“End of the Line Folks”

“End of the Line Folks”

In looking through “The New York Times,” and I found this multimedia package that they created in 2008. It was called “Going to the End of the Line” which they created in conjunction with a related article called “The Curious World of the Last Stop.” It talks about the 23 subway terminals in the New York City subway system, which carries 5 million passengers a day that distinctly says ‘end of the line.’

The article talks about the hidden and diverse world of the last stop. For example, near the last stop of the ‘F’ train in the borough of Queens is the Immaculate Conception monastery. It is place of meditation, reflection and a retreat of sorts for priests who come from across the country and perhaps the world, which is convenient since Queens does have two of the tri-state areas major airports. On the other end of the spectrum for the ‘F’ it’s the sights, sounds and screams of Coney Island.

This plays into the recurring theme for these terminals is that they tend to run the gamut from bustling neighborhoods like Canarsie and Flushing, to quiet enclaves such as Woodlawn, home to the world-famous Woodlawn cemetery, the final resting place for Miles Davis and Celia Cruz and Tottenville, known for being the southernmost community in New York State (or town as the residents like to call it).

The multimedia package that accompanies the article has multiple pictures of the neighborhoods near the terminal. In fact at the Canarsie stop I recognized one of my co-workers in one photograph. At the Wakefield stop it had the picture of a car that had just gone up in smoke and at another stop a trash fire had just started.

The package had videos for three of the terminals, Rockaway Park, Jamaica-179 St. and Tottenville station. Each showed a local landmark near the terminal. For example the Jamaica stop has the monastery and Rockaway Park has a local restaurant that was once a private fisherman’s club. Two audio-visual pieces went with the Woodlawn and Astoria-Ditmars Blvd stations which had pictures go with the audio. Also for the picture ones some had cut lines and other did not.

What drew me to it was that apart from it appealing to my urban instincts the multiple ways of how it told the story stuck out. You can either see the video of the three stops individually as well as part of one larger video. You can also categorize the photo part by either on a map of the subway terminals, or by the amount of photos, the larger photo the more photo examples they had or you just read the article.

Finally this project kept my interest because even though I live in New York and have been to some of the terminals, it is worth taking the long ride out to see what life is like beyond Times Square.

Fun Fact: All terminal stations are named for the neighborhood the line ends at. i.e. Carnarsie for the “L” line and Coney Island for the “D”, “F”, “N”,& “Q” lines.

Here are the links to the article and the multmedia part.