You'll Never Guess What TSA Inspectors Confiscated at NYC Airports in 2014

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Courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration
For some reason, a traveler tried to carry this sickle in his carry-on bag at Newark Liberty Airport.

From expandable batons and "sword canes" to gun parts and a really terrifying-looking sickle, New York and New Jersey's Transportation Security Administration inspectors have made some interesting finds over the past year. While, thankfully, none of the region's three major airports are listed on the TSA's list of top airports for gun seizures, travelers in the area still managed to keep inspectors busy.

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Two New Yorkers Re-Create MTA's Etiquette Campaign Ads in New Video

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Screenshot from CJ Koegel's YouTube
Enter Mr. Do and Mr. Don't.

By now we've all heard about the new subway etiquette placards the Metropolitan Transportation Authority rolled out earlier this month. As part of a new campaign focused on improving quality of life for all commuters, the signs are designed to dissuade riders — via colorful, faceless, stick-figure renderings — from participating in a number of new "don'ts," including pole-dancing, manspreading, and grooming. Since the campaign was launched in December 2014, the ads have received considerable attention in the media — and now two New Yorkers have taken it upon themselves to bring them to life.

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Latest MTA Campaign Takes Aim at 'Showtime' Pole-Dancers

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Screenshot from MindlezzThoughtz II's YouTube

"What time is it? Showtime!"

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Overheard Quotes and More From No Pants Subway Ride 2015

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Courtesy of Rob Menzer for the Village Voice
Would you join in next year?
"What's going on?"

"They are going to catch a cold."

"Mum? Mum? Underwear [points and giggles]. No pants."

"It's for some type of fraternity. What else would make you humiliate yourself like that?"

"Only in New York!"

You might think there's not enough Purell in the universe to get you to sit pantless in a New York City train, but about 3,000 participants in the city's annual No Pants Subway Ride did just that on Sunday. Hosted by the self-described "prank collective" Improv Everywhere, the event attracted participants as old as 80 and as young as 19 to brave the 37-degree weather in their skivvies. This year the pantless riders assembled at seven points across the city, from Williamsburg to Astoria, before converging at the 14th Street Union Square station.

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New Yorkers Have No Love for New Year's Eve Revelers 'Surged' by Uber

Categories: Transportation

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Courtesy of Uber's press kit
Uber charged some steep fares last night; company reps say the hikes keep drivers on the road.
Revelry, mistakes, getting drunk and doing things we'll later regret: They're all New Year's Eve traditions.

And for partygoers across the world this year, one of those mistakes was getting in an Uber.


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Commuters Are Mesmerized by Fulton Center, Lower Manhattan's 'Futuristic' New Transit Hub

Categories: Transportation

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Katie Toth
Nicolas Ryan, 44, snaps a photo while Nadiv and Asean Maqami take in the new space.
New Yorkers are people who rarely stand still, especially on their commute.

But this morning, the Voice counted about 50 people taking photos, staring at the ceiling, wandering leisurely, and talking with friends -- in the subway, of all places.

Fulton Center, the much-hyped and long-awaited redesigned subway station serving the financial district, was unveiled during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday. The station's centerpiece is its 53-foot-diameter glass oculus over the main atrium. Within the glass cone sits the "sky reflector-net," an art piece made of "112 tensioned cables, 224 high-strength rods and nearly 10,000 stainless steel components," according to an MTA press release.

"I'm really impressed," says Nicolas Ryan, who says he spent two and a half years with Grimshaw Architects as a project manager turning the center from an idea into a reality. "This was a really challenging integration."

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Taxi Drivers Demand Signs Reminding Passengers Not to Try to Kill Them

Categories: Transportation

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Photo Credit: Vincent_AF via Compfight cc
These guys are tired of your crap.

New York taxi drivers are mad as hell, and they're not going to take it anymore.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, cab drivers and chauffeurs accounted for 53 of the 4,405 Americans killed on the job in 2013. Their workplace fatality rate is 130 percent higher than the national average. And in New York, eight cabbies were assaulted in 2014, according to data from the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.

That's why drivers rallied in front of City Hall on Tuesday afternoon, urging the City Council to pass a bill that would require that signs be posted in all city-licensed taxis to remind passengers that assaulting a cab driver could land them in jail. For a long time. The signs, as suggested by the council bill, would read:

ASSAULTING A TAXI OR LIVERY DRIVER IS PUNISHABLE BY UP TO 25 YEARS IN PRISON.

Mamnun Ul Haq, a co-founder of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which has lobbied the council to push for the signs, was joined at the rally by other drivers and councilmembers who supported the bill. He says the idea to propose the signs came to him in a hospital bed as he recovered from being stabbed on the job: "I can't even tell you how painful it was," he tells the Voice.

See more:
How Some Illegal Taxi Drivers Are Fighting Back Against the Green Cab Program

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Grieving Mother on Charges Against Cab Driver: 'It's a Traffic Violation for Killing a Child'


By now, 10 months on, the details of Cooper Stock's death are well-known: The nine-year-old was in the crosswalk, under the signal, holding his father's hand when he was run down by a cab driver a little after 8:45 p.m. on Friday, January 10, 2014.

Partly because of the heartbreaking circumstances and partly because of the timing -- shortly before Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an ambitious new initiative to combat pedestrian deaths in New York City -- the story has been repeated in countless articles since.

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No More Alternate Side of the Street Parking! Well, For Two Weeks. And if You're Lucky

Categories: Transportation

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Photo Credit: Digiart2001 | jason.kuffer via Compfight cc
Those of us who are forced to comply with the ritual of alternate side parking know that it's a special kind of hell. You get in your car, you move it to the opposite side of the street; the sanitation department sends a little Zamboni down the street to spray some water and push some trash around; and the next day (depending on where you live), you're back in the car, desperately searching for a spot on the other side so the Zamboni can work its magic once again.

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DMV to Internet-less New Yorkers: Get in Line

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YouTube
The new system is nothing short of revolutionary -- that is, if you've heard of it.
In February, the New York State DMV launched a revamped website capable of processing a bevy of transactions without requiring that dreaded visit to a DMV office. To expedite those transactions that still require in-person processing, the site offers a quick and easy online reservation system, with many same-day appointments available.

The new system is nothing short of revolutionary -- that is, if you've heard of it.

After checking in, those with reservations receive call numbers near the top of the waiting list, essentially jumping the line.

And those who have already been waiting -- in person -- for hours because they didn't make reservations? Their wait gets longer.

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