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Just noticed this today on the subway:

Don't lean on door!'

Isn’t that weird? The Os are sideways, all of them. The N in lean is slightly shaved off on the right edge; compare it to the N in not. And the letters in lean don’t seem to have the same baseline.

What the hell is up with that? I thought it was some kind of pranked-up fake sign at first, but all of the Do not lean on door signs were like that.

Update: Here's a sharper photo on Gothamist earlier this year.

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The transit strike of 1980, photos courtesy of The New York Times.
The transit strike of 2005, photos courtesy of lots of people and Flickr.

(Me? I'm fine. I take Port Authority trains to work.)
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Whew, a fun yet exhausting weekend! I went up to Boston to hang with [livejournal.com profile] cthulhia, who I don’t see often enough. I met up with her and a friend whose LJ name I don’t know (there’s an application for RFID tags, or maybe Bluetooth) at one of the centers of South End Artists’ Open Studios, which had a high cool-stuff proportion.

The back to Cthulhia’s place, where I met the upstairs neighbors and saw Cthulhia in her drinking hat. Next stop for the night was going to be a superhero-themed party, with very lax costuming rules. Cthules wore the viking helmet, and I a pair of rabbit ears, and we figured if anyone gave us trouble we could launch into a rendition of “What’s Opera Doc?”, but it didn’t come up.

Sunday we joined [livejournal.com profile] dougo’s expedition to the Davis Mega Maze. (That idea I had, about using a Sidekick and the Google satellite maps to get maze plans from above? Wouldn’t work; it’s too faint, and not this year’s maze.) I’d never been in a corn maze before, much less one of this scale, but Cthules navigated like a pro, even compensating for us accidentally winding up at the exit after having only gone through a small fraction of the maze, thanks to some idiot moving one of the mobile barriers that allow the layout to be altered from day to day. We walked pretty much non-stop at a good pace for about two hours, probably five or six miles all told, more exercise than I’ve had in quite a while.

I took the Fung Wah buses both ways, and had really good trips. Fung Wah seems to be prospering enough to have upgraded their fleet. I took on-the-half-hour departures both ways, and got full-sized buses (not the mini-buses I’d gotten a couple of years earlier), and both times the buses were about half full so I got a pair of seats to myself to stretch out in. No movie either, so I could nap.
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Gothamist has the skinny on yesterday’s Lex line power outages:
The 7AM power outage may have been caused by an A/C power issue at Grand Central, which then caused a signal problem. Then some other circuits blew, and when the MTA put in temporary cable, it shorted out and caused an afternoon power outage. Finally, at around 5:50PM, the MTA found a 2' by 3' hole in a manhole near the 33rd Street station, where water and salt had corroded through the subway's concrete ceiling.
[livejournal.com profile] bugsybanana got caught in this and kept me waiting in front of the Astor Place Starbucks for 20 minutes last night, while I got to watch transit workers come out and put an out-of-service sign on the subway entrance, which many would-be passengers ignored. The guy handing out free copies of some new magazine kept telling them “No service”, but they’d already put his voice into their mental ignore box.

Today there seems to be something wrong with the 7 line. Makes me glad to take the PATH.
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One thing Jersey City’s teaching me is how good the transit was in NYC. Not just the transit itself, but the support services. Specifically: the maps.

There doesn’t seem to be a bus map for Jersey City. Each borough in NYC has a map showing all of the bus routes, overlaid on a street map of the borough, so you can find your start and finish points and then see what routes go by and where the intersection are. No such thing here. We’ve just got route maps for each route, so you’ve got to already know what route goes where, and gods forbid you need to transfer, ’cause then your decision tree starts branching out into mystery space.

It looks like there’s one bus route that goes past where tomorrow’s interview is, and it doesn’t intersect with any other bus route. It looks like there are two routes that go near me. Do either of them go within a few blocks of that first bus? I don’t know, and there’s no easy way to find out. NJ Transit’s website is supposed to be able to advise me, but when I use that form, it claims there are no routes near my origin.

As far as I can tell, from consulting an actual map of Hudson County and guesstimating where the light rail stops are (’cause they’re not marked, though the PATH stations are), it looks like my options are (1) walk three-quarters of a mile or so east to the light rail, take a two-and-a-half mile train trip to a spot three-quarters of a mile or so northwest of my destination, and then walk from there, or (2) just walk two miles south. In the snow, all uphill both ways, no doubt.
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I’m back! I spent the weekend with [livejournal.com profile] cthulhia in Massachusetts, seeing movies, party-going, and hanging out.

I caught the 6 PM Fung Wah bus on Friday. These buses used to cost between $10 and $25 per trip, but competition has brought them down to $10 all day. They’re really popular; all the seats were filled on my trip up, mostly with college students, looked like. We got to Boston around 10:30 or 11, and I hopped on the T and reached the party at [livejournal.com profile] dancingdeer’s place before midnight, I think. Cthulhia and I had to head back at a reasonable hour, to be up in time for art on Saturday.

Saturday we went to see open studios at Brickbottom. I don’t know whether I was more impressed by the art or by the studios themselves; lots of these were live-in studios, and as a New Yorker I’m easily subject to apartment lust. The art was really good too, though I don’t think there were as many artists displaying as there were at 111 First Street.

Back at Cthulhia’s place, she whipped up a tasty dinner out of pho noodles, sausages, and veggies. I whupped her butt at Lost Cities, then she smacked me back down not just once but twice at Volcano.

The Volcano games went on a bit longer than expected (I’m new to the game, and a very cogitatey player), so we just barely missed the champagne toast (in honor of the recent Mass. supreme court ruling in favor of freedom-to-marry) at a party at, um, damn, I’ve forgotten where. But I had a great time chatting with folks and noshing and I met [livejournal.com profile] srakkt and various other people.

We ducked out early again, to catch The Animation Show at midnight. This is a touring collection of animation shorts (only two or three of which I’d seen before) that I’d missed when it was in NYC. Don Hertzfeld’s hilarious work (“Sweet Jesus!”) was entirely new to me. Back in college I’d gotten into the habit of hunting down annual touring animation collctions, and somehow lost that habit in the past decade or so. I should start doing it again, though I’ve heard Spike & Mike’s isn’t what it used to be.

Sunday we braved the crowds at Johnny D’s for The Oatmeal, saw School of Rock, and then had Indian food before I hopped the T and caught the 8 PM bus back home. It didn’t occur to me till after I’d already taken the Grand St shuttle to West 4th and gotten on the PATH that I could’ve walked west and tried out the newly-reopened-that-day World Trade Center PATH station. [livejournal.com profile] jayspec462 has rushed in where I was too lazy and forgetful to tread.

Update: And I almost forgot this sketch:

Sketch of Cthulhia )

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