Monday, November 30, 2009

music & the Ad:: Amazon Kindle & Annie Little

Update:: 19 April 2010 5:14AM EDT, the second Annie Little stop-motion Kindle ad is here.

Annie Little {MySp} stars in this Amazon Kindle ad and sings the song, "Fly Me Away."  Indie chic is spreading like a virus in the sector.  The full song {2:17} is available for download in the US {not Canada} here for free.  Annie and two collaborators, photographer Angela Kohler and production partner Ithyle Griffiths, submitted an ad in an Amazon Kindle video contest.  The team won the audience and Amazon jury prize.

Twitterversion:: #MusicAndTheAd blog. New #Amazon #Kindle ads feat. video contest winner {team incl. ex-model-turned-singer @annielittle}. @Prof_K

Newmusicmonday #19:: monday evening videos:: The Hidden Cameras

This will have to be quick, as I'm working on a document that's due tomorrow.  The Officer M. gave a recco. for The Hidden Cameras and I finally got around to checking them out.  They're on Arts & Crafts and Joel Gibb's band has gone through a bit of a shift on the latest album.  Gibb once coined the Music of the Cameras as "gay church folk music."  Pitchfork characterized their older material as "jubilant," which I suppose "Death of a Tune" fits the bill as:

I love the quirky animation in that video, along with the music's orchestrations.  "He Falls to Me" is on the current album, Origin: Orphan, the band's fifth album.

Here's another video, this one for "In the NA," which has a business office set in a field.  Dandelion -Mifflin?::

They are currently on tour and will be in Toronto at the Opera House on 5 December 2009 at 8PM with Gentlemen Reg.

Twitterversion:: #newmusicmonday blog feat. #Toronto band @hidden_cameras {TO show:5Dec}. More "serious" sound on new album. #TorontoIndie @Prof_K

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Organizational Sociology of the Toronto Humane Society

Image::  Taken by Kenneth M. Kambara on 24 May 2009, 11 River Street

Earlier today, I was alerted to the brewing drama down at the Toronto Humane Society {THS} {HT: LinnyQat}.  Yesterday, there was a raid, resulting in 5 arrests::

  • Tim Trow, Toronto Humane Society’s president, two counts of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, two counts of cruelty to animals, and three counts of obstruction of a peace officer
  • Dr. Steve Sheridan, THS Head Veterinarian, one count each of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and cruelty to animals
  • Gary McCracken, THS General Manager, two counts of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, one count of cruelty to animals, and three counts of obstruction of a peace officer
  • Andy Bechtel, a senior staff member, two counts of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, one count of cruelty to animals, and three counts of obstruction of a peace officer
  • Romeo Bernadino, senior staffer, two counts of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, one count of cruelty to animals, and three counts of obstruction of a peace officer.

In addition, in the aftermath of the raid, four animals had to be euthanized and a desiccated cat was found in a trap, set to catch wayward felines, but ultimately neglected.  I've been a fan of the THS and heard rumblings of trouble there in the summer, but I think the stink of the garbage strike captured more of my attention.  I looked up the Globe & Mail articles that broke the story of problems at the THS.  What was interesting is how it appears that an organizational dysfunction permeated the culture within.

One of the issues is the euthanasia policy.  Many allege that animals were allowed to suffer and the policy not to euthanize animals was couched in "ethical" reasons by the volunteer President, Tim Trow.  What is also telling is that while the THS actively and avidly promotes its low euthanizing rates of admitted animals, comparing their 6% to Toronto Animal Service's 55%, the adoption numbers were systematically misrepresented—upwards.  Low euthanasia and high adoption rates made the THS look good on paper for fundraising purposes.

Also telling is how staff and volunteers were forced to sign confidentiality agreements, which were effective for two years after leaving the shelter.  Reports of high turnover don't paint a rosy picture either.  The Globe & Mail article notes that the formal ties to the City of Toronto have been severed and that it functions as an independent body with no oversight.

This set off alarm bells in my book::
"The structure of THS management has also changed during Mr. Trow's second presidency. The chief executive officer position has been eliminated, and Mr. Trow has assumed the duties normally reserved for a paid employee rather than a volunteer president.  
Amy White was the director of communications at the THS when Mr. Trow was elected. She said that before his term she had direct access to the board of directors and conferred with them on committees." [Globe & Mail, 29 May 2009]
If this is accurate, Trow managed to re-configure the organization so that he was the CEO and cut off ties between top management and the board, so that he brokered all of the information going to the board.  So, a sociogram depicting working relationships might look like this::

In this hypothetical sociogram visual {from Jacob Levi Moreno - sociogram}, the board and staff may represent two distinct clusters that don't interact.  If Trow is the "bridge," he controls flows of information and wields considerable power.  It sounds like this was the case.  It looks like either the board was behind Trow or asleep at the switch and the board is also on the hook legally and members may face animal cruelty charges.  One of the functions of boards is oversight, i.e., diligence with respect to fiduciary responsibilities, and while there is a delicate balance between too-much and too-little poking around, it appears as if the Board slacked off at the very least.

The Toronto Humane Society has been around for around 120 years and will be around after this scandal.  What needs to happen is some massive organizational housecleaning and I would suggest creating sociograms to examine workflows and determine how the THS should be restructured.  I feel the the top management and the Board need to be axed {yes, this means dropping Trow}, in order to instill the confidence of the citizens of Toronto, as well as donors.  New strategies, policies, and procedures need to reflect a new THS that is more transparent and with oversight.

Twitterversion:: Scandal at the #Toronto Humane Society reeks not just of animal cruelty re: euthenasia but massive organizational #fail. @Prof_K

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Raclette

Upon returning to Canada, I was fortunate enough to have the chance to visit friends in the Eastern Townships/Cantons de l'est in Québec.  Dinner was quite a treat, as I never before experienced raclette.  I was familiar with the pungent cheese of the same name, but not the dish, using a raclette grill::

Originally, raclette, the dish, was heating raclette cheese to soften it, scraping it on to plates, and serving it with various accoutrements.  What I experienced was the modern version of it.  According to Wikipedia::
"A modern way of serving raclette involves an electric table-top grill with small pans, known as coupelles, to heat slices of raclette cheese in. Generally the grill is surmounted by a hot plate or griddle. The cheese is brought to the table sliced, accompanied by platters of boiled or steamed potatoes, other vegetables, charcuterie, and perhaps seafood. Diners create their own small packages of food by cooking small amounts of meat, vegetables and seafood on the griddle. These are then mixed with potatoes and topped with cheese in the small, wedge-shaped coupelles that are placed under the grill to melt and brown the cheese. Alternatively, slices of cheese may be melted and simply poured over food on the plate. The accent in raclette dining is on relaxed and sociable eating and drinking, the meal often running to several hours. French and other European supermarkets generally stock both the grill apparatus and ready-sliced cheese and charcuterie selections for use with it. Restaurants also provide raclette evenings for parties of diners."
I never saw this before and it was interesting.  We had various sliced meats from the area, as well as shrimp, along with fresh vegetables and various sauces.  I think what I liked the most was how the grill served as a literal centrepiece, fostering lively conversation, that included Inuit art, the meaning of Canada, and the brilliance of Gilles Duceppe of the Bloc Québécois.  I also liked how the raclette grill allows creativity and freedom in terms of experimenting with flavours.  I'm kicking myself that I didn't take a few pictures of the spread, but it just serves as a good excuse to head back to Lower Canada.  Oh, I almost forgot to mention the maple yogurt parfaits!

I have many fond food memories of Québec, even my first and only taste of bière d'épinette.

Song::  Une fleur (live) - Stéphanie Lapointe

Twitterversion:: Treated to grilling on the #raclette earlier this month in Cantons de l'est - #Québec. @Prof_K

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Expatriate's Thanksgiving in Canada

So, for the second year in a row, I'll be missing Thanksgiving.  I'm here in Toronto, where Thanksgiving/Jour de l'Action de Grâce has come and gone {second Monday in October}.  Also, I'm so accustomed to Thanksgiving marking the start of the holiday shopping madness.

I was at the Metro {Dominion} supermarket in the Annex and there was a buy one chicken, get one free deal, so I took them up on it.  So, this wasn't really an ode to Thanksgiving, which is one of my favourite holidays, but it's probably as close as it's going to get this week.  I really liked how the chicken turned out, which is really surprising since I the electric stove here tends to vex me.  An oven thermometer is in my future.  I just rinsed and patted the bird dry {1.88 kg/4.1 lbs.}.  Sprinkled with salt, pepper, powdered garlic, rosemary, and slices of lemon.  I roasted it for 2 ¾  hours in a oven at "350ºF" {I think it's a bit off}.

I didn't make any stuffing, cranberry sauce {jellied}, potatoes, or pumpkin pie, but there is another chicken in the fridge...

Thanksgiving these days often makes me think of a song in the film, The Myth of Fingerprints {1997}, a great cast in a not-so great project about a rather dysfunctional New England Thanksgiving.

The song?  Rufus Wainwright's cover of "On the Banks of the Wabash"::

Twitterversion:: 2nd."Thanksgiving" in a row in #Toronto,meaning I missed it. Holiday reminds me of a lesser-known #RufusWainwright cover. @Prof_K

Bad Idea #435:: Doritos & Milk?

About a decade ago, I was at a girlfriend's house and there wasn't any cereal for breakfast.  There was a ton of Doritos.  I thought, hey, why not try Doritos as a breakfast cereal?  Surprisingly, it wasn't half bad.  It creates a salty, cheesy gravy and tends to stay crisp in milk.

So, fast forward to Sunday.  No more cereal again, but half a bag of, you guessed it, Doritos.  Cool ranch flavour.  I tried it again as cereal and snapped the above pic.  It was just like I remember it.

I guess it's not that big of a stretch, given that savoury variations of grits are served up in the Southern US.

Twitterversion::  Revisited #Doritos & milk as a breakfast of champions. A whole lot of not-so-bad, complete w/cheesy/salty gravy.  @Prof_K

Time to Write to Santa

I've been seeing these commercials {from last year} telling kids they can write to Santa Claus, as well as Père Noël {can't find the francophone ad online though}::

Apparently volunteers at Canada Post write back to all of the letters sent in.  I'm assuming just to Canada.  In case you just need the address, it's::

North Pole HOH OHO

I've always thought Santa Claus was a bit of an odd name, but I think I came by it honestly growing up in California, where Santa (saint in Spanish) is a common place name.  It doesn't end there.  Since I grew up and went to school in California, in the 4th. grade we studied extensively the Franciscan mission system, founded by Father Junípero Serra along what is called El Camino Réal/The Royal Road.  For some reason, the whole mission thing {along with a bunch of California history and politics} always stuck with me.  As an aside, the locations of the missions were in cities/towns named after saints, i.e., San/Santa.  At any rate, every so often I like to mess with people unfamiliar with the missions by saying there's a lost and forgotten one, Mission Santa Claús.  The anachronistic yarn goes something like this::
"A group of German expatriates in México, the same ones who were the brewmasters that brought German beer making techniques and equipment, found themselves in Alta California.  It was the holidays, so they asked Father Serra if they could set up a mission in honour of Weihnachtsmann.  Merging cultural traditions and beliefs, this rogue mission was dubbed Misíon Santa Claús.  The exact location was lost in an el niño storm years ago and most likely paved over with increasing urbanization of California."

Twitterversion:: Canada Post ads tell kids how they can write to Santa Claus or Père Noël.  Rekindled memories of Misíon Santa Claús.  @Prof_K

Grizzly Bear:: Two Weeks

While not exactly a new track, the eerie and creepy video for indie darling Grizzly Bear's {Brooklyn, NY} {MyS} "Two Weeks" has been on my mind.  I tweeted about it back in September, and blogged about how J-Zed gave them a shout out.

The video was directed by Patrick Daughters, of the überchoreographed Feist "1-2-3-4" fame {Director's version}.

A live version from Letterman's Late Show {23 July 2008} is here::

The band is currently on tour in Europe, Australia, and the UK. I really wish I was able to see them at their Wordless Music gig at the 800-seat Society for Ethical Culture on the Upper West Side. I saw Hem there in the summer of 2006. It's a fantastic venue that rather church-like, but has great acoustics.

Twitterversion::  Thnkng of #BrooklynIndie #GrizzlyBear's creepy #TwoWeeks vid, just found out Patrick Daughters {Feist 1234 fame} was dir. @Prof_K

Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear

Monday, November 23, 2009

newmusicmonday #18:: monday morning videos:: Krista Muir, Colin Munroe, & Amy Millan

Last week, I stumbled on a Montréal station on the Rogers Cable lineup here in Toronto.  CJNT serves up indie Canadian videos in the late afternoon, which is great since music television tends not to show that many music videos anymore.

I found this minimalist Krista Muir {Montréal} {MySpace} song to be pretty catchy::

Krista, AKA Lederhosen Lucil, and I share a fondness of the Pet Shop Boys, which I must admit I find hard to explain.  I love the album art on her 2008 Accidental Railway::
which speaks to my urbanist fantasies and love of maps.  The songs {at times, bilingual} are accessible with hints of melancholy, making it right up my alley.

She has three upcoming dates in Montréal.

The next selection is Colin Munroe's video for his cover of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" {embedding disabled}:: {updated video, 18 January 2010}::

I really liked the original back when it came out, as well as the U2 album War.  I find U2 songs tough to listen to these days and my interest in U2 and Bono withered away after the Joshua Tree album.  Colin, originally from North Gower, Ontario now is in Toronto.  Some may know Colin from his cover of Kanye West's "Flashing Lights" that went viral.  Video link.

Arts & Crafts darling, Amy Millan {Montréal} {A&C; MyS} is the last selection with her melancholy "Skinny Boy"::

Twitterversion::  #newmusicmonday showcases 3 Canadian indie artists' videos seen on CJNT-Montréal. @Prof_K

The Northern Riviera

For a few years, I've lamented how Ontario's lakeshore just isn't quite the same as the ocean.  So, for a few years now, I've had this harebrained notion of creating and marketing a development on Ontario's oceanfront—on the James and Hudson Bays.  It's one thing to have a cabin in Muskoka, but quite another to be enjoying the sea breezes off of the Hudson Bay.  Never mind the ice floes.

Imagine my surprise when I was going through old Macleans magazines before recycling them, reading an article on Carp, Ontario {home of the Diefenbunker} discussing how it's a "fly-in community"::
"There are currently more than 600 fly-in communities in North America. And while most are located in warm-weather states like Florida, Texas and Arizona, Phillips says the model has proven successful in cities with climates similar to Ottawa's, including Chicago and New York."
 The article goes into the details of WestCapital's Tailwind Estates, a 1,000 acre, 326 home community centred around Carp's airport::
"Tailwind home prices range from $300,000 for a bungalow on an outer lot to $500,000 and up for large estates on a runway-accessible piece of land. Residents will be charged fees to cover common elements (bike paths, parks) and an annual operations fee, projected at $150. Before West Capital took over the Carp airport in 2005, it was losing $250,000 a year, says Phillips. Under WCD's control, the airport is already breaking even and a new terminal was opened last September."
The niche market for Tailwind consists of frequent business travellers and aviation enthusiasts.  So, why not set something up on the Hudson shoreline?  Perhaps right by Polar Bear Provincial Park {website}.  On the Québec side, there could be the Côte du Nord.  No matter what, one's vacation home can be at the front door of global warming's advances.  A few years back I was at a development on Tomales Bay in California, Dillon Beach, which had a logo of a bear with a surfboard::

I think you can see where I'm going, logowise.

OK, so it might be a stretch to sell oceanfront cottage property 700 miles/1,100 km from Toronto, but it is unspoiled coastal wilderness with a better chance of a maul than a mall.

Top Image:: Rolf Hicker, photographer-website.

Twitterversion::  Thoughts of Ontario oceanfront "northern riviera" dvelmt rekindld by'08 @MacleansMag art. on"fly-in communities." Takers? @Prof_K

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Digital Music Infographic


I've been following the pace of digital music downloads for a few years now.  The above infographic was floating around last week {HT:  RosieSiman}.  I crunched the compound annual growth rate {CAGR} for digital's 2007-9 share of the US market and it was 21.6%, which isn't surprising given other reports {ifpi}.  It should be noted that the US and Japan lead digital consumption of music, with the rest of the world lagging.

I think users still get value from CDs {and dare I say vinyl}, explaining why physical music is still around.  The music industry is still figuring out how consumption works in the digital age and I've seen these questions bandied about over the years::

  • Is the music a "loss leader" and the true value is in the live performance experience?
  • How much do and how many consumers really care about packaging/artwork and the symbolic value of possessing music?
  • How should labels offer different products to different segments of consumers?
  • Do consumers think of physical and digital music consumption differently?
  • What's the optimal pricing scheme?
  • How should piracy and intellectual property {IP} rights be treated?
  • Will Apple and iTunes ever iron out the DRM and usability issues to allow users to manage their music that maximizes the user experience?

These are interrelated issues that are often context dependent, but I think there are two key issues that need to be resolved::

  1. Which business models really work and what is being bought/sold {MP3s, CDs, artwork, ancillaries/merchandise, concerts, etc.}?
  2. How should what is being offered be priced?

Back to the infographic, I think what's telling is how when iTunes introduced variable pricing, the average number of monthly transactions increased from about 2.4 to 3.4.  {The average transaction value was $7 in QI/II of 2009, which has room for improvement}.  I think the industry really needs to examine the role of price, particularly downwards, and finding ways of better enhancing value for consumers.  I honestly believe consumers are perfectly willing to pay for entertainment content in all of its forms {not just the music itself} because music gives people meaning and identity.  It just needs to be priced right and made easy to obtain.

Twitterversion::  Infographic from Mint via @rosiesiman serves up stats. on digital music in the US. What should be the next steps for the industry? @Prof_K

Song::  "Dance Anthem of the 80s"-Regina Spektor {viral video, summer 2009, released on MySpace}

regina spektor | MySpace Video

Apple Overtaking Microsoft:: Glittering Prize or Troubles Ahead?

Monday, November 16, 2009

newmusicmonday #17:: spiral beach

This week's newmusicmonday {actually on Monday} entry is a CBC Radio 3 find:: Spiral Beach.  They're on tour in the UK/Éire right now and it sounds like the band is a must see live.  Upcoming Ontario shows are::
  • December 16 - Toronto, ON / MTV Live / 888 Yonge St / FREE / all ages
  • December 17 - Peterborough, ON / The Red Dog / 189 Hunter St W  
  • December 18 - Kingston, ON / The Mansion / 506 Princess St
  • December 19 - Toronto, ON / The Garrison / 1197 Dundas St W
Channelling the sound of late 70s/early 80s girl punk/new wave bands {although not all songs have Maddy Wilde doing lead vocals}, the music begs to be played loud {I had to switch to headphones} and I'm really looking forward to seeing them live, hopefully at the Garrison show.  Their songs have lots of energy.  Two of my favourite songs are the breezy "Day OK "::

and the kinetic "Casual T"::

Here's a great live clip of "Domino" from NxNE here in Toronto.  I was in town but had other things going on, so I missed this completely::

Check out this blog with an interview on andPOP, where Dan Busheikin placed them in the category of "ghoul punk."  I love who they said their influences are {CBC R3}:: Gogol Bordello, Frank Zappa, Liars, Esquivel.

 I love how the band "gets" the idea of creating a sense of spectacle or occasion to their shows.

Twitterversion::  #newmusicmonday features #Torontoindie punk band Spiral Beach. Great energy&sound. Video clip & streams. @snakes_ladders @Prof_K

Image::  Tour poster from London, from Spiral Beach blog.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Neogeoisms:: Branding Your 'Hood

I'm still catching up on stuff from this week, but one article I saw was another article on acronymized neighbourhood names via Gothamist.  I've seen these for a few years now in New York magazine and I think Time Out.  The idea is that realtors create catchy neighbourhood names to help create a sense of place that's a branded lifestyle identity.  I had a sublet in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the guy I was renting from said that parts of Bushwick were being called East Williamsburg.  Hipsters lured by cheap rents soon found out that Bushwick was like what what parts of "Billyburg" was like back in the 1990s, which had little charm and fewer amenities.  In San Francisco, I was aware that parts of the Upper Haight were being billed as Cole Valley.  An acquaintance of mine lived on Stanyan, so it was close to all of the amenities of the Haight, but without the hassle of living in a tourist mecca.  I recall "acronymized" or abbreviated names such as PoHill {Portrero Hill} and SoMa {South of Market}.

The Gothamist article highlights the following neogeoisms::
"'GoCaGa' for the area between Gowanus and Carroll Gardens, 'BoHo' for the Bowery south of Houston, 'SunSlope' for the streets between Sunset Park and Park Slope, and 'iTri' for the Iron Triangle in Willets Point."
Cue the eyerolling.  This got me thinking of Toronto neighbourhoods, which don't seem to have clever and catchy brandscapes.  {I have an old and unfunny joke about West West West West Queen West being Vancouver.  Sort of a dig at the naming of West Queen West and the sprawling nature of the GTA}.  The Wikipedia list seems to confirm this.  The City of Toronto list lacks granularity and my 'hood is considered the Church-Yonge corridor, which is quite a swath that doesn't evoke thoughts of a neighbourhood.  I have a feeling I might be missing a site or resource that lists what the cool realtors are calling their territories.

Well, I could try to construct Toronto names using cleverisms, but I'll leave that enterprise for others.  I do wonder, as I'm not 100% sure if South-of-Bloor would be SoBlo or BloSo.  The Annex north of Bloor.  AnnNoBlo?  Ugggh, I said I wouldn't do this.

Twitterversion::  #Gothamist article on neogeoisms rehashes idea of branding neighbourhood communities. Has #Toronto resisted this trend?  @Prof_K

Friday, November 13, 2009

"I Love the Whole World"

When I was a kid, I remember seeing the promos for the fall TV lineups for the major {US} networks.  I remember the jingle, "NBCseeUs" for the 1978-79 season::

I also vividly recall the "Still the One" promos for ABC, refashioning the Orleans song of the same name.  This is a long version from the 1977-78 season::

All of my favourite shows were on ABC.  I won't embarrass myself by listing them, but Soap and Taxi were two of them.  OK, OK, so was Three's Company.

I don't watch enough TV these days to be 100% sure, but I don't recall seeing these types of promos in years.  So, I was pleasantly surprised to see the Discovery Channel reimagine the traditional camping song, "I Love the Mountains/Flowers" {with characteristic "boom-de-ya-da, boom-de-ya-da" chorus}, to hype their roster of shows, particularly late nights on the Comedy Network {Canada}.  I found the spot well-edited and very catchy.  I must admit that like with many ads, I didn't immediately know what the ad was for, but the catchiness caused to to pay attention when it was on again and research it.  

Here's the Canadian version I've been seeing::

The US version is here.  The Wikipedia entry on the 2008 campaign highlights the differences, as well as listing the lyrics and the references to Discovery shows.

This got me thinking about Web 2.0 and viewer participation.  I think the networks should make clips available and crowdsource 15/30 second and 1 minute promos for their shows.  I'm fairly confident they would get some interesting content, as well as a sense of which content being edited is compelling for viewers/editors.

Song:: Still The One - Orleans

Twitterversion:: Discovery Channel's "I Love the Whole World" promo reminded me of networks' fall lineup campaigns in the 70s. @Prof_K

newmusicmonday-ish #16:: Paper Lions

I've been under the weather this week.  No H1N1 for me.  Just a pesky garden variety cold.  In any case, maybe "newmusicmonday" should be "newmusicfriday" from now on.

This week's instalment has been on my radar for a few weeks now.  The Paper Lions hail from Prince Edward Island and are currently on tour.  In fact, they are playing down at the Horseshoe tonight with Young Galaxy {a Montréal band I'll be blogging about in the future} and The Junction {from Brampton} {13 November} and a free concert for The Edge 102.1 tomorrow at 8:30pm.  On their bios, it says their music defies genres.  Sometimes that can be the kiss of death if the sound doesn't quite gel on individual songs or across the whole œuvre, but it does works with Paper Lions on both counts.  Some might call this "art rock."  It's smart indie pop that rocks without sounding like the standard issue generic indie band, so coveted by directors on Fox Searchlight projectsor so it seems.

I'm a big fan of "Queen Charlotte of the Hyenas"::

"Criminal" is a somber song with a bit of jangly pop thrown into the mix.

"What If"has some great guitar work::

Twitterversion::  Another belated #Newmusicmonday.  @PaperLions in #Toronto tonight and tomorrow night. Art rock done propah! @Prof_K

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Google Maps & the NYC and TTC Subway Systems

I just saw on Gothamist.that Google has improved their mapping of the MTA Subway System in NYC, giving  onnyturf maps a run for their money.  In order to access the transit maps, go to  Google 
maps and click or enter a NYC destination.  Click on the MORE tab and check on TRANSIT.  I did a quick check and the transit maps are also superimposed for the Toronto area.

What's not included are the schedules, which are available for BART in San Francisco::

In due time, I'm sure.

Twitterversion:: @Gothamist reports new subway overlap on GoogleMaps. Also avail in #Toronto for #TTC & #SanFrancisco for #BART.