Daily nuggets of inspiration from the good folk
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Once you’ve wiggled your way onboard the tube carriage, with your head wedged under someone’s armpit and a woman’s giant handbag kidney-punching your ribs, it’s hard to imagine your daily commute as an erotically-charged experience. Imagine then that you’ve stepped into one of Prague Metro’s designated dating cars, and yes that one over there in the hat really is giving you the love-eye… (Nice one, Amy K)
“People meet there, pass by each other, and if they like one another they can start a relationship,” said Filip Drapal, spokesman for Ropid, Prague’s transport company. The idea, launching at the end of the year, is that these special cars will make public transport more popular, not recreate a Tokyo tube train pervs’ playground.
But so as to not end on a cynical note, we’ll quote Elizabeth Barrett Browning: “Love doesn’t make the world go ’round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” A truly Elmwoodian sentiment.
The carriage interiors of the RER C rail line in Paris have been decorated to replicate the halls and gardens of the Palace of Versailles.
Concave carriage ceilings recreate Versailles’ vaulted halls, stair landings are transformed into open garden views and vertical walls become the library shelves of Louis XVI. These opulent replications transform a simple train ride into a distinctive and delightful journey.
Music is an excellent travelling companion, and a new selection of music from the Gatwick Express train service aims to give riders a musical description of their journey.
The Gatwick Express train travels nonstop between London’s Victoria Station and Gatwick Airport in about 30 minutes. Now, offered exclusively to online ticket buyers, the free tracks include three custom-recorded musical interpretations of the journey from recording artists Philip Sheppard, Benga, and The Milk.
A few months ago, a friend of mine told me she felt self-conscious travelling on the New York Subway’s L train.
I asked her why. Over-populated? Poor air quality? Too many vagrants? No, none of those. ‘It’s just too cool for its own good,’ she replied. I wasn’t expecting that. But presented with a creative brief that called for some cool hunting last week, I knew exactly where to head to. Using the ‘dead hour’ I normally spend on the L Train staring at ads for EZ Pawn, generic law firms, 24hr divorce or Dr Zizmor (native New Yorkers know what I mean there), I took it upon myself to conduct a spot of research.
She was right. It was a battle of the brands. A war of the hip. If you want to know trends-in-the-making, hop on at Montrose Ave and head out of Brooklyn across to Manhattan’s 14th Street. Do that three days in succession and bingo, some credible ‘what we’ve seen’ action right there. Ask the odd question and the ‘what we’ve been told’ section of your presentation has just become way richer.
I am now acquainted with 10 new clothing brands and realize you can wear a Chanel outfit with a pair of cheap and cheerful shoes or spend $50 on an outfit from Forever 21 but carry a $1500 YSL bag. Amazing!
The Subway has become an obsession of mine. It’s not so daft when you think how much time people in this city spend on it. I love it. I don’t have a car and don’t want one. Why would I when there’s so much to see on the public transport system? To rattle out an old cliché: every day is an adventure!
If you want to know what people are reading (probably 50 Shades of Grey) or eating (/shouldn’t be eating), there’s a blog for that.
Innovative art, music, fashion and advertising is all around you. There’s amazing history in the maps and infographics. And recently, there was even a competition where the best photo of a rat could win a month’s free travel.
Big Moving Picture
I guess the point I’m making is that when you live in a city like New York, keeping your eyes open and sucking in as much visual porn as you dare can give really rich inspiration. Briefing yourself on the subject of the day can also pay dividends.
And if Dr Zizmor is reading, do you fancy a rebrand?
Japanese advertising company Shunkosha has developed a new way of engaging with commuters on the Tokyo subway. ‘Strappy’ is a small box which attaches to the subway’s handrails. When commuters touch their phone to the box, it automatically sends them to a URL.
The box uses Near Field Technology (NFC) which is already well established in Japan and Korea. By installing these devices in subways, advertisers gain access to a captive audience looking for a little distraction during their crowded commute.