I just emailed MTA requesting info on these mosaics all over the 42nd Street/Times Square subway station that very closely resemble the Confederate flag. I notice them every time I walk through the station and finally looked them up.
Based on what little information I’ve found online, Squire Vickers, who designed many of the stations and mosaics, may have designed them to pay tribute to the former owner of the New York Times, Adolph Ochs. (Ochs had moved the NYT building to Longacre Square in 1904, which was then renamed Times Square.) Ochs was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee and apparently donated a lot of money to preserve Confederate history—including $1,000 to the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial in Georgia so his mom’s name could be engraved on the founder’s roll.
MTA, maybe it’s time for a renovation?
(I am supposedly going to receive an email response within 15 business days.)
UPDATE: I received the following email response from MTA:
Thank you for contacting MTA regarding the mosaics located at Times Square. For research and information, please contact the New York Transit Museum archives at 718-694-1068.
At the end of the email, it says: “Question Reference #140819-000591 - Status: Closed”
So I called the number and received the following voice message:
Thank you for calling the New York Transit Museum archives. Unfortunately we are currently moving our collection and will be closed to researchers and new acquisitions for an undetermined period of time. Please check back again in late fall of 2014. If you need to reach the collection manager, the best way to do so is to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
So I forwarded my inquiry to the collection manager and requested a response when they reopen. I will also call back on an arbitrary “late fall” date.
12:06 am • 20 August 2014 • 47 notes
Here is a photo of Maude Schuyler Clay and I walking her dog Zelda across Cassidy Bayou in Sumner, Mississippi. I have admired Maude’s photography from a distance for years, so getting to spend a day with her at her childhood home in the Delta was a dream.
One of the many things we talked about was New York City. After living there for over a decade, she left in 1987 to move back to Mississippi. I asked her if she ever missed it. “A place like that never really leaves your blood, ” she said.
Photo by David McCarty taken with expired Polaroid 600.
3:12 pm • 12 August 2014 • 17 notes
I am more prone to bad moods in the summer. Summer brings a different kind of fatigue than any other season; I get frequent headaches and wake up with the same vague irritability regardless of whether I slept naked or clothed. Summer brings a different kind of loneliness because the pressure to enjoy everything is so strong. Summer is a reminder that I inhabit a body, a body I’ve hated at times to inhabit. I’ve never yelled at a man who makes lewd comments on the street, but lately I feel the urge and swallow my words with anger. At least there is an abundance of good peaches. Does anyone actually drink the recommended amount of water per day?
6:33 pm • 27 July 2014 • 35 notes
This morning as I was descending the stairs to the subway I heard someone say “Ma’am” behind me. I looked and a man was breathing heavily and holding on to the rail. He reached for my shoulder and told me his heart was beating really fast, that his chest hurt. He was wearing a suit and tie and was holding a piece of paper that looked like a résumé. A police officer happened to be coming down the stairs and I told him that the man needed help. He said, “What’s going on, buddy?” and the man repeated that his heart was beating really fast, that his chest hurt. The police officer said, “Okay” and promptly ran down the stairs into the station. “Let’s sit down for a minute,” I told him, and we sat down on the stairs as people rushed around us. He folded his résumé in half and started to cry. I almost said, “Don’t think about where you need to be right now,” but I thought about how if I were him I probably would’ve hated me a little for saying that.
8:06 pm • 16 July 2014 • 33 notes