A 1917 Subway Car Back In Service In NYC

There is a subway that I sometimes ride that shuttles back and forth all day between Grand Central Station and Times Square and it is the most wonderful subway advertising experience because the entire interior of the train will be designed as a giant ad for something—be it the baseball playoffs or a Broadway show or an airplane, etc. So, it’s this complete immersion advertising, which while it sounds sick from a manipulation of people standpoint, is exciting from an aesthetic standpoint anyway.

Well, it looks like HBO has taken that concept a whole other step and has started running an actual 1920s subway train throughout September on weekend afternoons to promote their show Boardwalk Empire. They will even give out complementary MetroCards in the train’s limited vicinity. It will only make the 42nd, 72nd, and 96th Street stops on the 2/3 red line.

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Via Laughing Squid and The Gothamist.

Now, if you happen to take this train, and the conductor gets knocked unconscious and misses a crucial turn and the train starts heading full steam towards 5 workmen who don’t expect it to be on that track and the only way to stop it from hitting them is to switch the track to kill another unexpecting workman on another track, would you do it?

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Tabby Lavalamp

    I love vintage public transportation. All our older buses have now been replaced, and the new ones just aren’t as comfortable (but, that aside, they are more accessible and that matters more).
    We also have vintage street cars that go across the top of one of our major bridges throughout the summer and it’s just a pleasure taking a trip on it.

  • Tisha Irwin

    What NYC subways really (really) need for immersion advertising is an olfactory dimension. They could have pictures of a meadow and pipe in a subtle scent of freshly-cut grass. Or pictures of the shore and that pleasant salt-air ocean smell.

    Anything to mask the scent of the other passengers.

  • Mary Blackley

    I like this idea. It gives the rider a different experience and the advertising dollars generated are always good. I am looking forward to seeing ( firsthand) the World Trade Center Path Train Station soon in the future. I’ve been watching Rising: rebuilding of Ground Zero ( on Science Channel) and am so impressed with the design of the entire project and the thought processes of every architect involved…especially the the provoking design and correlation of it to the events of that day. The sun will shine through every day at the time the first plane hit the tower and again when the second tower fell. Architecture has the power to be art and move people emotionally.

  • Lyle Lillibridge

    Wow! wow! wow! Thanks TC. You planted the seed …this episode is right on time.


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