When Tiffany Burnette was researching women who travel solo, for her master’s project, sheВ stumbled upon one voyager’s gripe: Having to pull out a map to navigate the NYC subway—thus clearly branding herself a tourist. Inspired, Tiffany came up with a simple and stylish solution: subway maps embossed on cuff bracelets. While wearing them, female travelers can navigate a transit system with a discreet glance at the wrist.
As a woman who’s often traveled solo, I can attest to how many times I could have used these! One safety measure I always take when traveling alone is to look like I know where I’m going. And nothing blows your cover more than when you have to study a subway map, whip out a guidebook or consult your smartphone—if you’re in a place where you even get service. These cuffs could have helped me out in several cities.
Plus, I love how the bracelets are very understated, so you wouldn’t be flashing around expensive-looking jewelry. I actually just want the NYC one to wear every day!
Here’s to hoping city map cuffs will be designhype’s next project!
I may have been taking public transportation for my entire life, but people-watching on the subway never gets old. Even when I’m trying to block out my fellow commuters—with my headphones turned up and/or a magazine in front of my face—I can’t help but wonder what their backstories are: Why are they also headed home so late? Where are they coming from? Who’s waiting up for them? And so on.
If I happen to be standing on a crowded train and canвЂ™t comfortably draw or only have a stop before I have to get off, IвЂ™ll try to discreetly snap a photo (no flash!) with my phone and base my illo on that. (I know I sound like a total creep, but what can you do? Sometimes the best ones are gone in a flash.)
A few of my favorites illustrations:
…funny enough, I see the guy in the last illo all the time on the A train!
You know that I’m a sucker for videos that capture the spirit and energy of NYC. So that’s why I’m loving this one, “3 Words for NYC,”В created by Cokau Lab, a Paris-based A/V studio. (Which explains the French!)В The concept is simple: The filmmakers asked New Yorkers to describe what makes NYC so special—in three words. Here’s what they found:
What would be your three-word answer? I think mine would be “unlimited possibilities, forever.”
I am so glad the weekend is here! My next few days are pretty full, but luckily, there are lots of nice, relaxing elements involved. My mom, sister and I are getting massages that we all got each other for Christmas and birthdays, and we have a family brunch planned for tomorrow. And I’ll be running at some point—our race is a few weeks away and I’ve only squeezed in four runs, so far! But I’m not worried. рџ‰
This week seemed to be chock full of awesome NYC photos. A few days ago I stumbled upon the one above. An Expedition 35 crew member aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station shot it on March 23; NASA recently posted it on its site. It’s truly amazing how clearly the gridded streets are lit up. And I love how easily you can spot Central Park and the riot of lights that is Times Square.
It’s funny; I can’t recall ever seeing another shot taken from this angle before. The clarity is astounding, and I love how you can see both sides of the island from downtown all the way up to my ‘hood, near the George Washington Bridge. Plus, it’s crazy just how much higher up this building is—it’s towering so far above all the others.
New York was the magic city. New York was Oz. All I wanted to do was to get out of Brooklyn and get into Oz.
Replace “Brooklyn” with “Queens,” and that was basically my mindset throughout my tween and teen years in the ’90s. I looked forward to the day when I’d live in Manhattan and didn’t have to take a long bus ride and multiple subways to get downtown—or be beholden to the LIRR schedule. (Bayside, where I lived, is pretty far out!) I pictured myself working for a magazine in midtown and taking dance classes at Broadway Dance Center at night. I saw myself living in Williamsburg or the East Village. I imagined I’d goВ shopping in SoHo and hang out in coffee shops in the West Village on the weekends. And go clubbing until 5 a.m.—because who doesn’t dream about going clubbing until 5 a.m. when they’re 15?
Some of that stuff turned out similarly to the way I’d envisioned—though by the time I actually moved to Manhattan, I found hipster neighborhoods less appealing, SoHo to be too expensive and tourist-filled for shopping. And I really had no desire to go clubbing until 5 a.m.!
But one thing that I predicted, with 100% accuracy, was that Manhattan was where I belonged. I’m more at home here than anywhere else I’ve ever lived or visited. Even after all these years, I still feel like it’s the “magic city.” Every day, I can feel the city buzzing with the excitement and energy of endless possibilities—and I don’t think that’ll ever get old. I’m amazed that my younger self was able to pick up on that during my family’s sporadic trips to “the city”!
Did you grow up in NYC? What’s your memory of childhood here?
My all-time favorite New Yorker cover is Adrian Tomine‘s “Missed Connection.” It ran on the November 8, 2004 issue, which I purchased more for that illustration than the stories inside. At the time, I was living and working in Boston (albeit, at a pretty great job) but dreaming of being back in NYC. I felt a bit like the girl in the illustration: so close to reaching something that would bring me great happiness, but not quite there. That cover hung above my desk for the next few years, until I made it back to NYC.
Since the, I’ve been a huge fan of Tomine’s work, especially his NYC-related illustrations. He captures life in the city with amazing poignancy—especially the mundane, everyday details. Like inВ my second-favorite New Yorker cover, “Summer Getaway”В (which I’d posted on Tumblr back in 2010 when I used Tumblr!):
Or in the “AC” illustration below. (Though if that were my apartment, there’d be an open window and no AC! I actually love the thick, NYC summer heat.)