Friday, March 21, 2008

Subway Series

So there is some exciting news floating around the office today. The Vignelli Family, creators of the original NY subway map, are up to their old tricks again. They have crafted a new map which bears a lot of resemblance to one I posted before, the Kick Map which was discussed in the NY times a year ago. I think I have found the perfect subject for a piece. Comparisons of these three maps really draws out what can be achieved and obscured (intentionally or otherwise) by a cartographer. Speaking with the Vignelli's also cross pollinates for me, as they had a hand in designing the signage in the subway, which is one of the big interests of my profile subject, a totally unplanned coincidence! Below is a side by side comparison of the original, the kick map, and the new Vignelli.

Friday, March 7, 2008


I am spending the weekend in the Philadelphia. I had a great ride down on the Chinatown bus, only $10 and less than two hours to get here. I went to sleep in one Chinatown and woke up in another.

Philly is a strange city, so much of the downtown feels like an outdoor mall, a bit like the Fulton Street Mall near where I live in Brooklyn. I have noticed that the neighborhoods change and blend into one another much faster here. You can be on a street with a few upscale clothing stores and chain restaurants and then the next block is mostly abandoned and then the block after that is a university with well kept buildings.

There are maps almost every corner around Market Square. I don't think NY does this, but as a tourist it is really nice. You don't have to whip out a map or go stand in front of a big one that draws a lot of attention to you. There are small, discrete, easy to use maps quite often, which lets you feel safe and helps you blend in.

photo to come.