New York Underground

Teresa Nielsen Hayden, of Making Light, is at her tippy-top best with “The fabric of the city.” She begins:

The city is fascinating—perverse, complex, sometimes maddening, sometimes startlingly beautiful, full of the middles of stories whose beginnings and ends you never see. It accommodates the press of its population by doing what it does quickly. This is a big source of visitor interaction problems. They expect that slow newbie-friendly graphical user interface they’re used to from suburban malls, fast-food chain outlets, and the interstate highway system. What they get is a Greek immigrant who expects them to rattle off “butteredpoppyseedbagel coffeelightnosugar” and not need to be told that now is when you pay for it. We’re not unfriendly. We just know there are people in line behind us.

. . . and segues from there to a whirlwind tour of a couple dozen useful, bizarre, and wonderful web sites devoted to NYC miscellany, with a special focus on the hidden corners of NYC subway system. If it was a static web page, the links alone that she provides would be an impressive resource, but she glues it all together with her own observations and musings, which makes it even better.