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Black Lives Matter In New York City
New York City
By assamawy
01 Dec 2020

A huge crowd of protesters march in midtown, Manhattan, New York City. June 2, 2020

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Interview with UNHCR's Antonio Guterres
New York
By Tracey Shelton
29 Sep 2015

Interview with Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and actor Ger Duany, UN Goodwill ambassador, on September 29, 2015. Private interview with UN Foundation fellows.

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Actress Ashley at UN Social Good Summit
New York
By Tracey Shelton
28 Sep 2015

Actress Ashley Judd speaks to UN Foundation fellows about her work with young women, victims of sex trafficking and mental health in a private interview at the UN Social Good Summit in New York on September 28, 2015.

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Actress Frieda Pinto Speaks at UN Summit
New York
By Tracey Shelton
28 Sep 2015

Frieda Pinto, actress and activist, speaks about why she is a feminist at the UN Social Good Summit in New York, USA, on September 28, 2015. Pinto is best known for her role in the movie Slum Dog Millionaire.

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After juno-1
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Brooklyn residents volunteer to clear snow from the sidewalks. Winter Storm Juno moved further east, faster than predicted, leaving NYC residents relieved. Roads were open by 10 a.m.

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After juno-2
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Brooklyn residents volunteer to clear snow from the sidewalks. Winter Storm Juno moved further east, faster than predicted, leaving NYC residents relieved. Roads were open by 10 a.m.

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After juno-3
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Brooklyn residents volunteer to clear snow from the sidewalks. Winter Storm Juno moved further east, faster than predicted, leaving NYC residents relieved. Roads were open by 10 a.m.

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After juno-4
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Brooklyn residents volunteer to clear snow from the sidewalks. Winter Storm Juno moved further east, faster than predicted, leaving NYC residents relieved. Roads were open by 10 a.m.

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After juno-5
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Brooklyn residents volunteer to clear snow from the sidewalks. Winter Storm Juno moved further east, faster than predicted, leaving NYC residents relieved. Roads were open by 10 a.m.

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After juno-6
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Brooklyn residents volunteer to clear snow from the sidewalks. Winter Storm Juno moved further east, faster than predicted, leaving NYC residents relieved. Roads were open by 10 a.m.

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After juno-7
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Brooklyn residents volunteer to clear snow from the sidewalks. Winter Storm Juno moved further east, faster than predicted, leaving NYC residents relieved. Roads were open by 10 a.m.

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After juno-8
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Quentin and Eric were knocking at doors around the neighborhood to shovel people's front door. They do that "to help people, for a few bucks" and "try to keep fair prices, no matter how beautiful is the building".

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After juno-9
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

A Brooklyn Botanic Garden employee shovels at the entrance of the park.

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After juno-10
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Brooklyn residents enjoy a day off to sled and cross-country ski in Prospect Park.

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After juno-11
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Brooklyn residents enjoy a day off to sled and cross-country ski in Prospect Park.

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After juno-12
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Brooklyn residents enjoy a day off to sled and cross-country ski in Prospect Park.

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After juno-13
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Brooklyn residents enjoy a day off to sled and cross-country ski in Prospect Park.

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After juno-14
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Brooklyn residents enjoy a day off to sled and cross-country ski in Prospect Park.

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After juno-15
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Brooklyn residents enjoy a day off to sled and cross-country ski in Prospect Park.

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After juno-16
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Brooklyn residents enjoy a day off to sled and cross-country ski in Prospect Park.

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After juno-17
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Brooklyn residents enjoy a day off to sled and cross-country ski in Prospect Park.

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After juno-18
Brooklyn, NY, United States
By Hugo Massa
28 Jan 2015

Brooklyn residents enjoy a day off to sled and cross-country ski in Prospect Park.

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Un Recorrido por el Nueva York de La ...
New York, USA
By Lola García-Ajofrín
30 Dec 2014

UN RECORRIDO POR EL NUEVA YORK DE LA LEY SECA

Estos son los auténticos ‘Speakeasy’: “Había muchas formas de esconder el alcohol cuando venía la pasma”

Si fuese el escenario de un libro de Gay Talase empezaría con un portero que no vio nada y terminaría con un disparo; o viceversa. Es el 102 de Norfolk Street, una calle oscura y solitaria en el Lower East Side de Nueva York. Los obreros que construyeron Manhattan dormían en estas casas.

Una valla metálica desgastada por los bordes resguarda lo que parece la entrada a un sótano. Pasan unos minutos. Nadie transita por la calle. Tampoco se escucha música o ruido, más allá de las tripas de la ciudad que gruñen bajo la alcantarilla y algún coche con prisa en la perpendicular, la calle Delancy junto al puente Manhattan. Hace no tanto, en esta zona, “si querías árboles, ibas al parque”, escribe Nina Howes, en el libro ‘Historias orales del Lower East side’. ¿Nos hemos equivocado de lugar?

Cuando el reloj marca las 9 de la noche, aparecen dos chicas de piernas largas y falda corta, que lucen impecables. Separan la valla con determinación, como si no fuese la primera vez que lo hacen, y acceden al agujero. Descienden por un pasadizo lúgubre que conduce a otra entrada de lo que igual podría ser un trastero que cualquier negocio turbio. Sigue sin escucharse ni un ruido. Las de la minifalda llaman a la puerta y alguien abre y vuelve a cerrar. Un portero sentado en un taburete mira a los recién llegados de arriba abajo, con la puerta entreabierta.

--Hola, hemos quedado con Pete.

--Soy yo, pasad, pasad –responde.

Solo falta "Nucky" Thompson para trasladarse a la serie de HBO “Boardwalk Empire”: sofás de terciopelo granate, pinturas de mujeres desnudas sobre paredes enteladas,  alfombras orientales, chimenea, suelos de madera y mucha niña mona. La banda sonora la pone un grupo de jazz con traje y sombrero de la época.

El garito de Lucky Luciano

Es el pub "The Back Room”, uno de los dos únicos auténticos ‘speakeasy’ –como se conoce a los bares clandestinos de la Era de la Ley Seca— que sobreviven en Nueva York”, presume Pete. Dice que muchos detalles de entonces se han conservado, “no solo la entrada”. En la barra, un grupo de turistas bebe cócteles de vodka en tazones que más bien podrían ser de cola-cao. “Había muchas formas de esconder el alcohol cuando venía la pasma”, apunta divertido.

La conocida como “Ley Seca”, que prohibió la venta, importación y fabricación de bebidas alcohólicas en todo el territorio norteamericano, fue establecida por la Enmienda XVIII de la Constitución en 1920 y derogada por la Enmienda XXI, en diciembre de 1933. Trece años de aparente “sequía” en las calles que dio alas a la imaginación de los granujas en los locos años 20.

Como los chicos de “The Back Room” –literalmente “la habitación de atrás”— uno de los muchos locales clandestinos que germinaron en aquella época. Se fundó en 1920 bajo el nombre de "The Back of Ratner’s,” y en él pasaban el rato los “barones de la cerveza”, como los denomina J. Anne Funderburg en su libro sobre la Era de la Prohibición. Uno de los habituales era un joven judío de origen bielorruso, delgaducho, con orejas de soplillo y raya a un lado que se convirtió en el “cerebro financiero” de la mafia y el rey de los casinos de Cuba, ‘Meyer Lansky’. También su compañero del colegio, Lucky Luciano, considerado el padre del “crimen organizado” y un amigo del barrio, Bugsy Siegel, que acabó manejando los bajos fondos de Manhattan.

En una pared del fondo de “The Back Room”, una librería discreta de madera oscura sobresale entre el terciopelo de las paredes. Pete se apoya sobre ella, se abre y aparece “la habitación de atrás”. “Todos los ‘speakeasies’ tenían este tipo de salas ocultas”, explica con una sonrisa. En su interior, otra pared, ahora tabicada, conducía al tejado, “por si había que salir corriendo”, aclara. “Y esta otra te llevaba directamente al sótano y luego a la calle”. Había cuatro formas de escaparse.

La barra que desaparecía en el club 21

Si al ‘Back Room’ asistían los “midas” de los bajos fondos, “en el Club 21 se reunían la ‘crème de la crème” de la farándula, asegura Avery Fletcher, directora del Marketing del local. Su entrada, a diferencia del anterior, no aspira a disimular. Está presidida por

enormes esculturas de jinetes a caballo y un veterano portero, Shaker, que lleva 36 años custodiando la misma puerta. Algunos ‘speakeasies’ blindaban la entrada tradicional con una palabra secreta que solo conocían sus clientes. Hoy es un restaurante de lujo, que recibe a muchas de las mismas caras, “algunas de los más ricas del mundo; también españoles”, presume Shaker, que dice que “por aquí han venido mucho los Fierro”, “los Rockefeller de España”, puntualiza.

El Club 21 lo fundaron dos primos, Jack Kreindler y Charlie Berns, con pocas pretensiones en un principio. “En 1922 habían abierto un local clandestino en el Greenwich Village, llamado “Red Head” –hoy un bar de tapas español (“Tertulia”), entre W4 y la sexta avenida— solo para sacarse un dinero y pagar sus estudios”, asevera Avery Fletcher. “Se mudaron varias veces hasta acabar en el 21 W de la calle 52”, continúa. Lo llamaron: Club 21 por el número de la calle.

“Gracias a la buena relación con la policía”, reconoce Fletcher, “todo marchaba”. Con fiestas a lo “Gran Gatsby”, con “la misma gente, o al menos, la misma clase de gente”, “la misma profusión de champaña, el mismo alboroto abigarrado y multitonal”, que describió Fitzgerald. Fue así “hasta que vetaron la entrada a un columnista cotilla, Walter Winchell, y se vengó en el ‘Daily Mirror’. La broma les costó a los primos contratar a un arquitecto, Frank Buchanan, e instalar un ingenioso sistema para ocultar el alcohol “e incluso hacerlo desaparecer”. Fletcher explica cómo lo hacían: “Empujaban una palanca y los estantes llenos de botellas de la barra caían a una rampa que conducía al alcantarillado”. “Era muy sofisticado para la época”, agrega.

La barra que desaparecía ya no está pero sí la bodega y su robusta puerta de dos palmos de ancho que solo se abría al introducir un metal en una ranura determinada. Se dirige a ella. El interior del restaurante es como uno se imagina “El museo de la Inocencia” de Pamuk pero con glamour, con todo tipo de juguetitos que cuelgan del techo. “Jack era un gran coleccionista”, apunta. Atraviesa la cocina y se detiene sobre las escaleras: “Se dice que Hemingway, que lío más de una en este bar, se vino hasta aquí con una guapa morena que había conocido en el local e hicieron más de una cosa en estos escalones. Al día siguiente supo que era la novia del mafioso Jack ‘Piernas’ Diamond y no le hizo tanta gracia”, presume de leyenda. Lo que realmente es un museo es la bodega. Entre las más de 2.000 botellas del local, algunas aún conservan los nombres de su prestigiosa clientela: “Frank Sinatra”, “Richard Nixon” o “Presidente Ford” se lee en las etiquetas desgastadas sobre el vidrio.

El bar secreto de la estación

Estos dos bares son de los pocos testimonios que sobreviven intactos de la época dorada de la Prohibición. Otro de los Speakeasy famoso de la época, el “Bills Gay Nineties” cerró sus puertas. Pero la herencia coctelera de la época no acaba ahí. No muchos de los 21 millones de viajeros que cada año pasan por la estación de tren más grande del mundo, Grand Central, saben de la existencia de su bar secreto: el ‘Campell Apartment’. Se encuentra en la esquina de la monumental estación, a media vuelta con Vanderbilt Avenue. No fue un speakeasy como tal sino la espectacular sala con un techo de 7, 5 metros de altura que el magnate John W. Campbell alquiló como oficina y demás usos. Una oda a la ostentación con una enorme chimenea señorial de piedra, vidrieras, un piano de cola y una alfombra persa que dicen le costó 300.000 dólares en 1924 (unos 3 o 4 millones ahora).

Algunos cócteles también deben su receta a los apuros de la época. F. Scott Fitzgerald era un apasionado del “Gin Rickey”, un combinado de ginebra, lima y soda, que cuando apareció en el siglo XIX se preparaba con Bourbon, pero que durante la Prohibición empezó a servirse con ginebra, que no requería envejecimiento. Y dos clásicos del momento fueron el “Sidecar”, a base de hielo, brandy, Cointreau, zumo y corteza de limón y el “Manhattan”, con whisky o bourbon, Martini rosso, angostura, una guinda roja y piel de naranja.

Un cóctel a escondidas

“Nos interesa el límite peligroso de las cosas. El ladrón honesto, el asesino sensible. El ateo supersticioso”, escribió Robert Browning. En la actualidad, decenas de locales, aparentemente clandestinos, en Nueva York, recrean aquella época, en una especie de competición por preparar el mejor cóctel, en el mejor escondite. Aunque no lo fueron, parecen auténticos “Speakeasy”, como el “Apotheke”, ubicado en el 9 de Doyers, la que se conocía como “esquina sangrienta”, en China Town y su vecino “Pulquería”, un caprichoso restaurante mexicano camuflado entre carnicerías, tiendas de bolsos de imitación y restaurantes asiáticos; el “Please Don’t Tell”, entre la calle 113 y la plaza de San Marcos, al que se accede por una vieja cabina de teléfonos dentro de una tienda de perritos calientes; el “Raines Law Room”, en la calle West 17, entre la quinta y la sexta avenida, que aparece tras unas escaleras subterráneas y una puerta, a la que hay que llamar para entrar; el “Bathtub Gin”, en el 32 de la novena avenida, su nombre hace referencia al alcohol que se fabricaba en casa de manera ‘amateur’, generalmente en el baño, de lo que hace gala una enorme bañera de cobre en medio del local; el “Dutch Kills”, en el 27-24 de la avenida Jackson, en Long Island City, inimaginable desde el exterior, con su rudimentario cartel de madera en el que solo pone “bar”; el Attaboy, en antiguo “Milk and Honey”, en el 134 de la calle Elderidge, en el Lower East Side, al que para entrar también hay que tocar el timbre; “The Garret”, bajo una cochambrosa escalera en el 296 de la calle Bleecker o el “Blid Barber”, en la calle 10, entre las avenidas A y B, aparentemente una barbería.

En aquella época, “la mayoría de los neoyorquinos, desde los policías hasta las prostitutas, recibían sobornos o estaban buscando lucrarse de alguna manera”, narró Talase en “Honrarás a tu padre”. Y “parte del éxito de la lotería ilegal, que era la fuente de ingresos más lucrativa de la Mafia, era el hecho de ser ilegal.”

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Call On Faith: Valarie Kaur (Odyssey ...
Harford, Connecticut
By AlisonFast
30 Dec 2014

A positive story about the response of faith leaders and communities to hate crimes in America.

Sikh activist and filmmaker Valarie Kaur, who raised awareness of hate crimes nationally in the wake of 9-11, points to the mentor behind her faith. This piece was produced for Odyssey Networks / Women of Spirit and Faith.

Valarie Kaur is the founder of Groundswell Movement, the nation’s largest multifaith online organizing community of 100,000+. She has led campaigns on hate crimes, racial profiling, immigration detention, marriage equality, solitary confinement, and the open Internet. She currently serves as Media and Strategy Fellow at Stanford Law School. She believes “the way we make change is just as important as the change we make.”

A young, inspiring public figure, she is frequent guest on FOX, CNN and popular news outlets. She advocates compassion and unity in response to the culture of violence-plaguing America- from school shootings to LGBT issues. She is a voice for her generation and considered to be a spokesperson for the Sikh community. Her position breaks stereotypes of women within the Sikh community.

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Gentrification in Harlem
Harlem, NYC
By Lola García-Ajofrín
05 Dec 2014

Between February and May 2014 I spent three months living in 145th street in Harlem, New york. Everyday I walked around the neighborhood, I shot and I talked with people. Everybody repeated the same word: "gentrification".

A GAP store looks defiant in front of the legendary Apollo Theater as a metaphor of gentrification in Harlem.

"Gentrification" (as it is known the profoundly transformation of a low-income neighborhoods which causes the increase in value of property and the displacement of the original residents by other middle or upper class) is a double-edged sword.

Frapuccinos for $ 4 at Starbucks on 125th street and cognacs up to $ 50 at the Red Rooster, with live music in a neighborhood that until recently (1981), one third of the families lived in government subsidies are an evidence that something is happening in the neighborhood.

"They have forgotten about the people who were already here because we made Harlem", Linda Chaplin, 62, complains. Her voice trembles like the hand that she rests on her stick. This African American woman wearing a leopard-turban, a leather jacket and some purple lips, walks by the arm of a childhood friend on Lenox Avenue, just minutes from the famous Apollo theater in New York. The two of them grew up in the projects at the time it was almost as hard to go into as to go out of the neighborhood. !They have forgotten people who were here”, she insists.

"We say it loud and clear," her friend, Edleena, interrupts blunt "Because we were here when nobody else stayed; we were when the buildings were burning and nobody not even the owners care; we protected Harlem of vandals and bandits and now that the job is done, they are ready –she shokes the hand like if she were shooing away a fly— to cast us out. She says this is why they put such high prices, "It's simple, as there is no more room below, all are moving up". Linda nods and pulls the stick.

"No Longer Majority Black, Harlem Is in Transition”, titled 'The New York Times, in 2010. One change that, it said: “A shift that actually occurred a decade ago, but was largely overlooked”. In the neighborhood where Jazz grew, that hosted famous moments for civil rights and where Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X or Martin Luther King have their own street, in 2008, only 4 of 10 people were already black, the lowest figure since the 20s despite since 2000, the population of Central Harlem had grown more than in any other decade since 1940.

"Somebody thinks gentrification is mainly about race but its main color is green", Andrew J. Padilla, says, director of 'The Neighborhood Tours: Gentrification USA', a documentary that denounces the consequences of the transformation of the East Harlem area –so called "El Barrio"- where most of the Hispanic community in New York lives.

“Sure it is good the area improves", Padilla says," but the residents of Harlem are not benefiting from these improvements, “he adds. “For those who are coming, they are not part of the change, they are part of the problem”.

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Witches Compass
New York City
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
10 Oct 2014

Brooklyn, 10/14
The season of the witch is back. From American Horror Story: Coven to a new exhibit at the British Museum called “Witches and Wicked Bodies,” witches are once again ascendant. The current neo-pagan revival is less evocative of the cutest witches we met in 1990’s – it is distinctly feminist. The new witch culture blends a kind of radical eroticism with metaphysical liberation — and it aims to change the world.
On the weekend of October 10th, we attended and shot the first anniversary of the Witches Compass, a monthly gathering of appropriately attired occultists at Kateland, a bookstore in Bushwick, Brooklyn that is at the epicenter of the local pagan universe. Katelan Foisy (also a painter, model, and tarot card reader) lead attendees through an immersive ritual cleansing to honor the Hunter’s Moon — with massive paper moons on display. Katelan and her witch-colleague Damon Stang are pioneers of the occult revival happening in this hipster enclave. A few days after the Witches Compass, I sat down for an interview with Katelan and Fred Jennings, the co-owner of Kateland. They explained what makes the third contemporary resurgence of the occult so different than the ones that have come before. Intrinsically feminist, LGBT-friendly, and politically active by nature, the new witches are in it for far more than just love spells.

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Women in Construction
new york
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
18 Mar 2014

If women are today represented in all professional sectors, they remain marginal in construction, a traditionally male realm. In the United States, they now account for around 13% of the workforce in New York, but only 3% nationally. Yet, the progress made is huge. In forty years, they have gradually shaken up the conventional ideas and earned their place on the field, by dint of skill and perseverance. In Manhattan, a school run by a non-profit organization trains every year as many as 500 women to get them into higher-paying jobs in construction trades. Often more involved than their male counterparts in the projects, these women impress with their professionalism. As Elise Harris, a journalist in the process of reconversion, Pia Hofmann, one of the few American women to operate a crane, or Barbara Armand, who runs a respected and successful construction management company. Here’s an overview of these New-Yorker women in construction and the challenges they face to achieve integration on a field which was until recently 100% male.

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Elevated Subway Stations in New York ...
New York, USA
By Ulrik Pedersen
15 Apr 2013

Passengers leaving the station. 30 Av-Grand Av station, Queens, New York.

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Elevated Subway Stations in New York ...
New York, USA
By Ulrik Pedersen
15 Apr 2013

Elevated stations give different views of the road under the stations .Astoria Blwd station, Queens, New York.

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Elevated Subway Stations in New York ...
New York, USA
By Ulrik Pedersen
15 Apr 2013

One of the few elevated subway-stations on Manhattan.125 st station, Manhattan, New York.

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Elevated Subway Stations in New York ...
New York, USA
By Ulrik Pedersen
15 Apr 2013

Trains are clearly visible out in the sun compared to normal subway stations. Parkchester station, Bronx, New York.

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Elevated Subway Stations in New York ...
New York, USA
By Ulrik Pedersen
15 Apr 2013

Industrial buildings as neighbours. Due to noise it is mostly industrial buildings or shops next to the elevated subway stations. Gun Hill Rd station, Bronx, New York.

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Elevated Subway Stations in New York ...
New York, USA
By Ulrik Pedersen
15 Apr 2013

Some stations have windows, giving passengers another kind of view of the road below. 233 street station, Bronx, New York.

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Elevated Subway Stations in New York ...
New York, USA
By Ulrik Pedersen
15 Apr 2013

Strong colours ensure nobody will get hurt. Wakefield - 241 street station, Bronx, New York.

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Elevated Subway Stations in New York ...
New York, USA
By Ulrik Pedersen
15 Apr 2013

Train arriving. Some buildings are built very close to the stations.

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Elevated Subway Stations in New York ...
New York, USA
By Ulrik Pedersen
15 Apr 2013

Man coming up to the platform at the elevated station. Handicapped and older people have problems using the elevated subway-stations due to lack of elevators. 121 street station at Jamaica avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

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Elevated Subway Stations in New York ...
New York, USA
By Ulrik Pedersen
15 Apr 2013

Passengers are getting an interesting view of the streets through all stations. 121 street station at Jamaica avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

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Elevated Subway Stations in New York ...
New York, USA
By Ulrik Pedersen
15 Apr 2013

Passengers waiting for approaching subway. 111 street station at Jamaica avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

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Elevated Subway Stations in New York ...
New York, USA
By Ulrik Pedersen
15 Apr 2013

Man waiting for the subway under an American flag. Woodhaven Blvd station, Brooklyn, New York.

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Elevated Subway Stations in New York ...
New York, USA
By Ulrik Pedersen
15 Apr 2013

View of Manhattan skyline. taking a trip with the subway is a mini vacation with skyline and coast views. Smith and 9th Streets station, Brooklyn, New York