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The Straphangers Campaign's 'subway shmutz' survey found a big disparity between the cleanest subway lines and the dirtiest. Riders disembark from a C train at The Times Square Station as the Straphangers Campaign releases its Summer 2009 report card finding the C subway line is the worst and and the 7 subway is the best in overall service and cleanliness. The geezers of the subway fleet a€” trains built nearly 50 years ago a€” are on deck for a much-needed overhaul that officials hope will keep them chugging along the A and C lines a few years longer.
The MTA announced Friday ita€™s spending $25 million to upgrade the brakes, propulsion systems and other key parts of the R32s. The 222 R32s are particularly strained by the heat, leading managers to shift them to the A line during summer months. Theya€™re due to be replaced by a new class a€” the R179 a€” that are expected to begin arriving in 2014, MTA official said. The R32s, although currently limping along, have held up better than several younger models that were built in the late 1960s and 1970s. The MTA has spent billions of dollars to put thousands of new high-tech subway cars on the rails since 2000 but officials and advocates have argued Albany has failed to adequately fund its five-year capital programs.
Lina Esco's first role was in 2005 in the indie film, London, starring Jessica Biel, Chris Evans and Jason Statham.
Forgotten New York was the first-ever recipient of Outstanding New York City Website by the Guides Association of New York City in March 2015! The oldest elevated line came to be known as the Ninth Avenue El, which began in 1867 and survived, in part, until 1958. Forgotten Fan Peter Sefton sent me this picture of a train wreck somewhere on the 9th Avenue El in September 1905. A short stretch of the Ninth, between 155th Street in Harlem and the IRT elevated over River Avenue in the Bronx, was allowed to remain as a shuttle until 1958 because of its convenience for baseball fans en route to the old Polo Grounds at 8th and 155th.
What’s interesting about the old Ninth Avenue el, and what set it apart from all other elevated lines in New York City, was that for about a four-block stretch in the High Bridge section of the Bronx, the elevated actually traveled through a tunnel, making it a de facto subway… although it wasn’t a part of the IRT, IND or BMT.
This is what remains of the Ninth Avenue Elevated as it connects to what is now the #4 train at River Avenue and E. The first stop on the Shuttle on the way to the Polo Grounds from the Bronx was this station between Jerome and Anderson Avenues.
Unless you want to make a somewhat treacherous climb on the rocks to the right of the station, the only way to access the platforms these days is to walk through the tunnel from the Sedgwick Avenue platforms (see below). A catwalk over the Major Deegan Expressway at 161st Street leads to an abandoned park, which allows entrance to the old Sedgwick avenue platforms.
The lamppost over the walkway hasn’t worked in 50 years and the park on the other side has likely been abandoned for an equal amount of time. This stairway, now blocked by an iron gate, led to the former Sedgwick Avenue station on the old New York Central (now the Metro-North). Mark Feinman has posted pictures from the tunnel walk on the official nycsubway.org website. This signal plate was removed from the tunnel as a souvenir by our team leader Mark Wolodarsky. Continuing along the abandoned park from the old Sedgwick Avenue station to Macombs dam Bridge, from which we would cross into Manhattan, we spotted a couple of interesting items along the way. A bit of railing from the old 155th Street Viaduct was spotted in this Bronx construction area. The 155th Street Viaduct is among the highest traffic bridges in Manhattan, towering 80 or so feet above the pavement. These are the remains of the ancient staircases on the south (above) and north (at right) sidewalks of the 155th Street Viaduct.
This picture shows the stairway in the early 1990s, when it was still intact, albeit closed to pedestrians.
Even on its newer signs, the MTA believes that the last stop on the IRT #4 is at Woodlawn Road, at the eponymous cemetery. Their poor performance is one reason the line consistently is rated the worst in annual Straphangers Campaign reports.
Officials planned to replace the R32s several years ago with the R160 class, but another model was breaking down more frequently and was therefore pegged for an earlier retirement.


In 2012 Lina finally stepped up to direct and star in her first feature film, FREE THE NIPPLE, based on a true story of two women who start a revolution to reverse the backwards censorship laws in America.
With this short statement, we wanted to communicate a strong but simple message: a woman should never be made to feel indecent for feeding her children in public. Question: What is the legal penalty and fine for a woman walking topless on the streets of New York City? The sun never saw lengthy stretches of Pearl Street, Church Street, the Bowery, Greenwich Street, West Broadway, Columbus Avenue, First Avenue, Second Avenue, and Sixth, Eighth and Ninth Avenues, since they were hidden beneath elevated lines. While all trace of the Second, Third and Sixth Avenue Els have pretty much been eradicated since, except for the Third which met its Manhattan demise in 1955, the other els were torn down fairly early in the century.
The cars jumped the rail at the sharp curve at 53rd Street, the connector between the Sixth and Ninth Avenue Els.
These days, the wall that supported the platforms, as well as the concrete platforms themselves, are still there. This station is now nearly completely covered by the Major Deegan Expressway and its approach roads, but surprisingly, much of it still remains and is accessible, in a rather difficult fashion, by the public. A rarity among elevated stations, this is actually below ground, making it a “subway” station even though it was never on a subway line. In their heyday the platforms were covered with wooden slats and boasted elaborate metal railings, with blue and white enamel Sedgwick Avenue signs.
Signs like these have pretty much been eliminated in favor of standard white on gray; this one has survived, along with the hospital, which is still there.
Brush Staircase near Edgecombe Park boasts a plaque presented by the New York (now San Francisco) Giants.
She was then cast in the international coming-of-age film, LOL (2011) starring alongside Miley Cyrus and Demi Moore. In addition, it’s rarely mentioned today, but cross streets like 23rd, 34th, 53rd, and 110th also were under els for short stretches.
The door at the bottom of the white wall originally led to the platforms while the elevated stretched across the street above it.
The reason is that it starts at Coogan’s Bluff in Manhattan and winds up in a valley in the Bronx. There used to be two connecting staircases to the Polo Grounds shuttle, and while most of the staircases were torched off and scrapped decades ago, a few ornate traces remain.
After LOL, she was hired by Antoine Fuqua to co-star with Ethan Hawke in Antoine's first pilot, Exit Strategy for Fox-TV.
Since I began crowdfunding last month to finish my feature film FREE THE NIPPLE and launch a campaign to decriminalize the "female areola" in all 50 states, our movement was banned from Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Google Plus. When the staircases were open to the public, if you wanted to kill yourself, this was your perfect place. I would answer that if I hadn't already written ad nauseam about my battles with censorship in my last posts, "Facebook Wages War On The Nipple" and "Why I Made A Film Called Free The Nipple And Why I'm Being Censored in America." Back in October of 2012, after directing FREE THE NIPPLE straight through Hurricane Sandy in NYC, I thought I survived the worst force majeure of this process. The revolution ignited in 1930 when four guys were arrested in Coney Island for going shirtless on a hot beach. Then icon Clark Gable stripped off his shirt in It Happened One Night, marking the scandalous debut of a male's uncensored nipples in American cinema. Our crews waited for hours in endless lines at gas stations just so we could get the trucks to set. Trapped in a national disaster, I still had to shoot several scenes with topless women confronting the New York Police Department. After years of protest and outrage New York lifted the male topless ban in 1936, and suddenly a man's nipples were no longer "obscene" in society, but rather commonplace and natural. It was my first indie film and after Hurricane Sandy - I thought I'd never want to make another. The NYPD had been wrongfully arresting women for over a decade after the "female nipple" was decriminalized in the New York Supreme Court in 1992. In one sentence, Free The Nipple is based on the true events of women on the front lines fighting the archaic topless laws in America. So we took a film crew, our cast and mobs of topless activists into the streets to test the bounds of reality.
Even after the "female nipple" was decriminalized in New York's supreme court in 1992, the NYPD continued to arrest women regardless.


Compared to the legal battles and corporate censorship I am facing presently, Hurricane Sandy seems more like a nasty molehill than the mountain I once thought it was. Today in the USA -- "land of the free" -- it's only legal in 13 states for women to be topless in public or on a beach.
In less tolerant places like Louisiana, a woman exposing her nipples can carry a sentence of up to three years in jail and a $2,500 fine. There's actually a FB page called "Free The Boobs" which is 100% acceptable for their "community standards" as long as not one millimeter of areola is visible. Harvey Weinstein went on Piers Morgan Live and said to the world, "I have to choose movies that aren't violent or as violent as they used to be. This policy seems odd, as images on "Free The Boobs" are hyper-sexualized, and the topless images on our banned profile "Free The Nipple" were of protest -- baring no sexual context.
I'm not going to make some crazy action movie just to blow up people and exploit people just for the sake of making it. You can buy guns on Instagram and show a mutilated body, but a female areola in a non-sexual context is a "violation of their terms" (FYI Facebook bought Instagram for a billion in stock and cash back in 2012).
When I saw the interview I felt like I was watching a very sane Howard Beale out of a scene from the film Network. I panicked and started calling, texting and emailing every connection I'd ever made from Hollywood to DC.
After strip mining years of my contacts, by some sudden grace my blog landed on the front page of Huffington Post.
By some dream-like twist of fate, Free The Nipple was defibrillated by the hands of the HuffPost and Twitter Gods.
Literally mobs of fired up journalists condemned Facebook's decisions to ban the nipple, while permitting ultra-violent content like beheadings. Maybe I'm soft or have a hypersensitivity to what are basically snuff films, but this decision by Facebook seems counterintuitive to me on a core DNA level. And according to Caroline Knorr editor for Common Sense Media,"90% of movies, 68% of video games, and 60% of TV shows, show depictions of violence," When you eyeball the math, you don't have to be in Mensa to realize why PG-13 films have more violence in them today than R rated films. If an average teenager in America sees thousands of humans killed on TV shows by the time they're 18 -- not to mention video games where you can torture, defile and murder female characters who scream in horror as you dismember their bodies -- I believe they can handle a nipple. I even believe there is a place for showing the horrors of violence like police brutality, genocide or war crimes, if it is a means to ending the horror.
However, I also believe there is room in America for "female nipples" on public beaches, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and even on network TV one day. Mahatma Gandhi, who defeated the British Empire without firing a single bullet, used to say something to the effect of, "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win." Well they're fighting us.
In response I sometimes quote California Attorney Carol Agate who stated, "The issue is not trivial.
The imposition on women is great, the inconvenience real, the stigma pernicious." It's been over 75 years since the men in this country fought for their basic human right to be topless in public. I don't want any part of my body to be considered obscene or criminal, and I believe these censorship laws cause more serious problems then they solve. They were battling the church, the government, the status quo -- but they would not back down.
In a few short years men recaptured their freedom -- a freedom every man in this country now enjoys. But today there are states in America that are arresting and harassing women for breastfeeding in public.
I believe these laws do not reflect the dream on which the United States was founded, and I believe the time is now for the American people to step up and Free The Nipple.
Maybe I've gone mad, but wasn't freedom the governing principal that America was founded on -- or have our legislators lost the plot?



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