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When the Lights Go Down in the City

• Yesterday's power outage lasted for less than an hour, but it closed down subway lines and affected about 385,000 people on the East Side and the Bronx. Con Ed doesn't know what caused it, and the mayor, naturally, shrugged it off as a "minor inconvenience." [NYP]

Going Your Way, Slowly

• Breaking news! After a comprehensive study, the MTA can now tell you that numbered subway lines are overcrowded, and that Lex lines often run behind schedule. (Who knew?) Apparently there's nothing officials can really do about it, as those lines are already operating at capacity.

Magical New Subway Cars Arrive on N, Q, Maybe Other Lines

No, kids, you weren't just imagining that amazing subway ride you might have recently had on the N or Q train. ("It was like the fancy monorail in some German airport," gushed a New York editor who unexpectedly found herself on one such immaculate contraption.) Those two lines have been testing the new R160 car since last August, a New York City Transit spokesman confirmed to us, adding eight to ten a week. (The initial order was for 660; next week officials will push for another order of 620.)

Green School

• Nine New York universities, including Columbia, CUNY, NYU, and Pratt, have signed on to cut their greenhouse-gas emissions by 30 percent by 2017. This exceeds Bloomberg's PlaNYC goals and should, the mayor says, "make a sizable dent" in the city's carbon footprint. [amNY] • A 15-year-old Connecticut girl who disappeared a year ago was found alive, apparently imprisoned in a secret room of her parents' acquaintances' house. [NYP] • Someone is destroying entire print runs, and harassing the editors, of the city's two Urdu-language weeklies that cater to Pakistani-Americans. This is perhaps an inopportune moment to say it, but how cool is it that we have two Urdu weeklies? [CPJ] • More mayhem: A "strapping" and "burly" (in the Daily News' oddly swooning description) ex-con prowled the 2 train for a week, stealing iPods and gold jewelry plus kissing and exposing himself to women. [NYDN] • And Frank Gehry is going to design a playground in Battery Park, as a "gift to the city." Aw, you shouldn't have! As opposed to Miss Brooklyn, which you really, you know, shouldn't have. [NYT]


• The fourth suspect in the alleged JFK pipeline plot is in custody. At the urging of a friend, Abdel Nur, 57, walked into a police station in Diego Martin, Trinidad, and turned himself in. [NYDN] • More surrenderings! Former assemblyman Clarence Norman Jr. and former State Supreme Court justice Gerald Garson, the main characters in a protracted judgeships-for-sale investigation, were sentenced yesterday. Both men left a Brooklyn courtroom in handcuffs, although Garson eked out a stay of his sentence. [NYT] • Ready for a $3 subway fare? By 2010, warns the Straphangers Campaign, the unlimited MetroCard will likely be $112 or, if the state coughs up some extra MTA cash, $92. But that's okay, because all our salaries will rise by 50 percent, too — right? Right? [amNY] • Gay marriage: bad for the baby Jesus, great for the economy. A new study by the city comptroller suggests that legalizing same-sex marriage would result in $142 million in economic benefits for NYC. [Crain's NY] • And Carla Katz, the Jersey union leader who's also, awkwardly, Governor Corzine's ex, tells all! In a Post exclusive! To Cindy Adams! Her big revelation: "There's absolutely nothing I have on Jon." [NYP]

Broadway/Lafayette- Bleecker Combo Just the Start of F-Line Changes

We picked up the news from 2nd Ave Sagas that the MTA is set to combine the Broadway/Lafayette and Bleecker Street stations, so you can transfer from the B/D/F/V to the 6 going both downtown and — this is the beauty part — uptown. But wait, as the disembodied voice says, there's more! This is just one part of a whole menu of subway projects for which the MTA is seeking $3.8 billion in federal funding. There's $37 million for the Broadway/Lafayette-Bleecker work, plus another $12.6 to make the combined stop ADA-compliant. There's $11 million to replace "historical arch canopies" over Fourth Avenue at the Smith-9th F stop "as per the National Register of Historic Places" — that means fixing the roof spanning the control houses at either end of the stop with original details— plus $23 million to fix lights and MetroCard collection at Smith-9th stop. There's planned work on the 6 in the Bronx, and on some stations in the Rockaways, as part of the proposal, too, but never mind that. With all this new F work, it'll be a nice ride to Park Slope. —Alec Appelbaum Notice of Public Hearing and Description of Projects [MTA, PDF] Earlier: The Subway Transfer We've All Been Waiting For

The Subway Transfer We've All Been Waiting For

Bedford-Stuyvesant: A new building on Spencer Street turns out to have some Technicolor character. [Bed-Stuy Blog] Bushwick: Doing wonders to improve the area's reputation, kids hit new trees with baseball bats. [BushwickBK] Carroll Gardens: A self-described distant relative of Frank Lloyd Wright is organizing opposition to a massive, shiny condo planned for brownstone-y Smith Street. [Gowanus Lounge] Red Hook: It appears that Willy Wonka's dream house has officially relocated here. Actually, this artifact-packed domicile has been here a while. [McBrooklyn] Soho: Plans are finally underway to renovate the Broadway-Lafayette/Bleecker Street subway station, where only the very clued-in escape paying twice to transfer from the 6 to the B/D/F. [Second Avenue Sagas] Upper East Side: Phone ads dissing the area, meant actually for the Upper West Side, were stupidly posted here, causing local dudgeon. [Radar] West Village: A large, glassy, undulating condo is coming to that big empty lot at Eighth Avenue just below 14th Street. [Curbed]

On the L Train, Survival of the Thinnest

Finally, an evolutionary explanation for the overwhelming skinniness of the Williamsburg hipster, as identified through various statistics cited in "For Less Crowding on L Train, Think 2010, Report Says" in today's Times: • Riders passing through the Bedford Street L station in 2006: 4.99 million • Riders passing through the Bedford Street L station in 1995: 2.09 million • Increase in riders passing through the Bedford Street L station in that period: 139 percent • Rank of the L train among 22 subways lines for likelihood of getting a seat at rush hour, according to the Straphangers Campaign's annual report card: 20

A Lovely Day for Busking

Subway auditions
It's audition day for Music Under New York, the MTA offshoot that sanctions musical performers throughout the subway system. Here, Fred Gillen Jr., a washboard player, and Matt Turk, a guitarist, wait their turn at Grand Central. They've got to be better than that guy who only ever plays "Redemption Song."

Sprung From Cages on Highway 9

• New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine apologized from a wheelchair for the careless driving that led to his crash. Then he rode home from the hospital, fifteen miles over the speed limit. [NYP] • In the meantime, perennial bridesmaid Richard Codey is easing into his third acting-governor gig in six years — this time, unlike during the McGreevey denouement, without a personal staff and with an elected leader watching over him. [NYT] • Owner Hilly Kristal is having second thoughts about the CBGB-in-Vegas thing, turning down investor after investor because "the focus has to be on new acts, new interesting things." We could certainly use that thinking for, let's see, the last fifteen years of the original CB's. [MetroNY] • After losing two men in a week to freak train accidents, MTA has decided to halt all track work pending a safety review. Workers say that a lack of two-way radios may be to blame. [amNY] • And "as a thank-you to our readers," the Daily News costs 25 cents this week — starting, that is, the exact same day the Post began charging 50 cents again. The extreme-skinflint demographic is theirs! Temporarily! [NYDN]

Subway Hero's Story: More Lawsuits!

There's a new chapter in the Subway Superman saga, and it takes what used to be a straight-ahead narrative (one good deed and a few just rewards) into a progressively sadder territory. When Robert Kolker's New York profile last left Wesley Autrey, two weeks ago, he was getting ready to sue his lawyer, Diane Kleiman; Kleiman and her partner had allegedly tricked Autrey into signing a contract giving her 50 percent of his life-story earnings. Now Kleiman is doing what lawyers often do when they're being sued: countersuing.

Subway Worker Killed

• An MTA worked died yesterday after being hit by the G train at Hoyt-Schermerhorn, the second such incident in one week. His colleague is at Bellevue in stable condition. Worst train in the city. [MetroNY] • The NYPD is using so-called "scarecrows" — unmanned cop cars — to spook drivers into obeying the speed limit on Belt Parkway, L.I.E., and elsewhere. A spokesman was quick to note that the practice is not related to the department's short staffing. [NYDN] • The Upper West Side's Claremont Riding Academy, one of the oldest stables in the country, shut its doors Sunday. There were tears, from mothers more so than from daughters. [NYT] • When we read the headline "New York City Bar Urges Bush Administration to Abandon Restrictions," we were briefly awed by our drinking establishments' political sway. But it was merely our lawyers lobbying the White House to stop placing blame at Guantánamo on, well, lawyers. [WHDH-TV] • Joe Torre's brother Frank, 75, is getting a kidney transplant tomorrow; he had a new heart put in eleven years ago. One of his daughters will be the donor. [NYP]

First Look: Second Avenue Subway Stations

We reported earlier on today's groundbreaking for the Second Avenue Subway, and we told you that "stations on the line will have natural light and column-free corridors (and, according to renderings, odd shards of Daniel Libeskind–esque glass)." Here now, renderings of those stations. (There's a larger version here.) Libeskinn-esque, indeed. —Alec Appelbaum Earlier: Daily Intel's coverage of the Second Avenue Subway

Ground Broken for Second Avenue Subway, Again

In a damp tunnel under East Harlem this morning, Governor Spitzer, MTA executive director Lee Sander, and lots of other officials — though not Mayor Bloomberg, who was in Cincinnati campaigning against guns — gathered to break ground for the first phase of a Second Avenue subway. It was actually a wall-tapping, marking the start of preparations for a tunnel-boring machine to expand an existing tunnel dug in the seventies. The line, called the T, will have a royal-blue logo and share stops in its first phase with the Q. Most of the tunnel will be 80 feet underground, said MTA Capital Construction chief Mysore Nagaranjan, though the tunnel where the ceremony took place is only about 45 feet down.

All Aboard!

Are we the only ones who didn't know this? We learned today, when we stumbled across a cache, that actual subway schedules — yes, minute-by-minute timetables of when a specific train will show up — are available at select stations throughout the city. (We'd always thought the next train just came a few minutes after the last or, on bad days, whenever the MTA felt like it.) Unsurprisingly, the tables are excessively complicated — we particularly enjoy that the 1 train runs "every 5 minutes" at some times of day but "every 4–6 minutes" at others — and we doubt they're terribly useful, as one tardy train would clearly gum up a whole line. "Sticking to it is tough, but not impossible," admitted an attendant at the Times Square station, who also noted that the MTA doesn't print too many copies. So get them while you can — the latest edition in dated February 2007 — and then write the mayor if your train's late.
Tayt Harlin

Second Avenue Groundbreaking: Fifth Time's the Charm

As the Second Avenue Subway's now-it's-for-real-we- promise groundbreaking looms, the Times takes a wary walk down memory lane to recall three similar ceremonies in the seventies. A Willie Neuman–narrated video revisits the consecutive groundbreakings at 103rd Street (1972), Canal Street (1973), and 2nd Street (1974). "The line had at least three groundbreakings," says the author. Oh, at the very least. As Greg Sargent reported in New York three years ago, the first mayoral pickax swing over the star-crossed project occurred way back in 1925, when the mayor was John Hylan. The next time the line came close to reality was 1950, when voters approved a $500 million bond issue to finance it. No pickax action that time: The MTA quietly funneled the money into repairs of existing lines instead. Ten years later, Nelson Rockefeller got involved, which eventually led to the seventies rash of groundbreakings with similar non-results. In a bit of ready-made symbolism, Mayor John Lindsay's swing failed to crack the asphalt in 1972. We'll see how Spitzer does on Thursday. Is That Finally the Sound of a 2nd Ave. Subway? [NYT] The Line That Time Forgot [NYM]

A Subway Car of One's Own

F-train commuters were in for a pleasant surprise this morning, thanks to a "guerilla art" group called the House of Malcontents. The all-female quartet boarded the third car of a train at Coney Island in the wee hours and turned the weathered space into a living room — laying down welcome mats and rugs, hanging flowers from the poles and curtains over the windows, replacing MTA safety posters with paintings and family photos, and turning overhead billboards into mock bookshelves. (Authors represented ranged from Albert Camus to Zora Neale Hurston.) Officially, it was a commentary on how much time Gothamites spend on the subway, but leader Ellen Moynihan admits there was another goal. "We wanted people to talk about something at work besides what they watched on TV," she said. Critics included one unamused cop and a woman irate about the cost to advertisers, but by midtown, people started whipping out camera phones. "It's adorable," legal secretary Beatrice Beccari said. "It'd be nice to have more [of this] instead of ads for dentists and cosmetic surgery." Naturally, most riders pretended they saw nothing. —Michael Y. Park

The Second Avenue Subway: Now With AC?

Now that it looks like the Second Avenue Subway will actually happen — the groundbreaking is set for next week — it's time to dream even bigger: As the Times reports today, the planners are considering "roomier, brightly lighted" stations with glass walls and double sets of sliding doors (like on AirTrain). And the glass walls are merely a harbinger of something even, um, cooler: With the platforms sealed off from the tunnels, the dream of every sweaty summertime commuter — air-conditioned stations — becomes a tantalizing possibility. Those Upper East Siders get everything, don't they? Well, except a subway line, that is, for the last 80 years. 2nd Ave. Subway Platforms May Get Glass Walls and Sliding Doors [NYT] Earlier: Groundbreaking Set (Again) for Second Avenue Subway