Second to none

by Robert A. Ripps on January 1, 2017

Ninety years in the making, costing a reported $4.5 Billion, give or take a few million, and adding 3 1/2 new stations, the Second Avenue subway finally opened today to paying customers.

ripps_0103-1667.NEFOne of the four new street level entrances at Third Avenue and 63rd Street. Artwork by Jean Shin pays tribute to the former Second and Third Avenue elevated lines that long ago ran up the upper East side. I decide to start at this station, since it is where the new line branches off from the 63rd street crosstown tracks.

ripps_0103-1671.NEFArt abounds.


Up the curve, the journey begins.


Here comes the train- all aboard!


96th Street- end of the line, for now.

ripps_0103-1681.NEFBut not all electronic signs have been reprogrammed to reflect the new terminus though.

ripps_0103-1699.NEFColumn free stations, with wide platforms, from which several escalators and an elevator ascend to a wide, arching mezzanine, with large scale art installations makes you feel like you are in a different subway system.

ripps_0103-1688.NEFLooking north from the southbound track- the next phase will have trains coming down from 125th Street and Park Avenue. When…who knows?

ripps_0103-1701.NEFThe view from the northbound track at 96th Street station as we head downtown, before we cross over to southbound tracks- an uptown train waits for us. Heading back down to 86th Street.


Clean enough to eat off- probably why I didn’t spot any rats. Come back in a few days though….

ripps_0103-1716.NEFChuck Close, up close.

ripps_0103-1742.NEFCaught in the act!

ripps_0103-1731.NEFColorful wraps in stations celebrate the new line opening. There were also lots of MTA employees handing out brochures, new maps showing the new stations, and at 96 Street, the booth had commemorative MetroCards- score!

ripps_0103-1737.NEFWhy Excelsior? It is on the New York State seal, and is Latin for Ever Upward (a bit of a pun when you are descending…). The back side says E Pluribus Unum.

ripps_0103-1756.NEFThis musician has a permanent sign for his busking. And a receptive audience.

ripps_0103-1760.NEFAnd this one looks like it will be right up there with the Louvre pyramid.

ripps_0103-1768.NEFEverybody’s a critic.

ripps_0103-1772.NEFFor now, and probably my lifetime, the Second Avenue subway will really just be a continuation of the Q line, which now terminates at 96th Street, then after the second phase, 125th Street. Perhaps some day, my kids can scatter my ashes at the Chatham Square station if and when the third and fourth phases are completed.


Food that tasted better than it looked

by Robert A. Ripps on October 18, 2016


Chong qing spicy beef, brown rice.



A tree grows…around the world

October 14, 2016

Last spring, in Reykjavík, Paris, and of course, NYC…

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A tree grows…in winter

October 12, 2016

From last winter…

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October 10, 2016

Yesterday I took a peek at the Lowline Lab, which is hosued in an abandoned market building at 140 Essex Street. In a nutshell, the idea is to create the first underground park in NYC, in a long abandoned trolley terminal under Delancey Street- a kind of underground version of the High Line- adjacent to […]

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Food that tasted better than it looked

August 22, 2016

Sweet Italian sausage, baked sweet potato.

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Food that tasted better than it looked

August 15, 2016

Spaghetti with vegetables, with IKEA Kalles kaviar.

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Picture imperfect

July 14, 2016

I watched this online on the Times site today, and thought it was interesting- what happens to our work, and the traces of our life, when we die. “A quest to solve the mystery behind an abandoned bag of photo slides found on a New York City street corner leads the reporter Deborah Acosta and her […]

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Red is the old black

April 3, 2016

A nice piece in the New York Times about French photographer Frank Fournier, who has been living and shooting in NYC for 40 years, originally using Kodachrome film. Years later when looking back at his work, he realized how much he had been drawn to the color red. It’s a funny coincidence to me, because some one […]

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For Jan

March 14, 2016


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