Monday, November 10, 2008

Art? : White NYC Subway + Brother From Another Planet

Just came across this map of "White New York City Subway":

One oversight maybe the Whites who go to Columbia up there. A job well done on capturing gentrified areas of non-Manhattan New York as well. Someone on the web pointed out, rather accurately, that this map can also be useful for people of color as the last stops noted are where we can get seats. If whites don't get off here, and this is excluding Easter Europeans (ugh!) of course, you can remind them that they missed their stop and maybe ask for money for doing so.
In addition to a piece I saw at the Erasing Borders exhibit 3 years ago, a subway map written entirely in Urdu with anecdotes on New York for a South Asian, this reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from Brother From Another Planet which I surprisingly haven't posted about.
Brother From Another Planet was written and directed by John Sayles and starred Joe Morton. The film is about a mute alien slave who crash-lands into Harlem in the 1980s, during the height of the crack epidemic. Though mute he befriends locals and uses his ability to fix any machine by touching it to make some cash in the process. Two bounty hunters from his home planet, who happen to be white, arrive soonafter and chase him around town. The film also delves into corporate executives making money off of the crack trade. Besides my blatant appreciation for all things involving time travel, rants praising Kate and Leopold starring Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman to follow, it's sci-fi, Harlem in the 80's, crack, and social commentary. There's no way I wouldn't be obsessed with this movie. I will also blatantly rip this off to make a short film about a Hindu god who lands in Jackson Heights in the 90's during the height of the Kebab epidemic.

So the scene I'm reminded of occurs on a crowded train where a card trickster is hustling for cash:

Card Trickster: I have another magic trick for you. Wanna see me make all the white people disappear?
Subway Public Address Announcer: Fifty-Ninth Street, Columbus Circle; 125th Street next. This an Uptown A Express going to 207. Change for the AA local across the platform, the D, or the upper level, change for the number 1 Broadway trains.
Card Trickster: See, what'd I tell ya?
Subway Public Address Announcer: Uptown A, 125th street, next.
Here's the only thing I found online:

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