5 Cool Places to See Some of NYC’s Best Subway Art

Today I am featuring a guest post by Shania Russell, a senior at Bronx Academy of Letters who is passionate about writing and has a knack for discovering interesting things in the heart of New York City. Since I love street art, I wanted to share her guide on 5 Cool Places to See Some of NYC’s Best Subway Art. This post originally appeared on Epicure & Culture, my friend Jessie Festa’s amazing blog. Jessie is also the owner of Tours and Photo Safaris which brings enthusiastic tourists all over NYC. 

art in the subway

Post by Shania Russell 

Whether you’re a native New Yorker or a tourist looking to explore the wonders of the city, you’ll no doubt find yourself taking the subway. While there are certainly crazy NYC subway stories that’ll make you crave a cab, venturing into New York’s underground can be unforgettable for good reasons, too. This is especially true is you’re into colorful creativity, as art in the subway abounds!

NYC takes its title as one of the world’s art capitals seriously, so expect to come across some of the finest art in the city just taking the subway. Keep your eyes peeled for the various gems you’re sure to come across — especially when it comes to the five installations listed below.

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the Statue of Liberty.

Inspiration from the Social Good Summit in NYC

Last week, I attended my fifth Social Good Summit in New York City along with five other amazing friends from World Moms Network. The Social Good Summit is a unique convening of world leaders, new media and technology experts, grassroots activists and voices from around the world that come together for a two-day conference coinciding with the United Nations General Assembly meeting held during UN Week. The Summit is held at the 92nd Street Y and is truly a global conversation as it streamed around the world in multiple languages.

The Crew of World Changers from World Moms Network and other social good bloggers

The Crew of World Changers from World Moms Network and other social good bloggers

The theme of the summit– #2030NOW: What kind of world do you want to see in 2030? – challenged speakers, participants and a growing worldwide community to explore how technology and new media can be leveraged to benefit people everywhere, to spark discussion and ignite change in creating a better world for all by the year 2030. The 7th Annual Summit was kicked off with a great promise to connect the world with more humanity and give everyone a voice in improving poverty, inequality, injustice and climate change through the 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon last year by 193 global leaders at the UN General Assembly.

In July, the first report card was released that maps the scope of the SDGs progress, giving leaders an idea of the challenges that lie ahead in order to ensure the SDGs are achieved and no one is left behind. Much progress has been made thanks to the successes of the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) yet much needs to be done in order to achieve the SDGs.

Some challenges that lie ahead include:

  • While poverty has been halved, 1 in 8 people were living in extreme poverty in 2012.
  • An estimated 5.9 million children under 5 died in 2015, mostly from preventable causes.
  • 216 women died in childbirth for every 100,000 live births.
  •  In 2013, 59 million children of primary school age were out of school and 26 per cent of women aged 20-24 reported that they were married before their eighteenth birthday.
  • In 2015, an estimated 663 million people were still using unimproved water sources or surface water.
World Moms Network contributors talking with Stephanie Sinclair, Founder of Too Young to Wed, about her quest to end child marriage around the world.

World Moms Network contributors talking with Stephanie Sinclair, Founder of Too Young to Wed, about her quest to end child marriage around the world.

As we sat at the conference and listened to all the heartbreaking and inspiring tales facing people around the world it was hard at times not to get overwhelmed or discouraged. The amount of issues and acute challenges at times seem almost impossible. Quite frankly, it can also make one feel quite powerless.

Throughout the two day summit, we learned that there is much work to be done yet there is hope. The Social Good Summit is all about making a plan for the future.  The world has a plan and 14 years to deliver it. Despite how enormous the challenges may seem, they are achievable and the Global Goals are our guidelines to make the world a better, more equitable place. It is clear that the future of our planet and our people depend upon it. And, every single human being has a role and a responsibility to make it happen.

Top Tweets of the Social Good Summit:

(Click here  to watch a powerful video on what the Global Goals mean).

 

 

 

 

I also asked my friends and fellow World Moms Network contributors what was the most meaningful quote or event of the Summit. Here is what they had to say.

For Jennifer Iacovelli

For Elizabeth Atalay

 

 

 

For Tes Solomon Silverman

For me, Two things stuck: Carolyn Miles of Save the Children talking about refugees: “Refugees are people with skills great for opportunities”. And Tiq Milan, Journalist & Spokesperson for GLAAD re: LGBTQ in the Media: “My existence may complicate yours, but it doesn’t invalidate yours.”

For Jennifer Burden

“The UNICEF vigil for refugee children was the most moving for me. Standing in a crowd, holding up candles near the UN and listening to the stories of 4 children from around the world who were refugees was incredibly important and moving. The story of the boy who was kidnapped and was going to be sold if his parents didn’t pay ransom broke my heart. And when the high school choir sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” at the end, I lost it.”

For Nicole Morgan

Loved this … Imagine a world where children are innoculated for measles AND cancers. This is not about some day … but a moment, the days, a month … there is much we can do. #cancermoonshot is about never giving up. It is about promise. And hope. VP Joe Biden.

For all of us

Being together with such wonderful like-minded friends who we could share our hopes, our dreams and our fears together was amazing. Often during our busy lives as a mother, we don’t get much time to spend together with each other. It was amazing, inspiring and fun.

I was so moved by the Social Good Summit and the dedication, enthusiasm and commitment people have towards changing the world and making a more equitable place. Despite the immense challenges, there is hope. We can’t give up. We all must do our share.

This is an original post written and first posted on World Moms Network. 

In your mind what is the most pressing Sustainable Development Goal?

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High Line Trail, NYC

The Extraordinary High Line in NYC

There is no place on earth like New York City. It is quite a city and I’ve been lucky to have visited on three separate occasions over the past six months.  If you have never been, It is hard to describe New York City. It is so busy, overstimulating, overwhelming and congested with people from all over the world that as much as I love it, it also wears me out. Just walking a few blocks down the streets of Manhattan is enough to make my mind swirl and go into overdrive trying to process everything I see. The people. The places. The restaurants. The shops. The poverty and the wealth to the extreme. The homeless living in the dirt of a noisy street right outside of Prada. The brand new Ferrari pulling up curbside at a small cafe in Little Italy to eat. It is sometimes amazing and other times overwhelming.

In my early twenties I had the opportunity to live in Chicago for five years, right in the heart of Lincoln Park, and I also lived in Paris for a semester abroad during college. While both cities are large and amazing in their own right nothing compares to the sheer size, concentration of people and magnitude of New York City. I am not sure I could ever live somewhere so intense, invigorating and so over the top without going mad. (I loved living in Paris and Chicago by the way).

In big cities I need to find space and solitude which is a rare commodity. In Chicago, I had Lincoln Park and the lakefront. In Paris, I lived right across from Parc Montsourris in the 14th and found tons of green spaces throughout the beautiful city. In New York, there is an awful lot of concrete jungle outside of massive Central Park. So you can imagine how utterly delighted I was to find the High Line during my past visit in April.

The High Line is an urban park-like oasis in the heart of Manhattan and ingeniously built on an abandoned, elevated railroad track high above the street below. It is an extraordinary concept and example of inviting nature into urban planning.

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High Line NYC

Urban Walks: NYC’s High Line to Chelsea Market

A few months ago, my husband and I spent a wonderful weekend without the kids in New York City. Although it had just snowed there and the weather was colder than at home in Minneapolis, we had a fantastic time exploring the amazing different neighborhoods, restaurants and culture of the Big Apple.

One place I’d heard about that I desperately wanted to see was the High Line. I’d read about it in a travel magazine on an airplane months ago and thought it sounded like a really interesting concept. The High Line is a 1.45 mile-long elevated park built on an old railroad line called the West Side Line. Jetting high above the city, beginning in Hell’s Kitchen and traversing through Chelsea Market and other neighborhoods, this tree-lined urban walkway is rather amazing.

Street Art NYC

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Street Art in New York City

Finding Street Art along the Walls of New York City

I was on the plane Friday morning heading to New York City when I opened my email to see that the weekly photo challenge was walls. Instantly I knew how I was going to spend my free afternoon in the city. A photo walk.

I did a google search and discovered that New York City has a tremendous wealth of street art along its walls, buildings and store fronts. I love street art and knew that it would be a great way to spend the afternoon exploring some of the back alleys and streets in the heart of Little Italy and NoLlta in search of street art.

I took the subway to Spring Street and got off with a map in hand and a few written notes of where to explore. It was a chilly early spring day yet the sun was shining strong and the city was alive as usual with activity. I could tell it was going to be a great afternoon.

Spring Street Subway stop

Spring Street subway stop offers my first look at urban wall art.

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9/11 Memorial Museum NYC

Remembering even when its hard: 9/11 Memorial Museum

Last week, I wrote about my emotional visit to the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.  It was a post that I sat on for a long time, not even sure how to begin to put my feelings into words. I realize that even thirteen years later, 9/11 still feels in some way like yesterday and the fear, emotions and horror of that day still remain vivid and raw within my soul. I didn’t lose anyone close to me that day. But many people around the world did. It is a day that we all would rather forget but can’t and should not.

Seeing the newly opened 9/11 Memorial Museum was very hard. It left me numb after walking through the remains of life and civilization within the very foundation where the two Twin Towers once stood. Yet, I will argue that it is a place that everyone should see and also that although the content and stories shared within the museum walls are tragic it also is done with hope, pride and resilience. A remembrance of the thousands of innocent and brave people who lost their lives that day and the ones that still remain alive.

Freedom Tower NYC

1 World Trade Center Tower or “The Freedom Tower” is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, in July 2013. She looms directly behind the 9/11 Memorial.

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Ellis Island Immigration Musuem

Ellis Island: The Gateway to America

No visit to New York City is complete without seeing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I had decided to do both in one day along with the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, for a jam-packed Saturday filled with history, culture and emotions. I began my morning with a tour of our Lady Liberty followed by a visit to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. If I had known how much fascinating information was available in all these three attractions, I would have spread out my visits over the course of two full days. I was stunned to discover how much I was moved and interested in discovering my own heritage after touring the fabulous Ellis Island Immigration Museum. I could have spent at least four hours there but alas I only had two.

Ellis Island New York

View of Ellis Island from the Statue of Liberty.

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the Statue of Liberty.

Liberty: An Unrelenting Symbol of Freedom

I have always wanted to see the Statue of Liberty.  Although I’ve seen many monuments from around the world – such as Paris’ beloved Eiffel Tour, India’s Taj Mahal and Beijing’s Forbidden City – I had never quite made it to the Statue of Liberty, the symbol of freedom and the representation of American ideals.

I have been to New York City many times before, however, every time I was there the timing was never quite right and I had never had the chance to see Liberty. It felt just plain odd and somewhat embarrassing that as a 42-year-old world traveler, I had never seen America’s most iconic symbol.

the Statue of Liberty.

When I knew I was heading back to New York again for a conference, I made special plans to fly in a day early and put my regrets about not seeing the Statue of Liberty behind me. Little did I know that seeing Liberty, Ellis Island and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum all in one day under the continual threat of growing terrorism, would be an emotionally-charged experience that I would never forget.

Hundreds of years after Liberty arrived, her symbol of freedom remains, perhaps even stronger and more insistent than before. 

The Statue of Liberty

There she stands….rising tall and fighting for our freedom while the reminder of 9/11 looms in the distance.

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First Day of the Social Good Summit

Highlights from the 2013 Social Good Summit

At the start of this week I was fortunate to attend the 2013 Social Good Summit in New York City. Held at the 92nd Street Y in partnership with Mashable, the United Nations Foundation, Ericsson and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Social Good Summit is a three-day global conversation on how we are using social media and technology to change some of the world’s most pressing issues.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 11.27.02 AM

This year’s theme was #2030now and basically asked the global community one thought-provoking question: In a global digital landscape that focuses on the now, where do we want to be by 2030 and how can digital tools help us reach our goals.

The highly intense three-day summit covered a broad range of today’s most urgent issues such as climate change, global health, poverty, energy and education, and pulls together some of the most prolific, influential thinkers and global change-makers in the world.  We got to hear from such amazing visionaries as Melinda Gates, Al Gore, US Ambassador Samantha Power, Malala Yousafzai, Sir Richard Branson and more. Furthermore, the global reach of the Social Good Summit was huge: It was livestreamed in 120 countries and translated into seven languages making it truly a global event.

For me, it was the second year in a row that I attended the Social Good Summit and it was amazing, inspiring and extremely overwhelming. I learned so incredibly much and was so inspired over the past few days that it is going to take me quite awhile to process all the information I learned.

I wanted to share a few highlights of the Summit below and look forward to sharing more in depth stories over the new couple of months on my blog.  Highlights of the Summit included my first visit to the United Nations Headquarters where I got to listen to a panel called “Africa Rising”, attending an intimate roundtable hosted by Save the Children, ONE and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the crisis in Syria, and also catching up with my growing number of wonderful online social good bloggers and friends.

Some of my key take-aways from this year’s Social Good Summit include:

  • The power of our voice via social media to be heard and make change. It inspires and encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing by covering social good issues and stories.
  • The amazing power of technology to make change: There are 3.3 billion people in the world that currently have access to cell phones and this number is estimated to hit 95% of world population by 2014 which is an amazing opportunity for change.
  • The opportunity of future “millennials” in the world. We must get the youth empowered and inspired to make change as they will represent a large part of the world’s population.

The Social Good Summit made me realize that there is hope. Covering such tragic social good issues for the last year sometimes seems like it is a daunting, unachievable dream to end poverty, suffering and preventable deaths. Yet, after listening to these amazing people who are changing the world as we speak, I’ve realized that positive change is possible and there is a tremendous amount of opportunity to make the world a better place. Of course we can’t change some of the evils of mankind. There will always be fighting and bloodshed and war. Yet we do have the tools to end poverty and preventable deaths. I left feeling inspired that someday the world will be a better, more equitable place for all.

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Favorite Quotes/Tweets from Social Good Summit that inspired me

“Youth are the next generation leaders. They are #2030NOW”. On stage right now @stacymartinet@CrownPrincessMM@HelenClarkUNDP

“The price of inaction has become higher than the cost of action. Enough is enough.” – Paul Polman #2030NOW

“There usually comes a moment in our lives when we all decide we need to believe in something” – Ben Keesey, Invisible Children #2030NOW

“Remind people that they are more powerful than they think, engage them to create change” @BenKeesey #2030NOW @plus_socialgood

“It doesn’t have to be money, it can be your voice. Just give back @HelenClarkUNDP #2030now #SocialGoodSummit

“Photographers tell the story of who we are today & can inspire who we become tomorrow” @marcusbleasdale #2030Now

“Theme this year of #2030now because today’s children will be tomorrow’s change makers”. #ActOnClimate

“Social media is changing the world, and we’re all here witnessing it.” -@iansomerhalder #2030NOW

There will be 1 billion mobile phones in #Africa. ‘#malaria will be the first disease to be defeated by mobile’ -@MNM_Martin at #2030now

“Citizens have the capacity to put an issue on the map.” -@AmbassadorPower #2030NOW

“Without peace there is no development, and without development there is no peace” Jan Eliasson #2030NOW

‘Water is peace’…2000 children under age of 5 die everyday due to problem of sanitation. Eliasson at#2030Now

3.3 billion ppl have access to mobiles – furthest reaching tech in the world #2030now

“20 million children under age of 5 were dying per yr in 1960. Today that figure is 6.6 million.”@melindagates #2030NOW

In 2014, 95% of the world will have access to cell phones. How do we use this technology to make the world better? @melindagates#2030now

“The course of civilization is going to be shaped by us. Make your voices heard.” @algore on the#climatecrisis #2030NOW#SocialGoodSummit

@algore at #SocialGoodSummit – the 18 year olds today are the ones who will change our future. Take action. #2030NOW

20 millions NY consume just as much energy comparable to the 850 on the continent of Africa.#2030NOW #EnergyResponsibility

We cannot succeed if half of us are held back. Women must speak, must raise their voices. – Malala #MalalaFund

In just one day, the amount of time wasted by women collecting water could build 28 Empire State Bldgs.bit.ly/14FSrkL #2030NOW

50 million girls are victims of sexual abuse & exploitation around the world – UNICEF’s Anthony Lake on #ENDviolence at#2030NOW

We must start conversations young to combat gender inequality, especially with boys. The responsibility must not only be on women. #2030NOW

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