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Thread: New York is better than your city - deal with it

  1. #61


    Quote Originally Posted by TLOZ Link5
    The subways had a bad two decades in the '70s and '80s, and the MTA is still working to repair the damage. When you have such an old system, upkeep is hard. Stations are currently being repaired, upgraded and renovated all the time, even though all too often the work progresses way too slowly. The real-time information displays for when the next train is coming are coming to New York, and all in all things are a lot better than they used to be. And the subways may be dirty, but they're very safe by any city's standards.

    When I went to London the Underground stations and tracks themselves were pretty clean, but the trains were terribly cramped and the seat cushions often had gum stuck to them. There were no garbage cans (rubbish bins) in the stations for fear of a terrorist leaving a bomb in one, and even though they have staff to pick up waste I just felt guilty about dropping my garbage on the platform.

    Not to mention that there is NO air conditioning in the London tube. Try riding that in the summer!
    I'm no advocate for the MTA mostly because it is filthy but if I had to choose, the NYC. subway system is more efficient that London's tube.

  2. #62


    generally, public services , like the Tube in London have a much better appearance in Europe than in the US.

    however, with the rabid immigration that is occuring there, I have a feeling those countries will become shabbier looking than the US by far.

  3. #63


    Lived in NYC for one year. Never felt as though it was home. Always felt like a tourist. People are hard to talk too on the street. Yes, all you have to do is walk outside and entertainment comes your way. But air quality is horrible, weather is typically too cold or too hot year year round bad weather, there is no scenery, and NYC lacks the elegence and beautiful architecture of Euorpe. NYC is mostly square and tall buildings, but not much elegence.
    My conclusion:
    I like to visit NYC, but I do not want to live there. I prefer CA cities with year round good weather, outdoor events and activities all year round, healthy life styles, and happy and more relaxed people. It's just more fun!!!

  4. #64
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Sep 2003


    The main problem with NYC is it's impatience.

    It is very tolerant to a lot of things, but if something does not fit, or seems out of place, the city does not go out of its way to welcome and incorporate it.

    It is such a conglomeration of different styles and peoples that is unmatched in all but the most select of cities around the world, and it is a real great place to be in and around if you find your niche.

    BUT, if you do not find it, or you have any one of a number of pet peeves such as space, crowding, noise or the like, then you are SO out of luck.

    Me, personally, I love NYC, but I live OUTSIDE of it. I live in Hoboken, and the city is just a short ride or swim (jk) away.

    I do not like driving through the city, and the mass transit, albeit hot and disgusting in some places, is one of the most extensive in the world.

    I am amazed, however, about the insular nature of NY. The fact that people are willing to walk 5 min to a train, wait 10 min for the next one, ride it for 5 more and walk an additional 5 then to just walk to the place they were going to in 15-20. People build their own little world within a 10 small block radius and everything outside that seems to be another town to them.

    And you see that when you walk through the city. I was amazed at the different feel to the city under the Queensbourough when I was playing softball there the other day. And there is always the Villages (east and west) and a miriad of other smaller subsets even within these "zones".

    I don't know, I am starting to ramble on this, all I know is that NY is a great place to be around, but so many people are so unaware that there is a lot more to see sometimes than what is around you. And others do not realise that some of the things THEY see are the result of their own feelings and treatment of the people around you.

    If you scowl at a bunch of people at a subway station, don't expect them to get out of your way when you are trying to get in, but every once in a while someone will help you catch your scarf blowing away in the wind, or hold a door open for you.

    It all depends on how you look at it.

  5. #65



    The Superlative City? Let New Yorkers Count the Ways, in Almost Every Language

    Published: June 19, 2005
    Deriding the elitist 19th-century notion that there were only 400 people who really counted in New York City, O. Henry credited "a wiser man" - the census taker - with a "larger estimate of human interest," which he memorialized in fiction as "The Four Million." Though enormous as New York must have seemed then, his four million of a century ago have doubled to more than eight million. More than ever, New York today is a city of superlatives.

    But just how big is it?

    So big that convening the region's largest American Indian gathering in Brooklyn, of all places, this weekend was not as incongruous as it might seem. The 11th annual Gateway to Nations powwow is being celebrated in the original homeland of the Canarsie Indians at Gateway National Recreation Area in a metropolis that, modern census takers estimate, is home to more American Indians than any other city with a population of more than 100,000 in the United States.

    So big that New York has more Yiddish speakers (they outnumber the American Indians) and more who speak Spanish, Urdu, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and English, and more people who identify their heritage as Italian, German, Scottish, Nigerian or Swiss than in any big American city. It has more who claim Irish ancestry than any city in the world except Dublin.

    More people born in Pakistan, France, Greece, Israel, Lebanon, Ghana, New Zealand, the Dominican Republic and almost every other country (except, primarily, Cuba and Mexico), live in New York than in any other city in the country.

    New York even ranks first in the number of people who describe themselves as having been born at sea.

    The city also has more lawyers, doctors, teachers, security guards, construction workers, firefighters, railway workers and more people who work in arts and entertainment than any large city in the country and more people employed in manufacturing. It does not lead in agriculture, although the city, with 1,464 workers in related fields, ranks a respectable 10th nationwide among cities whose residents say their occupation is farming, fishing or forestry. New York has more students enrolled in every grade, from kindergarten through graduate school; more who have not graduated from high school and more with doctoral degrees.

    The city also ranks first with more people in every age group (including about 540,000 under age 5 and 121,000 who are 85 and older).

    New York has more people than any other city in the United States who do not own a car, and who car-pool to work or take public transportation, including taxis and ferries; more who ride their bicycles or walk to work, and more who work at home. San Francisco edges New York in the number who say they commute by motorcycle.

    More New Yorkers live in jails, nursing homes, college dorms, mental wards and religious quarters - like convents - than in any other city, according to the latest Census Bureau figures.

    A few of those numbers might be statistical anomalies, of course, especially since the census relies largely on self-identification. For example, there are undoubtedly a lot of American Indians in New York, but the total is probably inflated by some Asian Indians who also consider themselves American and described themselves that way - incorrectly by the government's definition - on the census forms.

    With so many superlatives, no group categorized by ancestry or age or birthplace abroad or occupation or degree of education dominates, because, as Theodore Dreiser once wrote, New York "is so preponderantly large."

    New York has more than twice as many people as the nation's second biggest city, Los Angeles. New York is home to more people than the next four top-ranked cities in population: Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia and Phoenix, combined.

    Which means that in every category, each separate New York superlative is subsumed by the biggest superlative of them all: The Eight Million.

  6. #66


    LOL how can NYC be better than my city when I live in NYC..actually I live in the Bronx but it's still NYC..and I agree NYC=greatest city in the world.

  7. #67


    oh - the london/new york comparison is too much for me to resist chipping in, here . . . .

    The subway wins out on a couple fronts - it runs all night, it has more frequent stops, it is close to street level (so transfers take less time in most cases), it is more reliable at present. Its disadvantages? The unbearable heat on the platforms in the summer, the sheer filth, inconsiderate behavior on trains, horrible screeching turns, and a couple other things . . .
    The tube's positives are rather extensive - very clean, sleek design, there is a high level of orderliness (a cultural thing, yes - but also because of CCTV and staff everywhere), regular tidying up of the station, smart card ticketing for all london transport (including overground, bus, tube, tram, and light-rail), the driver-less light-rail on elevated tracks is among the most innovative systems in the world (and offers amazing views of my present neighborhood). The major problem with the tube and British rail is that the Victorian rail infrastructure is ailing and the government waited a bit too long to begin to carry out the necessary repairs. They are doing that now, and within a few years' time, the problematic lines (primarily the District, Circle, and Hammersmith&City lines) should be up to German, French, Dutch, and Scandanavian standards . . . and the MTA, then? Well, they'll probably still be trying to find the gumption to actually build the 2nd Avenue subway. . .

    The thing is - put the New York transit system up against any other U.S. transit system and it clearly wins out (covers more territory, is more frequent, removes need for car for so many more people, etc.). Even D.C., Philly, and Boston leave too many pockets of their metro-areas underserved, in comparison. Only Chicago seems to be up to par.

    But if you put the New York system up against a number of West European or Japanese transit systems and you simply have to acknowledge that it is not run as well as it could be, maintenance is poor by comparison, and it seems perpetually incapable of completing capital construction projects.

    Now, I'm still not sure if that makes New York a "better city." But a dynamic public transport system is certainly one component of a good city. In my case, both New York and London are "my city" and I see the good (and bad) in both of them . . .

    European cities are definitely on the rise, though . . . as is the global economy . . . So, I really think it is time for New Yorkers to put down the old "We're the best city" / "New YorK: capital of the world" mentality. It is really getting a bit dated, guys, and, well, it really was always hideously arrogant to begin with . . .

  8. #68


    Quote Originally Posted by JeffreyNYC
    Not to mention that there is NO air conditioning in the London tube. Try riding that in the summer!
    I'm no advocate for the MTA mostly because it is filthy but if I had to choose, the NYC. subway system is more efficient that London's tube.
    Actually there is air conditioning in some stations, eg on the Jubilee Line where Platform Screen Doors ensure the environment is enclosed away from the tracks. Generally though the majority of the underground lines don't have air conditioning....but temperatures are kept cool in another fashion: the trains themselves. How does this work? Well as anyone who has been on a deep-level platform will know, the shape of the tunnel and the train forces air from the platform into the tunnel in front of the train which is then pushed into the next station. Essentially the entire network acts as a very large air conditioning unit, just without the added wasted heat. In other stations where it gets even hotter, the idea of taking the water that gets into the tunnels and pump it around the tunnels is currently being planned.

    That said, Summers are mild and although it can get hot on some days, air conditioning would really be needed for maybe 3 weeks every year and that doesn't make economical sense.

    Depends how you define efficiency, the London Underground is more punctual and accidents and crashes are less common in London. Factor in that all stations across all of London (ie 600 stations) now have electronic display boards and Oyster is being gradually brought into use at all stations the system is generally more advanced, even though its the oldest network on the planet. The state of the stations and higher rate of crashes in New York could probably be attributed to the lack of time given to maintain the 24hr network. London on the otherhand shuts down for several hours and is backed up by what is probably the largest bus network in the developed world, New York doesn't so this limits its options.

  9. #69
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2005
    New York City


    Quote Originally Posted by czsz
    Those who defend the New York Subway often tend to focus on the geographical and temporal breadth of its service as well as its efficiency, but most outsiders' criticisms are more generally directed at its overall appearance. Step into a station in London or Washington to compare and the stations in New York, with their tracks covered in garbage, peeling paint on the walls, and bare I-beam support pillars begin to seem like laughable affairs.

    Of course, improvements have been made. Some stations have been painstakingly upgraded, but compared to the new lines in London, they've still got quite a ways to go. The means by which most people commute in the wealthiest city in the wealthiest country in the world ought to set the standard, not be embarrassed by it...and express trains (which I sorely missed living in Berlin) don't nearly make up for it.
    Great pictures! How can anyone even compare New York subway with any subway system in Europe. I have lived in New York for 11 years. I have been to many European cities. All of the subway systems I saw in Europe (Paris, Vienna, London, Prague, Moscow, Madrid, Barcelona, and more...) and all of them were far superior to New York subway.

    With all due respect, New York subway is terrible: the service is bad, the stations are mostly dirty and dark. It looks old and tired. If our politicians had guts, they would privatize the subway and hire some other company (instead of MTA) to run it.

  10. #70


    IŽll take the NYC subway over LondonŽs anyday.

    The fact that the NYC subway is so close to the surface of the street is a huge makes the difference to me. Hot, dirty, noisy...yes....but going down, down, down to those London trains is suffocating to me. They feel claustrophobic....scary.

  11. #71
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2005
    New York City


    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio
    IŽll take the NYC subway over LondonŽs anyday.

    The fact that the NYC subway is so close to the surface of the street is a huge makes the difference to me. Hot, dirty, noisy...yes....but going down, down, down to those London trains is suffocating to me. They feel claustrophobic....scary.
    For most people (I would guess, 99%), clean, convenient and pleasant to use are more important factors than being close to the surfice. Not to mention many aeras in Queens and Brooklyn where the subway runs above the surface creating quite a bit of noise down below. And those views of roofs covered with graffiti make it even worse...

  12. #72

  13. #73


    The New York subway has had its share of similarly sensational disasters, particularly on the els, which once every couple decades tend to see a catastrophic derailment.

    The fact that New York's stations are closer to the surface often means that one just winds up waiting longer on a dark, dank, crudulent platform without air conditioning (no, London's don't have it either, but the further underground one is, the cooler, and the summers in London are nowhere near as oppressive). Deeper stations have also given London the excuse to pay for escalators at many stations, as opposed to the narrow stairways of street-entry New York stations.

  14. #74


    The majority of London Underground stations are either above ground or in trenches. probably 40% of the stations are deep-level and even then these can be reached quite easily. For its age and size its one of the safest large networks on the planet, safer than Paris and New York for instance.

    Old sub-surface

    Modern at-ground covered


    Train-shed sub-surface

    Old cut and cover

    New deep level


    Reconditioned deep-level

    Yes there have been some horrific accidents over the years, but most of these problems have been ironed out, for example no wooden escalators Pits dug under the tracks at platforms to allow people (if they were to fall) to stay under the tracks if a train were to come in. PSD's of which no New York Subway station has, then there are the electronic display boards dotted across every sation to keep updated of any situations either on the line or on other parts of the network. Then lets not forget the significant number of CCTV cameras on platforms, within the station complex and on trains to ensure if anything does happen, a correct response can be made to ensure nobody is hurt or if they are hurt, that they are given the appropiate attention.

    Also you'd have more to be concerned about with New York, what with there being more crashes. In a study between the two systems it was found that over a five year period for both networks, 21 people died on the London Underground and 126 died on the New York Subway, ie 6x more fatalities. Still feel safe about being close to the surface now because it doesn't seem to make you more 'safe'!

  15. #75


    Cz: "The New York subway has had its share of similarly sensational disasters, particularly on the els, which once every couple decades tend to see a catastrophic derailment".

    For instance? Please post the deaths from these "similairly sensational disasters" (See below.) Thank you.

    Considering the history of fires and bombings... combined with the cramped un-air conditioned cars (smaller than NY) and it´s super deep tunnels....I´ll take NYC.

    This is psycological.... I do admit that. Just as there are far fewer deaths flying on a plane, than riding on a highway.... I, like many others, feel nervous on the plane, not in the car. Same for me with London´s underground.

    "The three train bombings, with a total of 39 dead, constitute one of the deadliest incidents in the peacetime history of the London Underground, with more casualties than the King's Cross fire of November 1987 (31 dead), but less than the Moorgate tube crash of February 1975 (43 dead) ....."
    "The London Underground has been targeted by bombers before. In February and March 1976, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) left several explosive devices in the tube network. On 4 March 1976, eight people were injured by a bomb in Cannon Street; 11 days later, nine people were injured by an explosion at West Ham tube station. Seconds after that incident, the driver of the train was shot dead when he attempted to pursue the fleeing bomber. Two more devices found at Oxford Circus and Wood Green stations were defused."

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