The MTA Released Alternative Travel Plans for L Train Shutdown and They’re Awful

New Yorkers are fearing the impending April 2019 shutdown of the Manhattan to Brooklyn L subway line. The contract for Hurricane Sandy repairs spanning the train tracks between 8th Avenue and Bedford Ave, Williamsburg, was awarded two years ago and plan to last at least 15 months, ending by August 2020.

The issue has been a hot topic among local politicians who are generally pushing for alternative travel routes including other subway lines, a new inter-borough bus line, and expansion of select bus services.

The L train services over 400,000 commuters daily with at least 250,000 depending the line to travel between the connecting boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

So what’s New York state going to do about suddenly losing this essential subway line? Well, the MTA released a 38-page PowerPoint presentation explaining their plans and they’re not pretty:

train lines

  • 75% – 85% of commuters will be shunted to other subway lines. The M and J lines connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn will bear the brunt the burden, with the G suffering on its connections going up to Queens.
  • The MTA admits 75% is the ideal target to avoid overcrowding. They have not yet released specific plans on how frequently trains will be running to accommodate all the new riders.
  • Only between 5% – 15% of riders are estimated to use a proposed inter-borough shuttle bus service.  This is where plans get messy. THERE IS NO DIRECT SHUTTLEBUS ROUTE PLANNED IN BETWEEN 8TH AVENUE AND BEDFORD AVE.

Bus Route.png

  • As you can see, the shuttle buses will run from Grand St. L stop to no further than Prince St./Broadway.  This means if you want to get from Bedford Avenue to 8th Avenue you will have to transfer 3 times in between shuttle buses, subways, and select bus service.
  • The rest of anticipated ridership will consist of ferries, bicycles, and taxis.  The MTA has not yet released plans for increases in ferry ridership.

The Democratic Primaries this year fall on September 12, 2017.  When you vote please pay close attention to the travel agendas of your city council candidates.  Hopefully, local politicians can address this mess of a plan and fight to keep New York City’s subways running effectively and efficiently.

Click here to register to vote.


Joyce Brown – Billie Bogs and NYC’s Forgotten Involuntary Confinement Program

Joyce Brown was a New York City resident and homeless woman who was involuntarily hospitalized in NYC in 1987.

On October 28, 1987, Ms. Brown was transported to Bellevue Hospital as the first patient under Project HELP, a city program spearheaded by Mayor Ed Koch, a program aimed at the hospitalization of the homeless. She had been living on the streets in Manhattan and often used the fake name “Billie Bogs” to avoid being found by her family.

On December 18, the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Manhattan upheld her involuntary commitment.  However, the judge that wrote the dissenting argument claimed that there was not enough evidence to support the notion that she was a danger to herself.1

Dr. Francine Cournos, an assistant professor of psychiatry  Columbia University, stated that although she thought treatment would be helpful, it was not advised treatment be given against her will. On January 15, 1988, a judge ruled that Joyce Brown could be not involuntary medicated.2

The appeal to confine Joyce Brown was eventually successful, with help from lawyers from NYCLU, whom she had called herself for legal support. Acting State Supreme Court Justice Robert Lippmann determined that she was competent enough to not be a danger to herself or others. She was released after nearly three months of involuntary commitment.3

She went on to seek gainful employment and many have written published articles about her civil rights case and involuntary medication and commitment.

1. Kirk Johnson. The New York Times. Court Backs Treatment of Woman Held Under Koch Homeless Plan. Published: December 19, 1987.

2. Josh Barbanel. The New York Times. Joyce Brown Obtains a Ban On Medicine. Published: January 16, 1988.

3. Jeanie Kasindorf. New York Magazine. The Real Story of Billie Bogs.Published: May 2, 1988.

Related reading:

Treatment Advocacy Center: Involuntary Hospitalization in the Modern Era: Is “Dangerousness” Ambiguous or Obsolete?

Louis CK Explains NYC Subway Frustration at the Comedy Cellar

Louis C.K. describes the worst part of the subway perfectly.

Hat-tip to Brokelyn for the Link:

Man, I miss his TV show. (The second one, of course, although Lucky Louie wasn’t actually all that terrible.)


Louis C.K. re-imagines classic jokes:

“I don’t know why the chicken crossed the road… Shouldn’t it be on a farm fucking other chickens?… There is no dialogue or conversation with a chicken; It just gets eaten and I take a shit.”

NYC Allegedly Mishandles 50 Cases of DNA Rape Evidence

Sorry to go to from funny to serious in one post. But, Jesus fuck, this is outrageous.

Via NY1:

City Council Members Demand More Transparency From Medical Examiner’s Office

On top of demanding answers about that particular case, City Council members were looking for more general accountability from the ME following revelations the office mishandled DNA evidence in over 50 rape cases.

This is on top of the picture scandal in the Bronx over a dead body hanging out in a health department truck with household trash bags.

Demand transparency from your state. Demand transparency from your health care professionals.

I’ve spent too much time working in healthcare to know that providers who make mistakes are often not above covering their own tracks.


Trojan Vibrations Does Follow Up By E-mail After Cart Fiasco

Props today go to Trojan for recovering from their permits incident that ruined their free vibrator promotion day.

See: “Police Shut Down Trojan Vibrations Free Vibrator Carts in Manhattan”

To my surprise the Trojan people collecting e-mail addresses after the crack-down weren’t just there to momentarily placate us in our times of blue balls and unrest, but actually did follow-up to get us our free vibrators!

From: Trojan® Vibrations []
Sent: Friday, August 17, 2012 12:47 PM
To: Me
Subject: Trojan® Vibrations Pleasure Cart Event Follow-up

The makers of Trojan® Vibrations personal massagers thank you for participating in our vibrator giveaway. We are sorry you were not able to receive a vibrator on the day of the event in New York City.

Please click the link* below and provide us with your valid U.S. mailing address by August 22, and we will then ship you a free Trojan® Vibrations Pulse or Tri-Phoria® massager**. You can expect to receive your product within the next 3 – 4 weeks.

[Link for special people, only.]

Please note that your email address will not be added to the Trojan® Vibrations mailing list. And, as always, we will never share your information with a third party. To view our Privacy Policy, please click here.

Thank you for your patience.

Warm Regards,

The Makers of Trojan® Vibrations


I’m not sure which one is coming (see what I did there?) in the next 3-4, so that’ll be a surprise. Yay, free vibrators!

Police Shut Down Trojan Vibrations Free Vibrator Carts in Manhattan

Line for the Trojan cart minutes before it was shut down by the police. -photo by Flagrant Bagel.

Free Vibrator Day turned out to be a bust, with Trojan apparently failing to get the proper permits. The Gothamist has more:

Free Vibrator Giveaway Cock-Blocked By Mayor’s Office

Thanks for coming out to the Trojan Vibrations Pleasure Carts today! Due to overwhelming demand the team is reloading. Please stay tuned for updates to our page for future locations.
People on Facebook are not happy:Mike Renna: Be honest – you screwed up the promo and the police shut you down. Reloading? Relocating to where you can do this without bothering to get the right permits. MORONS

Samantha Kahn: will you add an extra one tomorrow to make up for the shut down of the 4-6 in the flatiron

Francis Botero: Looks like you got people waiting at 14th street.

Lory Moralesz: ya should come to BROOKLYN! 😀

Candice Hall: Po po shut them down around Flatiron. Should have started a chant–“2, 4, 6, 8. We have the right to masturbate!”

Elvis Camilo Teran: A guy passed by and said it was canceled. He was driving the truck, he wouldn’t give them out. He said he had a full truck. Gotta wait until tomorrow I guess.

Alba M Hernandez: they should announce if its canceled for today…Elvis Camilo Teran: I’m still waiting here on 14th and 3rd.with a bunch of people.

Laura Stewart: ‎250 people left left waiting…no orgasms in sight. Thanks a lot Trojan. Next time we’ll use Lelo. Spread the word.

Francis Botero: You guys have a lot of sexually frustrated people down in the meatpacking district

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Floor Guide – Suite101

My Tianeptine article was #1 this past weekend on Reddit Psychology hot list.  If you’re a Redditor, do me a solid and go Upvote!

I visited MoMA this past weekend and now all I want to do is remain unemployed and sit at home and make art all day. #firstworldproblems

It inspired me to write another Suite 101 article.  I’ll get back to the Health & Wellness category soon, I swear.

I also need to get into the habit of taking my own pictures for articles, like this one.

At 630,000-square-feet, MoMA’s contemporary and spacious 6-floored building holds a vast array of 19th-21st century artwork. This prestigious museum encompasses a plethora of mediums including installations, paintings, photography, architecture, and vanguard digital media. If you have never visited an art museum before or are an art connoisseur on the prowl for new and exciting experiences, this floor-by-floor guide will provide the details on what New York’s MoMA has to offer.

Read more at Suite101: Guide to the Manhattan Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) by Candice Hall |


WTF Wednesday – Male Stripper Gets His Dance On in NYC Subway (SFW, sort of)

I don’t have any weird news today.  I have this instead:

“Keep your money in your pockets. Your erections and your moist panties are thanks enough for me.”  Ah New Yorkers–they are passionate about what they do.

I haven’t seen it yet, but Magic Mike is getting surprisingly decent reviews from critics and audiences.

A BuzzFeed staffer goes and interviews male strippers at a contemporary NYC strip club to see just how accurate the movie is about modern male roles in the lapdance industry. It’s pretty accurate, she says.

New York City Resident Archetypes

I’ve lived in Brooklyn for about six months now.  I moved here from New Jersey and have come to find some recurring motifs in the denizens of this fine City.  Feel free to comment if you have any more.  This archetype list is partially inspired by reddit’s /r/ first world problems.

Overworked Businessperson

Usually seen with the same twisty grimace to their face at all times, you can most often find the overworked businessperson on his or her smart phone talking loudly and not paying attention to where they’re walking.  Whether the intern is running late with the Starbucks or Wall Street is about to have a financial meltdown, it is a tragedy and most certainly their subordinate’s fault.

Their diet includes coffee, file folders, podcast news, and not sleep.

Crazy, Screaming Homeless Dude

Needing to keep a BAC level of crazy in him at all times, the CSHD is the well-known cousin of the sleepy, morose homeless dude.  I don’t know what’s going on in their black trash bags and I don’t want to know.  The CSHD is the most common cause of the comment, “Um, let’s stand on the other side of subway platform.  That side is loud and smells like urine.” Louis CK knows what I’m talking about:

Hipster Trust Fund Faux Adult

This young NYC specimen makes its living off its art sales and the weekly stipend from Mom and Dad.  Sometimes it tries to sit down on the Subway, but the wads of cash in its wallet make an uncomfortable bump in the back pocket of its skinny jeans.

Enjoying pretending to understand politics, the HTFFA likes to associate with liberals but be a fan of Ron Paul at the same time.  This is known as “ironic” and is a comedic trope.  HTFFA often misuse the word “trope” in order to sound cool and educated.  The HTFFA usually has a Bachelor’s degree of some sort but makes a point not to use it for the sake of artistic sacrifice.

Synonyms: Indie Douchebag, Liberal “I went to NYU” Elitist, Pretentious Asshole in Plaid Shirt and Glasses Too Big for his Face.

The Bodega Guy

Do you know his name?  I see him everyday when I buy a soft drink and I don’t.  It’s probably Mohammed Al Assad Ahmadinejad or something like that.  He owns the Bodega Cat, which is really cute.  Though every time I pet it I wonder if it’s had its rabies shot.

Sketchy Rastafarian in the Park and the Friendless Guy who Buys from Him

With roots in hippies and black people, the Sketchy Rastafarian in the Park is the disputed descendent of Bob Marley. He bounces slightly in his gait in a desperate attempt to look casual and has a keen scent for bacon.  His favorite colors include green, red, yellow, and weed.

Desperate enough to pay up to $30 a gram, the Friendless Guy doesn’t have the social networking skills to buy the most common drug from someone who is not a stranger and runs of risk of purchasing what may actually be catnip.

Walk, walk, Fashion Baby

Work it, move that bitch crazy.   And indeed, the Fashion Babies, are most often crazy, overprivileged bitches.  Or the gay guy who has a moving story about having spent his suppressed youth watching Project Runway under the covers at 2 AM.

Found in abundance on Sixth Avenue, Fashion Babies are either students (I resist the urge to use quotation marks here) or wannabe students at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Fashion is defined as:

A puzzling force, capable of altering minds to find things (such as clothes designs) completely normal at one point in time, where they would be considered completely ridiculous at any other point in time.  Also, completely ignored by engineers.  Fashion is the continuing quest for the next great style. However, there are only four truly great styles, and they simply supersede one another every 6.4 months.  The four great styles are Couture, Glamour, Chic, Stylish and occasionally kittens, in that order.

Out-of-town Tourists

Although confused and appalled by the public transit system, out of town tourists are the natural enemy of walking.  A symbiont with the fanny pack, their fears include baby-snatching, crossing the street, and 9/11.

Not included in this list were the cast of Jersey Shore and Long Islanders.