Travel Back Thursday: Subway Advertisements

By now, some of you might have figured out my slight fascination with the history of public transportation systems. I highlighted the Washington, D.C. Metro’s opening day last month, and decided to scrounge up a photo from the New York Subway system to carry the theme forward.

This shot is one of a few old advertisements found on the New York Subway from decades ago.

We’d love to feature your photos and videos on Gadling, so please add them to our Flickr Pool (with Creative Commons licensing!), tag @GadlingTravel on Instagram or email us at

Silent Dining: The Latest Restaurant Gimmick?

Banning cell phones in restaurants is becoming more common, as diners who constantly use their phones to chat or document their meals can be a distraction to other customers. A Brooklyn restaurant is taking things to the next level by banning talk altogether, piloting a “silent dining” event in which no one speaks for a 90 minute meal. Last month there were 17 diners at Eat participating without words in the first of what may become a monthly event, and after a chance to inform servers about allergies, there was total silence. The managing chef was inspired by silent meals at a monastery he visited in India. The restaurant serves only organic local food, with all furniture and decor also made by local artisans.

Is this a welcome concept, or just another gimmick in dining?

A San Francisco restaurant is often silent, but it’s not a gimmick, it’s run by a deaf couple with a some hearing-impaired staff. Patrons can communicate in sign language, or like many of us do in foreign countries, by pointing and writing. Owner Melody Stein wants Mozzeria to be known for its pizza, not as a deaf restaurant, and they have many repeat customers both hearing and deaf.Dining in the dark has been a trend for awhile, with restaurants in the U.S. and in Europe promoting an experience of eating without sight. Many of the restaurants employ blind waiters who are trained in serving sighted customers who are plunged into a pitch black restaurant or blindfolded. The idea is to heighten the other senses, but the reality can be more terrifying than tantalizing.

Like your steak with a side of vertigo? For a thousand bucks or so apiece (plus catering costs), you and 21 friends can be hoisted up in the sky on a crane to try Dining in the Sky. Started in Belgium and France, the table can be rented all over the world.

A truly moveable feast was hosted on a New York City subway for 12 diners. Waiters served six courses at stops between Manhattan and Brooklyn, and the MTA was not amused, but no one was arrested or fined for the meal.

Would you try any of these unusual meals? Share your experiences in the comments.

Travel Back Thursday: Washington, D.C. Metro On Opening Day

I don’t know about you, but Thursday afternoons are when my weekend plans start to take shape. And tomorrow, after my laptop is shut down and I exchange my button-down for a t-shirt, I’ll be heading in to D.C. for the evening by way of the Metro, alongside countless others. The same scenario will undoubtedly play out in every other major city with a subway-esque train system.

The Washington Metro opened its doors in March of 1976. Today’s photo shows people waiting in line at the Rhode Island Avenue station for a free Metro ride on opening day, March 27. In the near future, Northern Virginia residents will experience another “opening day line” as Metro opens the first phase of the Silver Line route.

We’d love to feature your photos and videos on Gadling, so please add them to our Flickr Pool (with Creative Commons licensing!), tag @GadlingTravel on Instagram or email us at

Subway Library Opens On Shanghai’s Metro Line 2

If libraries can work in airports, why not on a subway line? China Daily reports that a recently launched book borrowing program on Shanghai’s Metro Line 2 has been a success.

Passengers will be able to select a book at one station, and return it to any of the other stations with customized bookshelves.

Readers do not have to pay a deposit or any rent for the books and magazines they take. Instead, they are encouraged to donate 1 yuan (16 US cents) to charity at the bookshelf.

The project is a joint effort of an online education serves and a bookstore chain, and has been seeded with more than 100,000 donated books.

[Via Los Angeles Times]

VIDEO: The Best New York City Timelapse Yet

Timelapse videos are a dime a dozen these days, but there’s something inescapably cool about this energetic look at New York City. Maybe it’s the mesmerizing way people and lights make the city come alive, or perhaps it’s the driving mix of dubstep and ambient noises.

To created the video, DC-based production company District 7 Media traveled back-and-forth to New York for six months in order to shoot more than 50,000 still frames. Getting all this footage wasn’t easy, as Drew Geraci, owner and director of photography for the company, explains:

There were multiple times during this shoot that we were chased off, either by cops or the cold. The subway shots were particularly difficult to get, especially in the wake of the Boston bombings. We were led out and in some cases followed by police officers or MTA officials who seemed intent on getting us for using tripods.

With or without permits, District 7 Media was still able to get some great subway shots, plus they captured a handful of other New York landmarks. If the work looks familiar, that’s because Geraci also created the opening sequence timelapse for Netflix’s “House of Cards.”