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NY Ephemera #2

Sometimes when you’re sitting on the subway train there’s nothing to do but stare at the ads.  Remember these ubiquitous ones from the 80’s, glossy yellow squares that said “Pregnant?  We can help!”?  I was an art student then and I collected them for kicks.  You used to be able to pry ads out of the subway cars, even the 24”X36” ones at shoulder level.  I’d find myself on the D or N Train about 1 o’clock in the morning, alone, and take what I could.  The only things that were secured were system maps.

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6 Train Turnaround

During all of my visits the last dozen years or so, there was something I just had to see in New York, but for various reasons, couldn’t.  One thing that always held me back was the sight of NYPD officers in the subway; wearing Kevlar and toting automatic weapons in those queasy years after 9/11.  Another hold back was from fear of detection and a possible fine by Transit Authority officials.

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NY Ephemera #1

In New York now it’s easier than ever to find out about things you’d been curious about for years.  Intrigued by palimpsests, I’ve always wondered about those old F.M. Ring painted ads about a dozen stories up on several old buildings in the Twenties.  I assumed they were many decades old but failed to notice until my last visit that there was no telephone exchange name, like CH5-4565.  The ads must be no older than the Sixties, probably late Sixties because there are 7-digit numbers painted there.

Faded a bit, but how old?

Faded a bit, but how old?

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