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All the Stars

Just lovely.

(All the Stars in the Sky Have the Same Face by Lawrence Weiner, Jewish Museum)

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Thanksgiving and the Pandemic (1918 edition)

It’s been a tough 2020 on every level, but crisis is often very useful for clarifying what’s important in life.

This year, I’m particularly thankful for a free press and evidence-based thinking — bedrocks of democracy and a progressive society.

No, these things did not help prevent the pandemic or stop it from getting worse, but without them there would be no hope at all.

As this USA Today story nicely illustrates, the 2020 pandemic is very much like the 1918 pandemic in so many ways.

Then, as now, Americans were divided on how to fight the virus for a variety of reasons (many of them bad). Then, as now, the virus proved indifferent to our opinions.

The right to express opinions without fear is essential to democracy. But so is following the science.

The free press is at its best when amplifying what the evidence tells us, especially when the conclusions are unpopular or even dangerous to those who lead us there.

Thank you to the many journalists out there who have been working so hard this year to track the pandemic and educate the public.

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The Occulus

Is it spectacular architecture? Yes.

Was it worth the cost? No.

Will it still be spectacular architecture in ten years? Probably.

Will anyone care about the cost in ten years? Probably not.

In 2030, a few urbanists will enjoy debating what might have been at this site but I suspect everyone else here will just be shopping and taking selfies like they do now.

As with many things, the results are visible but their opportunity costs aren’t.

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YASSSS.

My neighborhood in Harlem erupting with joy.

“KAMALA HARRIS VICE PRESIDENT MOTHERF***ER!!!”

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Scandinavian Gothic

A Loom with a View

(Kulturen i Lund)

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Life in Sweden

(Jakriborg)

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Cinematic Tenets

First visit to a cinema in 2020 and two thumbs up for TENET. We wore our masks even though it’s not required here and felt safe the entire time.

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Cows are cool

All the more reason not to eat them.

(Gothenburg)

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Aeroseum

100’ below the Göteborg outskirts is Aeroseum, a fascinating aviation museum in a sprawling subterranean Cold War hangar. They have parking for those flying in on their own aircraft, kid-friendly activities, and staff remarkably tolerant of all your Danger Zone jokes.

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Bron/Broen

Checking out Saga Norén’s favorite hangouts. #TheBridge #NordicNoir

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MALMÖ FLËXIN

(Turning Torso)

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Marital Counseling

Marry someone smarter than you are but make them do stupid things with you

(Malmö, Sweden)

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American Style Snack Box

I have many questions regarding this supermarket’s “American Taste” selection.

(Lidl Supermarket, Lund, Sweden)

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Traffic Calming, the Swedish Way

Swedish traffic calming on a two-way street: bus-bulb, neckdown, speed hump. How much safer NYC would be if we installed just a few dozen of these in the right places.

(Lund, Sweden)

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First Flight

First flight in nine months: EWR-CPH on a barely year-old SAS A350.

It’s nice to be in the air again.

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How to Wear a Mask

Just watched a properly-masked couple do the “not quite” in front of this sign to make each other laugh. My work is done.

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Birthday Style

Thanks everyone for the recent birthday wishes. I’m still just a middle-aged version of this kid & still looking for adult-sized versions of these clothes.

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An R68 with a View

Who needs an Amtrak sightseer lounge car when you can have an R68 without a roll sign? These windows are huge.

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Monday Inspiration

Now more than ever, let’s look out for each other.

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Ralph’s of Nutley


When visiting hometown, must also visit Ralph’s

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Yakety yak

Yakety yak, what’s up Cat

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Jeepney

A good start, but even safer would be a traffic signal with LPI (Leading Pinoy Interval). #AsianTransportPlanningJokes

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The Neighborhood DJ


I’m strongly against noise pollution in all forms, but sometimes our neighborhood DJ’s tracks are so good that I turn down my music so that I can hear his.

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Plant-Based Excess


I may be going vegan but I’m still going to spend 45% of my calories on dessert.

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Motorcycling 101

A beautiful day for Motorcycling 101

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Mask Force September: 149 St-Grand Concourse

My idea of a good time is giving out free masks to transit riders. Yours too? Volunteer for the MTA #MaskForce!

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Com Tam Ninh Kieu

The Bronx has NYC’s largest Cambodian population and a significant number of Vietnamese too. Although it was late afternoon, I couldn’t resist having the extremely potent iced coffee and now I’ll probably be up all night.

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Everyone smiles when you wear a mask

Everyone smiles when you wear a mask on MTA subways & buses. We also hope you smile when you see our new campaign on your next ride.

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Little Manila

Little Manila in Woodside is small but mighty. I love that you can dine outdoors with the Flushing Line rumbling overhead.

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White Castles of Harlem

Harlem has the only two White Castles in Manhattan, so I never travel far for my Impossible Slider fix. I wish they’d convert this parking lot to outdoor dining.

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Bridge of Missed Opportunities


Always amazes me that 1) this is the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge & 2) how utterly underutilized this space is

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Good UX Really Matters

Thank you US Census Bureau for making your online questionnaire available in Japanese & so easy to use. You empowered my 68 year old stepdad to complete by himself his first census after decades in the US. He’s never even used a web browser before this.

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B-Division Luxury

I’ve been living on the IRT (51’ length, ~8’ width) for so long now that whenever I’m on a 75’ train (~10’ width) it feels luxurious

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Cat Airways

It’s a tough time for airlines. But while some are curling up on the tarmac to sleep it off, others are pouncing. Cat Airways proudly introduces the new 228 Feliner, tail number UR-MEOW, with daily non-stops across the apartment.

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Hiding in Plain Sight

Got my wife hooked on Sarah Kendzior’s Hiding in Plain Sight because I couldn’t stop raving about it. It’s an essential history & survival guide for what’s happening right now.

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Cats & Masks


TJ is speaking to me even more than usual today

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Open Dining: KTown

Ktown seems to be doing a particularly great job with outdoor dining. I’m happy to play my small part.

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High Line, No Waiting

If you love the High Line but not crowds, there’s never been a better time to visit. Please support the nearby businesses, too. #daycation

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TWA Hotel Daycation (Part 2)

A few more daycation shots. Most of the shops and bars are closed, but if you just want to enjoy the building, this is a great time to visit.

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TWA Hotel Daycation (Part 1)

Daycation at the TWA Hotel

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Streecha

Delicious Ukrainian lunch from Streecha (СТРІЧА), hidden away on 7 St in the East Village. Best pirogies & borscht I’ve ever had not made by my grandmother-in-law.

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Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Helping NYC small businesses by doing what I do best: eating. Great to see so many Chinatown & Koreatown outdoor dining options.

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Subway Signs

THE EAGLE HAS LANDED, after some semi-competent measuring & drilling.

(Get yours at the official MTA Memorabilia & Collectibles page.)

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Transit is for Everyone

86 St in Bay Ridge is the subway’s newest accessible station & there’s many more to come. My MTA colleagues Alex Elegudin & Victor Calise are leading the charge to get it done. Because transit is for everyone. #ada30

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Mask Force July: Times Square-42 St

Would you accept a free mask from this guy? Over 1,050 subway riders did during my @mtanyctransit Mask Force shift. It’s obviously my winning smile.

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Back to Chung Wah

First haircut with Mei in over 4 months! Please support #ChinatownNYC businesses — they really need help right now.

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You Have One Job

We have just one ask: when on transit, wear your mask

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Real-Time Strip Maps


Yesterday was the formal intro of the real-time screen content you may have seen in the subway.

I sketched the strip map on my iPad and soon amazing MTA colleagues had a working prototype. The team spent the next several months testing, refining, and rolling them out to the system as part of a super-cool digital station dashboard.

We hope you find them useful.

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Transit Pride

🏳️‍🌈 PUBLIC 🚇 TRANSIT 🚍 GOT ❤️ PRIDE 🏳️‍🌈

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Enough with the Fireworks

As a fellow Harlem resident, I endorse this message