Monday, June 1, 2009

Safari on the 7 train

From the Queens Chronicle:

You might not think of the subway as an ideal place to find wildlife, but architecture students from Columbia University and Barnard College are trying to introduce people to the array of animals that can be found along the 7 line.

The students, working through Columbia’s Urban Landscape Lab and collaborating with a graphic designer, have developed a series of about 12 podcasts called Safari 7, which together offer an “urban tour” of the wildlife that exists along or near the 7 line.

Anyone can download the podcasts onto an MP3 player and then listen to information about animals that can be found in the areas they pass through while riding the subway. The segments are timed so as to correspond with subway stops.

“This is a kind of broadcast of information about animal life in the city,” said Janette Kim, director of the Urban Landscape Lab. “It’s a celebration of the biodiversity of the city and an understanding that we already live in a very rich ecosystem, but we don’t always acknowledge or understand it.”

In addition to segments about common city critters such as rats, squirrels and pigeons, there’s a piece on life forms that inhabit Calvary Cemetery, and one about the city’s cormorants, many of which reside on U Thant Island, a small bit of land constructed of the leftovers from the 7 line’s Steinway Tunnel.

For more information, or to download podcasts, visit


Anonymous said...

If you go to Jackson Heights you can see the famous Monster Rat.

Anonymous said...

If you go to city hall, you can see the Bloomrat!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

One thing is certain, you won't find any dogs or cats in Fru-shing.

Wade Nichols said...

John Rocker, former pitcher for the Atlanta Braves, once said about New York City: "It's the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the (Number) 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you're (riding through) Beirut next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It's depressing."

Saturday Night Live's Colin Quinn commented: "I hate Rocker, but I have to admit the guy has ridden the 7 train."

Safari 7 said...

The safari 7 project is a really unique look at the beautiful borough of Queens, if you want to see for yourself we are hosting another podcast tour on June 14th as part of the Queens Arts Express events. To participate, follow these two simple steps:

1. Download the Safari 7 podcasts and load them on your mp3 players.
2. Meet at the front of the No. 7 platform at Times Square at 1:00pm. We will ride the subway from Times Square to Flushing.
Meet at the front of the No. 7 platform at Flushing Main Street at 2:00pm. We will ride the subway from Flushing to Times Square.

for more information or to add your own local flavor go to:

Please join us!