Design a new subway system for your favorite city


Subway systems are circulatory systems, moving the lifeblood of a city from place to place beneath its skin. In the game Mini Metro, you get to be the engineer who maps out the veins, connecting all the stops in colorful tangles that keep the city moving as it grows around you.

Some of the biggest cities in the world are your transportation playgrounds: London, Paris, Hong Kong, New York, Berlin. Familiarity may offer a slight advantage as well; although I was complete garbage at building a tube for London, when I tried designing a subway system in my former home of New York City, it felt far more intuitive.

Although the map above looks complicated, and kind of is, the game begins very simply. You start with three stops, each one labeled with a shape—circle, triangle, square—and you connect them. The passengers at each stop are represented by shapes of their own, and your goal is to build lines that will efficiently route them to their similarly-shaped destinations. Unlike real life, these passengers aren't interested in reaching specific places; as long as a stop matches their shape, they'll happily disembark.

Things get more complicated as new stops pop up throughout the city, often in very inconvenient places, and you have to figure out how to link them in without turning your metro map into an inefficient mess. Fortunately, you can demolish and build new lines instantaneously, but if you make too many passengers wait for too long, and it's game over. Read the rest

Zine newsstand in Brooklyn subway station

The Newsstand is a subway shop inside Brooklyn's Lorimer/Metropolitan station that specializes in zines. Great idea! (And yes, it's already been nicknamed the "hipster newsstand.") Paper magazine interviewed the proprietors:

Lele Saveri: I think the zine idea was also because of the location. You're in the subway and people are used to grabbing something to read for the train ride. If it's not a newspaper or magazine, you just download [something] on your phone. [Zines] are something people can get for cheap and a unique thing. Also, you're [physically] underground and zines have always been about the underground world.

Jamie Falkowski: I think that space is really interesting because it's so different from going into a regular newsstand. You have to spend time and look at all the different titles and find the thing that speaks to you.

LS: Everyone who works at the stand are people who have been related to the zine world forever. They know exactly what they're selling. It's not like a dude who sells magazines and doesn't even look at them. Every day there's a new person and every day the person is curating or moving things around. I swear you'll see new stuff every day.


Inside L.A.'s lost subway

I always forget that Los Angeles has a subway at all, let alone the fact that it used to have a much more extensive one.

Parts of that old subway have sat, abandoned, beneath streets and buildings for decades. They've become part of the stratigraphy of the city, as humans do what humans have always done — build the new on top of the old and forget about what we covered up under there. It's no different than the way Rome was built, with the columns of old buildings serving as the foundations of new ones.

Back in May, blogger Gelatobaby got to go on a tour of one part L.A.'s lost subway, exploring a secret world exposed by renovations on a building that was once the city's main subway terminal. Her photos — including the one posted above — are amazing. Go check out the whole thing.

Via Scott Galvin

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Your friendly neighborhood boring machine

Check out this great interactive map of the London subway system, showing the real-time location of the giant boring machines that are currently digging new tunnels beneath the city. (Via Nicola Twilley) Read the rest

History of subway accidents in NYC

Kyle Chayka offers a history of deaths and injuries in the NYC subway system, from Victorian tunnel collapses to gang warfare and commuter-pushing psychopaths. [Animal] Read the rest