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Blog Posts by Subject: Transportation

The Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry today remains a lifeline to Staten Island, as it is still heavily traveled by Staten Islanders for work and pleasure. The area of St. George grew up around the ferry. St. George was more or less a rural outpost until the ferry started landing at its present location in the the late 1800s. Other ferry services from Staten Island existed in other locations, but only one 

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Between Sprawl, Slum and Hope: Urban Studies @ NYPL

The United Nations' Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division estimated that by the end of 2008, for the first time in human history, the Earth's population was more than half concentrated into urban areas. 

Whether we prefer it or not, the near future certainly involves city living, apartments, mass transportation, and all the other pros and cons of high density urban life. While

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John Tauranac Talks New York City Subway Map History

Stephen J. Voorhies 1931 transit map coverA subway map of New York City appears to be completely utilitarian and to the untrained eye even pedestrian. In the eyes of another it is a document rife with information. What can be found in the subway maps of New York City is management lineage, a design statement, design history, history of the city, history of business, social history, aesthetics and intention. The adage of “read between the lines” reveals much when looking at a subway map.   At the onset of the New York City subway system, there were three ... Read More ›

Lady Drivers!

For symbols of the freedom of the road, you can't beat the wind in your hair, piles of crinkly state road maps at your side, and a whole continent of asphalt spilling out underneath your wheels. The devil-may-care excitement that goes with exploring the American continent has lured many a traveler since the invention of the automobile.

But would one ever call taking a road trip a feminist activity? I don’t mean Thelma and Louise on a tear in a Ford Thunderbird, shooting criminals and running from the law. 

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Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City

Robert A Caro’s tome The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York is a thick, unwieldy book at 1344 pages. It sits on my shelf with yellowed pages. I bought it shortly after I moved to New York City 30 years ago. I enjoy history and learned after I moved here that Robert Moses was an important piece of the NYC history puzzle. The book upon first reading was lost to me. I had no real understanding of New York City at that point and Robert Moses’ story 

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A Train Ride Through Time: An Exhibit of New Year's Greetings from the Picture Collection

Journey through Time with the Picture CollectionEnter the doors of the Schwarzman Building from Fifth Avenue this week and you will find yourself, as usual at this time of year, in a jolly space with a giant Christmas tree adorned with all the trimmings of the season. But that's not the only marvel to behold.

A few weeks ago I happened to be wandering through the halls when the holiday decorations were being installed, and the festive spirit of the place, with its red ribbon and wreaths and pine and reflective gold and silver 

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Road Trip

What could be more American than the road trip narrative? From Jack Kerouac to Tom Robbins, Americans have penned accounts both real and fictional about the joys and singular boredom of the open road. The rolling hills and prairies, the breeze wafting in through the window, and the seemingly endless dots of small towns, roadside restaurants and gas stations all stem from a particularly American phenomenon: the Interstate Highway System.

The

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100 Years Ago Today

According to Stokes Iconography of Manhattan Island, on October 8, 1908 a city ordinance was passed changing the name of Blackwell’s Island Bridge to Queensboro Bridge.

Further research into Stokes Iconography provides more history about the Queensboro Bridge.

The city began proceedings to acquire the land on April 25, 1900. On November 15 the common council passed “an ordinance to provide for the construction of a new bridge over the East River between the boroughs of Manhattan and Queens.” On 

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