Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

I signed up for the New York Transit Museum‘s “The Golden Age: Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library” event not knowing quite what to expect. I did know this was a members-only event, which typically means it’ll visit somewhere hard to get into and worthwhile! The description said that the curator of the library’s Drawings and Archives would present a selection of materials from the “Golden Age of Railroading”.

As the day of the event approached, I got more excited and curious about it. We would probably see some cool things, and I have a general interest and nerdery about libraries and archives (some of my best friends are librarians!)

That cold evening, snow still on the ground, I left work early to park my car near my house and take the bus to the train down. I checked the time on my phone nervously throughout the train ride. Would I make it on time?  Continue reading

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Forty-Part Motet at the Cleveland Museum of Art

So far I’ve written very little about art on this blog, though I have visited several sites/witnessed several performances that bridge the gap between infrastructure and art. Memorable recent examples include Nick Cave’s Heard NY, Ann Hamilton’s Event of a Thread, and Kathy Westwater’s PARK Scores. Continue reading

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Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society

Now that I’m into infrastructure, I try to research related things to do wherever my travels take me. When I worked on planning a trip to Fort Wayne, Indiana, months ago I vaguely remembered stumbling upon the rather impressive web presence for Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society. I didn’t think about it much between then and the trip, but once my family and I arrived in the state, I was reminded to look them up again. Continue reading

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E. 180th Street Shop tour

I debated whether to take the train or drive to the day’s excursion. Either one would have been easy from my home but I opted to take the short drive down the Bronx River Parkway, grabbing breakfast on the way.

The spot where East 180th Street station sits is a crisscross of train tracks, roads, and the elevated parkway. I wasn’t too familiar with the area, so I used my smartphone GPS to get close then and made an educated guess about where a good parking spot would be. I walked over about two blocks from the small sidestreet and recognized the big, pretty station house building. I knew I was in the right place! Continue reading

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Midwest Railway Preservation Society

It was too snowy the day after Christmas and most of the local businesses closed early. So I emailed my Midwest Railway Preservation Society contact to say, “how about tomorrow?”

The ground was still covered in several inches of snow that next day as my dad and I headed to the society in an industrial part of downtown Cleveland. Though I was a member of the organization, joining after reading an inspiring article about their preservation work, I’d never been to their headquarters. So we set out with my trusty talking smartphone GPS to guide us. Continue reading

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Happy birthday, blog!

Train birthday cake drawing in header above by my talented friend.

Today, September 24, 2012, marks the two year anniversary of this blog. It all started with the Spuyten Duyvil train station on September 24, 2010, and ever since I’ve been hooked on going on excursions, photographing, writing, and sharing them with you.

In celebration, I’ve given my dear blog several gifts. Continue reading

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New York’s Other Islands boat tour

I love Open House New York for their weekend, but also for their programs all year long. When I saw in their email newsletter that they’d be doing a boat tour of “New York’s Other Islands” I thought it’d be perfect. I checked my calendar, confirmed I was free, and bought a ticket right away.

When the day of the tour arrived, I was less excited. I’d been sick the couple of days before, and summer colds are the worst. I even thought about going home to sleep after work instead of going on the boat. But by the mid-afternoon I gathered my strength and got ready to leave work early and head down to South Street Seaport’s pier 16. Continue reading

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Cliff Street substation

This Sunday morning I was off to a New York Transit Museum tour of the Cliff Street substation and surrounding neighborhood. This wasn’t my first substation tour, but my fourth! Someday I’ll catch up and write about all of them.

Somehow I thought it wouldn’t be that hot outside, maybe because thunderstorms were in the forecast, but boy was I wrong. It was humid and sticky already on my combination drive-and-train trip down to the financial district. Despite the heat I walked swiftly from the nearest subway stop to the location my smartphone mapped out for me, just down the street from South Street Seaport on a now-pedestrian-only plaza. I quickly checked in with museum workers then tried to find a shady spot as I waited for the tour to begin. Continue reading

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Bridge span openings

I first heard on a tip from friend on Twitter that the RFK Triboro Bridge Harlem River lift span was to have a scheduled opening. This was supposed to happen Monday, but checking the MTA’s site that day revealed one of the openings was postponed until Tuesday. So I wrote my boss a timid email asking to be excused to go watch that afternoon. I have the best boss; not only did he agree to this, but he showed no signs of thinking I was weird for wanting to go see such a thing! Continue reading

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Abandoned Essex Street Trolley Terminal

Note: I know I took a poll about what the next entry should be, but I’m overruling the vote since I visited an amazing place last week. Your choice, “Flushing Meadow Park and the New York Panorama” is coming up soon!

All day at work I couldn’t keep still in anticipation of the evening’s excursion. I ate lunch at my desk and took off super early, just to be sure to be on time. I headed downtown on my usual route, I-87 to the FDR Drive. It was cool in the car, and the clear, bright sky suggested a 70 degree rather than the hot 85+ degree day it was. I love this drive, and as much as I could I looked up and around at the structures on either side of me. I exited at Grand Street (though I realized in hindsight Houston may have been the better choice) and started to wind my way through stoplights and traffic to find a suitable parking spot. Continue reading

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