NEW: X-RAY CLUSTER SERIES!!

Hello world!! It's been a while!

I am so excited to announce that our new drawing series is finally here - X-Ray Station Clusters!

This time around, instead of one station per drawing with colored platforms, we have multiple stations per drawing and colored tracks that connect them all. See how complicated and crazy this intertwining network is! We focused on two main areas - Downtown Brooklyn and Downtown Manhattan, both with stations very close to each other, hence, the clusters.

How to get to the Oculus without setting foot above ground

How to get to the Oculus without setting foot above ground

A lot going on under Borough Hall in Brooklyn!

A lot going on under Borough Hall in Brooklyn!

 

Check them out, and also check out this feature on Wired!

We are super thrilled to be featured on Wired!!

We are super thrilled to be featured on Wired!!

HOBOKEN PATH STATION

As January has passed I am recharged and ready to get out and start drawing again.

I started this project two and a half years ago and named it with "NYC" because that's all I set out to do, to draw the NYC subway stations. Little did I know the high rent, tiny apartments and a series of life events would eventually urged me to look for an alternative down the road - I now live in Hoboken New Jersey. I still work in the city though so I commute every day by taking the PATH train. Which brings me to my point - I am going to try to draw the PATH stations. Starting with Hoboken where I live, and also the 33rd Street station because I already drew the 34th Street subway station and I have been promising people I would complete it by adding the PATH portion one day. I think it would be helpful to illustrate how the PATH stations in Manhattan intertwine with the subway stations!

2018-02-07 - Hoboken Sketch.jpg

IT'S HERE: THE ATLANTIC AVENUE - BARCLAYS CENTER PRINT!

By popular demand, the Atlantic Avenue - Barclays Center print is finally ready! After four visits and God knows how many sketches. Check it out in our gallery and shop!

This is Project Subway NYC's second attempt to look into stations in Brooklyn, hope to do more soon. Let me know in the comment which stations you want to see, and don't forget to follow us on facebook and instagram (@projectsubwaynyc) for updates!

Atlantic Avenue - Barclays Center Poster

Atlantic Avenue - Barclays Center Poster

sketch - cad - print - sketch again

sketch - cad - print - sketch again

Atlantic Avenue - Barclays Center

By popular demand, I have started to document the Atlantic Avenue - Barclays Center station. This station is no joke! This is my second trip, and we will keep counting...

Curved stair case following the shape of the corner building on Hanson Pl x Flatbush

Curved stair case following the shape of the corner building on Hanson Pl x Flatbush

Parallel to 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 platforms, connections to LIRR

Parallel to 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 platforms, connections to LIRR

Second draft (pencil x hand) on first draft (computer x cad)

Second draft (pencil x hand) on first draft (computer x cad)

BEHIND THE SCENES - CREATING THE X-RAY SERIES

Last week was an exciting week for Project Subway! I released my new x-ray series and was thrilled to get some generally positive feedback. Thank you all for your love and support! Check out the coverage by CityLab and Gothamist if you haven't already :)

Since a few people have asked, I would like to share with you a little bit about my process. For the first part where I survey and sketch the stations, you can read about it here

For the new series, I first download a 3D model of the city from cadmapper. Let me use the Union Square drawing as an example:

3D model from cadmapper.com (you can download up to 1 square km for free)

3D model from cadmapper.com (you can download up to 1 square km for free)

Then I find an angle that could work:

And I import the station model I made from before:

Then I go to Google Maps and get a general feel of the area, including trees, the configuration of the park, and the buildings:

Then I do some research on specific landmarks and transfer that detail into my drawing, for example, this clock thing (it's called the metronome) that always keeps people wondering:

metronome (source:  wikipedia )

metronome (source: wikipedia)

Then I export the lines into illustrator and edit the line weights:

x ray process 08.jpg

Then I layer texture, streets, platform colors, people, and street names:

Textured underlay

Textured underlay

Translucent white indication of streets

Translucent white indication of streets

Colored platforms according to train lines

Colored platforms according to train lines

Added little people for scale

Added little people for scale

And finally street names and business names

And finally street names and business names

And that was it! I repeated this process for all five images I made, took a few months!

PUTTING IT TOGEHTER

So far I have been trying to study NYC's subway system one station at a time. Now that I have collected some twenty plus stations, I figure it's time I zoom out and look at how the stations relate to one another. When I put all the individual stations where they belong on the map, it looks like this:

Lower Half of Manhattan in Aerial View

Lower Half of Manhattan in Aerial View

It gets tricky when I try to connect the dots - the tracks are really a vast network that gets interwoven together with a lot of ups and downs. Tracks that are parallel in one station sometimes get stacked on top of each other in another. They also split and merge, from local to express, and from inner to outer tracks. Here is my first attempt at figuring out the Columbus Circle area:

First Attempt at Sketching Tracks between Stations

First Attempt at Sketching Tracks between Stations

Luckily nycsubway.org has a wealth of information to help me out. It has track maps that show which track is above which, like this:

Source: http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/caption.pl?/img/trackmap/detail-cityhall.png

Source: http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/caption.pl?/img/trackmap/detail-cityhall.png

ON ORANGE AND BLUE

It's interesting how some color schemes have such strong identities. When I look at each station and the combination of colored lines that pass through them, I will draw connection to random things..

For example, are you a Knicks or Mets fan? Two of my new prints happen to be blue and orange:

mets.png

Actually, the West 4th Street station also has the same colors. Would make for a good color scheme of your room. Check them out along with a few other new prints in our shop page!

STATION FOOTPRINTS IN APPLE MAP

For the longest time, subway stations were represented by a singular symbol "M" on most map apps. I just realized recently that since iOS 9, apple map has been showing the footprints of the stations in faint pink, and individual exits in little orange dots, like in this screen shot:

Even though these are 2-D, this additional layer of information is in line with the goal of Project Subway NYC, which is to understand the subway stations not as a single point in space, but as part of a network that branches to various destinations in the city. So now if you have an iphone, you don't have to rely on MTA's neighborhood maps alone. Pretty neat, pretty neat!

SUBWAY STATIONS IN VIDEO GAMES

I have been introduced to the world of video games recently, and I happen to know today is the big launch of this game called "Tom Clancy's The Division"- a game that takes place in a doomsdayesque / apocalyptic New York City. The game features a highly detailed NYC  - streets, shops, landmarks... and subway stations! Here are some of the images and clips I found online:

(image source:  http://www.gamepur.com/ )

(image source: http://www.gamepur.com/)

One of the video shows a "14th Street" station (not sure which one) and another one shows "Penn Station". I wonder how accurate they are - are they made up or did someone already go through the same exercise I did, scoping out every station? If they are accurate, maybe I can make my next batch of drawings by "surveying" inside this virtual reality...

ALMOST THERE - 42nd street grand central

The subway may open 24 hours a day, but some of the exits do not! As I do research on the last station of my second batch at the 42nd Street Grand Central Station, I realize quite a few exits open to the inside of office buildings, and they only open on weekdays, during office hours:

42nd Street Grand Central Station Snapshot

42nd Street Grand Central Station Snapshot

42nd Street Grand Central Station Snapshot 2

42nd Street Grand Central Station Snapshot 2

Once I am done with Grand Central, the remaining tasks are organizing and formatting. My goal is to do my second launch - with 5 new images - on or before Cyber Monday, 30 Nov. Stay tuned!