[transcribed from notes I took on paper during the day yesterday for the OHNY event]

Thankfully I brought a pen and paper (not planned) with me on today’s excursion, so I could jot some notes as I go along.

I’m at the 59th/Lex Avenue 6 train stop, heading southbound.

I’ve planned to see 4 sites so far; I’ve successfully seen 1!

I started off heading into Times Square to see the MTA subway power substation which was ‘designed to generate power for the NYC subway.’ The OHNY guide/map was unclear: it said take the E train to 50th St. It gave no absolute address; there was a phone number. You call the number and there is a message by someone who works for the NYC Transit Museum – there are NO details about the OHNY event. Frustrated, I call the OHNY number. No one picks up. I call again. No one. Instead a rather lengthy message eventually clarifies: the MTA subsystem tour is completely booked. 50 whole people (in a city of 9 million with 30+ million tourists annually) got to see and experience the subsystem!


So I figure I’ll head to the Channel Thirteen facility. Wait! Didn’t the phone message say something about 13 also? Call again. Channel 13 is no longer participating.

Third times a charm, right? Actually, yes. Headed over to PS 260 in the Flatiron district and got some magnificent rooftop views of the surrounding area.

Okay, now I got some time to kill.

OHNY [still] aren’t picking up their phones to book your name on the tours, and I really want to see The Arsenal, an old munitions depot inside Central Park converted into the HQ for the NYC Parks Department. I’m around 5th and 26th, it’s 1:30 – the next Arsenal tour is at 2:30. The weather is gorgeous, I’ll walk.

I hike it all the way up 5th past 59th.

I arrive at the Arsenal at 2:13pm, 17 minutes before the next scheduled tour. I approach the stairs to find the OHNY volunteer telling a couple that there will be no 2:30 tour; when asked why, the volunteer explains that the previous tours ‘took too long’ and therefore the Park Rangers are running out of time. Bollocks.

The volunteer could not do much other than apologize and suggest to write a complaint to OHNY; the lady next to me started to get really irate, demanding access at least into the lobby because she planned her day around this tour.

[the rest of the day was pretty uneventful after this point. I visited the Marble Cemetary, and wanted to visit one more venue, but with people not picking up their phone or without message machines with clear details of the day’s events, I didn’t want to risk making another trek for nothing. So I went home, pretty exhausted from walking many many miles for two sites, one of which (the last, the cemetary) is open the rest of the year. Way to go, OHNY! Of course, I can’t complain much. I was inadvertently part of the day’s mishaps of events, also: I live and work at Flux Factory, and we were participants in this year’s OHNY. Of course, I was never asked if I wanted to participate in the event. Our Executive Director simply signed us up without ever asking not only if we would be available but if we would even be interested in joining the event. As it turns out, many people weren’t interested in joining the event, because we were more-interested in seeing it. Of course, then even she bailed on the event yesterday (I think in order to participate in another event, potentially of more prestige and notoriety) and left us with an open door and no one on the mound. So given the problems I had in the city, I probably should have stayed at Flux Factory. At least then I might have seen something interesting or met somebody. Still, those rooftop views were pretty incredible, eh?]