Coming to the Crosstown Local: Trains of Thought

tirednysTHUMBYesterday I went for a walk to Williamsburg. After a mere two hours I was tired and wanted to go home. So I swung over to the Metropolitan Avenue stop of the G and waited.


Just as I was musing to myself how the Crosstown Local has an uncanny way of being extremely poky when I really need to go to the bathroom, I was approached by a young lady and gentleman. They asked me if I had any thoughts about the subway system. I smiled and replied:

Right now I am having a great many thoughts about the subway system.

They explained to me that they were working on a project and handed me this card.


They pointed out that the grid of squiggly lines at bottom left was the New York City subway system. I commended them on their rendering and I told them I was able to identify it. I was also able to identify the Tokyo subway system (which is at top right). They seemed really pleased by this. That’s one of the things I like about being an American: people from other countries harbor low expectations of you. But I digress.

As luck would have it just when our  conversation was getting interesting lo and behold, the G train showed up! I explained to them I had to go (because I needed to buy groceries and had no idea when the next train would show up— such is the mystery that is the Crosstown Local). I asked how I could contact them and they pointed out an email address on the back of the flier.

Last night I shot them an email (entitled “Trains of Thoughts”):

Hi, I met a man and woman who struck up a conversation with me about this. Surprisingly, the G train showed up (lest you are not aware, it is one of the worst subway lines in NYC) and I had to go. But they gave me your card/flier. What is this about? Are you interviewing people? I’d love to know what you’re up to… (so I can write about it on my website)

And they wrote me back!

hi heather,

how are you?
thank you for responding…
where you the one who said to go the groceries?

this is our project

Trains of Thoughts – Teaser from inLoops on Vimeo.

if you are on the subway, we can interview you…
that would be great. …

… we are here for about 4 weeks…
if you would post on your website, that we are on this g-train station…
metropolitan to talk to people…
we would so much appreciate the help….

you can also post our email adress: info (at) metrophiles (dot) com
everybody who wants to contribute is welcome… 🙂

thank you thank you thank you.

I for one am not going to let an opportunity like this slip by. I have a few things I’d like to say about the G train and by gum someone is going to hear it! What’s more, Timo (the gentleman who was so kind as to reply to my email) is darned nice. So I wrote back with a question:

WHEN will you be there (the G train in particular)? Time/date wise?

And he answered!

we are from monday to friday – 11.00 am to 6 pm on the station. saturday as well, but not so fix :)….
we look forward to have as much people as possible… 🙂 its not easy sometimes, so we are happy to get people with that excitement on the project. next 4 weeks… 🙂

thank you so much,
best from brooklyn,…

timo (& team)

I am very excited about this. In fact, I have told Timo he can expect me to pay him a visit later this week. If you happen to bump into Timo and his partner Katica take a moment of your time and tender your thoughts about the New York City subway system. Not only will you be helping some really nice folks with a very interesting project, but this is our golden opportunity to give the MTA’s lowly Crosstown Local the international the attention it so richly deserves. Let’s not waste it!

Besides, if you run late to work you can always tell your boss the G train was running slow.

Miss Heather


2 Comments on Coming to the Crosstown Local: Trains of Thought

  1. workingeva on Tue, 15th Dec 2009 7:28 am
  2. Great post. I will look for them on Metropolitan if I happen to pass by.

  3. Trains of Thoughts « on Tue, 15th Dec 2009 4:23 pm
  4. […] Some people working on this project are in New York this week soliciting comments on the G Train. They will be on the platforms Monday through Friday from 11-6 pm. I have had the (mis)fortune of getting to know the G Train a bit myself, one of the “worst subway lines in NYC.” Read more here. […]

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