (Day 1, stop #16)

Out: Neighborhood still looks pretty Dominican, but there are some more black people around. Basically still feels like Washington Heights, but near the border with Harlem. Broadway here is divided and there are trees in the median. Seems pretty busy on the street. On a small block just east of Broadway there is an impressive large apartment building that curves along with the street, with a slanted copper roof. 

Across Broadway there is a long, low-slung commercial building that runs the length of the block. On the top floor are residential areas with large windows, on the lower levels are small mom & pop stores along with McDonald’s.

In: Two platform, two track setup facing each other. No crossover to other side; booth area just below street level. Station is pretty dirty & dingy; white tiles on wall have a lot of dirt & grit.White tiled columns near platform edge, also pretty dirty. Mosaic tile station name in a couple places.

A Train - 175 St. (Day 1, stop #15)

Out: Lots of moms with strollers. Here is more Dominican than 181 St., with fewer white people around, but still some there. There is a park directly next to the station, with baseball fields (on a hard surface), playgrounds, and other facilities. Kids are playing baseball in the park. 

Can see the top of the George Washington Bridge poking over the trees in the park. Besides that this stop is very residential, with no stores around, just a tenements.

In: Subway station itself if fairly non-descript. A single platform with tracks on both sides, white tiling on the walls. Given the people outside, there is a surprising number of white people in the station; maybe has to do with people who walk down from the GWB Bus Terminal to catch the train downtown.

A Train - 181 St. (Day 1, stop #14)

Out: this is the “nice” part of Washington Heights. There’s actually a Starbucks on the corner, plenty of dental offices and well-maintained tenements, as well as delis and small restaurants.Again a mix of Domincan & white people. There are plenty of moms with strollers and elderly folk about. On the NE corner of the intersection there is a small church surrounded by grass and a small garden. 

One of the apartments nearby also has an excellent set of gargoyles on the edges.

In: Same tile pattern as at 190 St. the exit at this station is pretty strange, with a long concrete walkway the runs for much of the length of the subway tracks within the station. It is fairly dark and not well like. To exit there is a very long escalator to reach the mezz/booth level…almost as long as the D.C. metro. Obviously still quite deep underground.

A Train - 190 St. (Day 1, stop #13)

Out: directly out of the exit you look upon an isolated courtyard of the neighboring apartment building, surrounded by trees and covered with leaves. At first one elderly man there, then later on a single MTA employee relaxing. 

Can hear birds chirping happily and don’t hear any subway noise since it’s so far underground. Very little traffic over here either; main noise is from kids playing in playground across the street, running across the open sprinklers, and Mr. Softee truck jingle nearby. Also see a large group of conferees leaving Fort Tryon Park; many seem to be wearing nametags and discussing Israel or Jewish issues…I wonder what the conference was about? 

The entrance to park is about one block north of the station exit. In general, very pleasant and quiet subway stop in a picturesque setting. This part of Washington Heights seems to be a mix of white and Dominican.

In: two platforms & two tracks facing each other Interesting tile mosaic for name, with most just saying “190” with burgundy trim in small arches insterted in wall. Longer name only in one tile mosaic near stairs saying “190 St. – Overlook Terr.”. Need to walk over bridge over tracks to get to exit/booth level on Mezz. Can either walk to long tunnel over to Broadway & end up on street level, or can take elevator up to get to Ft. Washington Ave. This exit is very unique; old stone-style station house with antique “subway” sign and well-mainted black metal gates. Nothing really in the station house, but paint looks relatively fresh and the exterior is very well taken care of.

A Train - Dyckman St. (Day 1, stop #12)

Out: The intersection has some tenements, cheap clothing stores, and a Fine Fare supermarket.Interesting restaurant at “Albert’s Mofongo House”. Near one entrance to Fort Tryon Park, also onramp to Henry Hudson Highway. Can see cloisters over top of hill in Fort Tryon.

In: One narrow platform with train in both directions. White tile inside, in decent condition. Only one exit: used to be some retail outlets in the station, but they have been closed down and all the windows/entrances painted over in black.

A Train - 207 St.-Inwood (Day 1, stop #11)

Out: Nice brick tenements with some detailed accents, a mid-sized church, and a view of the Cloisters in the distance to the south. The neighborhood is mostly Dominican, with typical mom & pop restaurant, fast food, C-town & liquor store.

In: single platform that is quite wide between two trains at end of track. Two columns on each side of plat as well. White tiling inside station, looks relatively recently renovated. Pretty interesting theme: in 2-foot tall silver/glittery letters reads “At the start…” and “at long last” on both sides of mezzanine near booth. Not only on the wall, but also engraved in small letters on the floor, with the beginning journey message facing out and the “at long last” facing people leaving the station. Surprising, but interesting, detail added to station at the end of the A line.

1 Train - 242 St.-Van Cortlandt Park (Day 1, stop #10)

In: Nice terminus of train, actually looks fairly recently renovated with thegreen & burgundy color scheme at most other newer stations. Two staircases exit right next to van Cortlandt park, end up with big burst of green trees when you step off the plane.

Out: Middle eastern guy with a cab waiting to take people farther than the train goes. Some fast food, delis, etc.

1 Train - 238 St. (Day 1, stop #9)

In: Elevated train plat similar to others on the line.

Out: Suprisingly mixed crowd here, a number of people going to work. Not as clearly Dominican here.

1 Train - 231 St. (Day 1, stop #8)

In: The station is in pretty good shape, but the entrances at street level here retain some interesting old-school design and look to be recently renovated.

Out: Kingsbridge part of Bronx. Still very Dominican, similar feel to my neighborhood, Washington Heights. Delis, fast food, the typical stuff.

1 Train - 225 St. (Day 1, stop #7)

Out: Right next to bridge to Manhattan over north end of Harlem river. Nice views of the river, can also see Metro North station. 

Old folk walking for exercise across the bridge from Bronx toManhattan and back. On west side of station there is a slight hill up with a deli & newsstand.Mostly Dominican still, a few white people around in Marble Hill neighborhood.

In: Elevated station, with two platform, two track layout.

1 Train - 215 St. (Day 1, stop 36)

In: Elevated station, with two platform, two track layout.

Out: fairly non-descript intersection. Not too many people around (still ~8:30), some kind of large plant/MTA building with smokestacks, then a deli & some other small stores. Feels pretty empty.

1 Train - 207 St. (Day 1, stop #5)

I spent most of my time here standing in cuffs on corner of 207 and 10th Ave next to the Jimbo's Hamburger. Nice view of small bridge over Harlem river to the Bronx about 1 block east. Plenty of traffic on approach. 

Elevated train is pretty close to road here, not too much clearance underneath. Really makes most of intersection pretty dim.

In: Platform: 2 facing each other, elevated, metal ridge panels in off white for part of plat, otherwise railing that you can see over. Can get good view of some parts of the Bronx over theHarlem river.

1 Train - Dyckman St. (Day 1, stop #4)

Out: Again mostly residential and Dominican here. The most striking feature here is now the elevated tracks over the street heading north, which I hadn’t seen at the previous stations.

In: train elevated now, nice view of buildings in Bronx. 

Platform: 2 facing each other with 2 tracks only. Metal ridged panels in off white for part of platform, with roof and no metal columns. One on end a parking lot is right up against the tracks, even slight above it…weird place for the grade, because tracks are partly above ground & partly at street level. Station house is kind of built directly under the tracks, in concrete.

1 Train - 191 St. (Day 1, stop #3)

Out: The area is again pretty residential with almost all the housing as 6 story dark yellow bricks. There are some commercial establishments here but they’re all still closed at this early hour. Again, there aren’t too many people on the street, but everyone around seems Dominican still.

In: to exit on St. Nicholas side, need to take elevators, which open almost directly onto street through small connecting tunnel. Booth is here, too. 

Large tile mural inside at bottom of stairs to cross over to elevator bank.