My Favorite Harlem Line Graffiti

Although the railroad is definitely not in love with it, I must admit that there is quite a bit of graffiti along Metro-North’s rail lines that I think is pretty cool. On Twitter I’ve mentioned that my favorite is under a bridge in between Valhalla and the rail yard in North White Plains. It is kinda hard to get a photo of it from a moving train though.

Anyone else have photos of their favorite rail graffiti?

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Tuesday Tour of the Harlem Line: Williams Bridge

Located 10.5 miles from Grand Central in the north of the Bronx is a little station that as of yet has not been featured here, Williams Bridge. It is a bit hard for me to believe that I’ve spent quite a while sharing a different Harlem Line station each week with my readers. Not counting Grand Central, Williams Bridge is one of the last three stations we will visit.

Williams Bridge is like quite a few other Harlem Line stations, relatively quiet in comparison to the past. There was once a turntable here, but of course that has no use anymore and is long gone. The platform here is a bit smaller, and accommodates only four train cars.

By the time I had gotten to Williams Bridge on my last train outing it was rather dark, so I hardly think that these photographs are anything spectacular. In the dark with the graffiti it probably looks more grungy than it does normally. There are also a few photos of the station after the snow, which I took from inside a train that had stopped at the station. Next week I’ll have some better photos, I promise :D


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Tuesday Tour of the Harlem Line: Goldens Bridge

Of all the places I’ve been on this little tour of the Harlem Line, it is funny that I have not yet featured the one station I spend the majority of my time at. As of the first of this month, I have been living in and commuting from Goldens Bridge for two years (I’ve been commuting regularly on the Harlem Line slightly longer, though from Brewster station). Besides some of my crazy neighbors, it is a fairly nice area, albeit a little quiet.

Goldens Bridge station in the 1920’s

Over the years that the railroad has been servicing the area, much has changed in Goldens Bridge, and it was probably not as quiet as it now feels. In the early 1900’s the Muscoot Reservoir was created, flooding areas in the town that people had formerly lived. Some of these people had their entire houses moved to other locations. The construction of Interstate 684 in the late 1960’s also changed the landscape of the hamlet significantly, and the two dangerous grade crossings that were in the town have been removed. The station building that was in Goldens Bridge was on the east side of the track, roughly located where the southbound entrance to the Interstate now is.

A train at Goldens Bridge

The busy station of yesteryear is a stark contrast to what the station is now. It was from Goldens Bridge that the Mahopac branch diverged from the main line, a once-popular service which was discontinued in 1959. The station had a turntable as well as a water tower -northbound steam trains would take on water here and be set until they reached Millerton. By 1902 the New York Central had two tracks all the way up to Goldens Bridge until 1909 when the line was two-tracked up to Brewster.

For all the changes the area has gone through over the years, it does slightly amuse me that the current station is sandwiched between the concrete and asphalt of the highway on the east side, and a little bit of wilderness surrounding the reservoir to the west (if you’re interested about visiting that little bit of wilderness, I’ve posted about it before). But it is that Interstate that brings many people to the station, the parking lot is always filled with commuters from New York and Connecticut… and plenty of folks for me to people-watch…


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Tuesday Tour of the Harlem Line: Mount Vernon West

As a city, Mount Vernon is well connected to New York through the Metro-North system. There are three train stations in the city: Mount Vernon East on the New Haven Line, and Fleetwood and Mount Vernon West on the Harlem Line. The city is at the south end of Westchester County and borders the Bronx. In fact, from the south end of the platform at Mount Vernon West, you can see the Wakefield station, the first Harlem Line station after crossing into the Bronx. Wakefield and Mount Vernon are also historically linked – both of their names come from plantations associated with George Washington: Wakefield where he was born, and Mount Vernon, where he died.

Mount Vernon West’s current station building was built in 1915 and was designed by Warren & Wetmore. The New York Central later sold the station building in 1959, but retained ownership of the passageway to the platforms, and the platforms themselves. Today the passageway contains automated ticket machines, and hung on the ceiling has an Arts for Transit piece. The glass and ceramic mosaic sculptures were done by artist Martha Jackson-Jarvis, and installed in 1991. When I was there I think I was so caught up looking at the ceiling I never even went out to see the front of the station – so whenever I happen to stop by Mount Vernon West I’ll have to do just that.


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Goldens Bridge Vandalism Update, Plus Funny Waldo Poster Voicemail

Alright, let me just say it now, but I love it when people from the MTA read my blog. Alright, alright, I don’t really know if anyone from there or Metro-North read my blog. What I do know, is that a lot of people found my blog the past few days, specifically searching for a phrase. And what phrase is that, do you ask? Goldens Bridge vandalism, and Goldens Bridge graffiti.

The other thing that I know is that today somebody was busy over at Goldens Bridge. Replacing every broken pane of glass, and covering over all of the graffiti. Now that graffiti had been there a few days shy of a month. Though exactly a week after posting embarrasing (for the MTA) photos of the destruction, it is now fixed. What service! Of course it is possible that nobody important read this blog at all, but I prefer to believe my delusions of grandeur.

Unfortunately, I now have no further excuse for putting up crazy posters in the train station. I have nothing ugly to cover up! Maybe some day, the posters will come back. But until then, enjoy a little sound clip. Somebody did in fact call the telephone number on one of the Waldo posters, and left me a message. Perhaps that whole “Operation Cover Up Graffiti & Broken Glass” was not as much of a failure as I thought it to be.

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Operation Cover Graffiti & Broken Glass is a Miserable Failure

I personally thought that last week’s Cat Found poster was pretty funny. They were slowly taken down one by one, but at least one of the posters survived the entire week. My goal was to again, cover up the graffiti, and now the broken glass, with something a bit more amusing. The poster I hung last night was somewhat more subtle.

The name Waldo should give it away. Don’t fix that glass Metro North, it looks sexy as-is.

Cover up that graffiti!

Well, let’s just say it was a miserable failure. The signs did not last 24 hours in the station. By morning time, six of the seven were gone, and one was moved in the corner and partially crumpled. If an MTA worker did this, I could understand. But then that means that they employ workers to go into stations and pull down posters. And do only that. Because they sure as hell didn’t clean the station. The same immature penis drawings in the dirt that have been there for months are still there. The graffiti is still there, the broken glass on the floor is still there. I will just assume that I pissed off the graffiti artist. And they certainly didn’t want their handiwork covered up.

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Train Graffiti (Part 2)

As I was leaving Goldens Bridge station today, I noticed that someone had been busy in the station mid morning or early afternoon. In the south-side vestibule there was some new spray-painted graffiti that hadn’t been there in the morning. When I saw it, I made me think that it was about time for a part two to the original train graffiti post I made a few months ago. And so here you go, graffiti part two…

Goldens Bridge is such a small, quiet station. We don’t get much spray paint here. Mostly just penises drawn in the dust of the windows that nobody ever cleans… I’m sure the MTA will send some people to clean the windows. Someday. If the cleaning people’s jobs aren’t cut…

I can’t even begin to decipher that one…


No, I didn’t do this bit of graffiti. Considering my post on my dislike for this ad, I had been pondering something snarky to write on it. Someone else got to it first.

I imagine a bored track worker did this, knowing the third rail was off. That or someone dumb enough to go and write on a live third rail…

A warning for you to watch the gap. Yeah, that gap. The one right on the bottom of her face, under the nose.

A sticker someone left on an M7.

The NY Lottery does like to advertise heavily on public transportation… Trying to make it sound like it easy to win a million dollars in the lottery though, that is bullshit.


Now this certainly seems to me like a racist statement. A poster with a bunch of African kids, attempting to raise money for charity, and someone labels it as a future Obama rally… Classy, real classy.

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Train Graffiti

Perhaps I pay a little bit more attention to the signs and advertisements on the train because I am a graphic designer. Or perhaps it is just because I am observant. Either way, I am often amused looking at the little messages people write on ads, and on the trains. People interacting with their surroundings. Probably stupid people.

Here is my collection to date of delightful bits of train graffiti. Perhaps sometime in the future there will be a part two… and if you happen to have any pictures of anything amusing, be sure to send it to me :D


Advertisements for television shows are quite common on the trains. Apparently this person thinks that TV is shit.

Goldens Bridge tends to frequently get graffiti similar to the one above. My hypothesis is that high school students are the ones making the marks, and Goldens Bridge gets many young people, between the local skater kids and the students that take the train to school. Kennedy High School is right down the street, and a shuttle bus picks up students at the station every morning.



My initial thought in seeing this is that someone forgot to write “For a good time, call…” Assuming that it is in fact a phone number, it is still missing an area code. Trying the various area codes from the New York area, the only promising number is in the area code 914. And that would be Dr. Jim Koo, located in Yorktown. Did someone on the train call information and not have anything to write on? Or maybe Dr. Koo is hoping for you to call him for a good time. He’ll give you a full physical.

Fuck you Conrail? Conrail??? Metro North was formed in 1983, and Conrail was before that. Is someone living in the past, or was this done a long, long time ago?


Apparently I’Am not very good at writing English…

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