125th Street A Train

June 8, 2006

Recently I moved up to 121st betwixt Amsterdam and Morningside. While getting to Riverdale is a bitch, because of the A and D trains, I'm actually closer to downtown than I was before. I just cut through Morningside park and the train is only three blocks away. Except at night. After dark, the park is scary, and therefore only scary people go there. 125th itself isn't so bad; there's enough traffic that i'd feel ok, but walking the long way across 125th to amsterdam and then uptown isn't ideal. (I'm complaining now, but when I get back to Chicago, the L doesn't even go to Hyde Park, and I'll probably be at least a 1/2 mile away from the T in cambridge/somerville/whatever dive will have me next year). After much consideration, I have come up with a couple of suggestions for how the MTA and the City of New York can make my commute better.

1 ) Columbia University should build an Athletics facility on Morningside Park. Columbia's in a perpetual bind for space, and morningside park is just lying there fallow, waiting for the taking. Now, whatever gym Columbia builds should have multiple enterances: one on the campus side, and one on the community side. Better yet, the gym could have a moat and drawbridge on the community side so that only authorized community members could enter. Besides, Columbia's been having a hell of a timing dealing with the manhattanville community members. Maybe things will go better with the Morningside park community. The gym was a good idea 40 years ago, and a great idea now.

2) Time Square North. While I don't really remember the old time square, I've heard horror stories. Ten cent whores, peep shows, vices galore, kittens; it was a den of iniquity. Anyway, since Disney took it over, things have been great. You can buy overpriced ice cream, or over priced shrimp, or see a movie at either of the AMCs on 42nd street. Life's never been better. While morningside isn't so bad, it could use some updating. Disney should buy the playground on 124th next to P.S. 125 and turn it into a small-scale version of one of their theme parks. It should have all the non-threatening Disney rides. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, the Tea Cups, a Pavillion of Nations, Body Wars, It's a Small World (ok, maybe not that one); you know, for the kids. Disney Uptown will revolutionize the neighborhood. Plus, it'll lead pedestrians to the wonderful and amazing Souther Fried Chicken, the greatest southern chicken restaurant east of the mississippi. [Full Disclosure: Yesterday's Salad is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southern Fried Chicken media conglomerate, along with Bread Crumb weekly, Yesterday's Poached Eggs, and Radar.]

3) Build a new Museum of Scary Intersections on the intersection of Morningside and 124th. The new Museum will celebrate the world the scary intersections of yester-year, while being protected from the elements by museum security.

A new 124th and Morningside is only a little elbow grease away.