I’m proud to present our first official issue. As both the start of a new direction for Realcity and three weeks of carefully planned content, this is a very exciting time. For the first collection, I thought it was only appropriate to tackle something many of us have in common: the subway. In terms of realities that everyone in the city shares, few things come close. Our work here is so dependent on the train — as proven during the hurricane weekend — that New York practically shuts down without it. Such a powerful force in realcity inspires a wide variety of responses, which is why I’m excited about the articles we have to show you.
Our writers have come up with a mix of viewpoints as varied as the average train car itself. After all, the subway is just one of many things that most New Yorkers consider themselves an authority on. To highlight this mix, we’re starting with four observational reports on the state of a train line and one list about how to fix the MTA itself. Other pieces search for specific answers, like the investigation into 168 Street station’s architecture, or how the subway is portrayed in films and shows. One piece just enjoys the collective sound of the underground musicians. My own piece chronicles a multi-day quest for meaning in the depths of our 24-hour subway system.
Together these articles are just a small part of life on the tracks, but they’re true to our lives in the city. Working on this issue has made me realize just how important that is. If we’re going to publish ideas about the city’s reality, it’s only right that we let you into our own realities. For nearly a year now, we’ve been trying to find that balance, and I’m happy with where we’ve landed. If you want the easy answers then you’ve likely already gone somewhere else. Realcity’s staff is here to explore New York naturally, one step at a time. This issue took us into clearly marked territory, but others could go anywhere. Wherever they may lead, we hope that you’ll join us along the way. Your feedback and support will only help us expand the boundaries.