Archive for April 2016

City Hall Station, a New York Subway Ghost Station

If you’re a fan of subways, transit or train stations, a destination that should be on your bucket list is the original City Hall Station in New York City. This is one of the original subway stations built by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) and is part of today’s Lexington Avenue #6 line. You can pass through the station on a train with a “insider’s” tip, but the only way to get on the platform is by a tour with the NYC Transit Museum.

Tours are organized by the museum about a half-dozen times a year and due to their scarcity are “hot tickets” to get. First, you have to be a member of the museum to be eligible to buy one, and then it’s first come, first served on their website the day tickets are released. Securing one feels like getting a hot rock concert or Broadway theater ticket. My ticket wasn’t official until I had sent back a signed waiver as well as a background check release form. I don’t know if this is standard on all tours, but this tour is underground near the active and public NY City Hall building so I could understand the security concerns of our present world.

Platform Entrance

Evolving The Big Bend Country and the Golden Harvest Project

I always believe that when inspiration strikes, you need to act on it while the creative ideas are hot, you have passion for the idea or project and have the energy to carry the project forward.

Revisiting my images from the Big Bend region 18 months after my initial visit, I had a fresh perspective on them and saw the basis of a story about the struggling railroad on the former Northern Pacific Central Washington branch line. While my images were mostly of the Eastern Washington Gateway Railroad and their operations that I happened to catch during my visit, I did take others of the grain elevators and landscape that now captivated me and got me thinking about the entire ecosystem of the region since it is almost entirely built around wheat. Now I could visualize a story that spoke not only about the railroad, but the landscape and farmers as well, and thought the best way to show this project was in book form.

In order to see if I had the right material to work with and if the project could sustain my creative interest, I wanted to do a quick test of my ideas and put together a dummy book for evaluation. Not wanting to get bogged down making a perfect book, I opted to use Mixbook web book printing service which offers plenty of basic options for book types and sizes, but best of all, had building templates that are super flexible and easy to use. Within a few days, I managed to process and edit about 40 photos, add captions and lay them into a small book of about 20 pages. I ordered a 5×7 size book which was a minimal financial outlay and received it back within a week. While the print quality wasn’t great, the book served it’s purpose of giving me something tangible to hold and look at while thinking about my project concept.