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A 24-hour Metro? For one rider, the train is always half full – By Kytja Weir, Washington Examiner
|| 1/5/2011 || 10:09 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Logo for Washington Metropolitan Area Residents for a 24 Hour Metro

Earlier this week I got a random Facebook message from a reporter who noticed that I had created the Facebook Group Washington Metropolitan Area Residents for a 24 Hour Metro and was interested in doing an interview. I wrote her back and we ended up speaking for about 30 minutes about this project. A couple days later this article showed up on the Washington Examiner’s Capitol Land blog:


Screen grab from the Washington Examiner website

A 24-hour Metro? For one rider, the train is always half full

By: Kytja Weir 01/05/11 3:34 PM
Examiner Staff Writer

Nikolas Schiller has a dream. But even he calls it “a dream deferred.”

He’d like to see the Metro system operate 24 hours a day. And 689 others agree with him.

The D.C. consultant and artist created a Facebook campaign in February 2009 called “Washington Metropolitan Area Residents for a 24 Hour Metro.” It quickly got a following, even though he acknowledges that many of the fans were already his friends.

“The United States government operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so should Metro,” became the motto.

He traveled around to other systems and realized few agencies but New York City run 24 hours a day. But his thinking was that if riders miss the last train of the night in D.C., they have to shell out big bucks for a taxi to get home.

So why not charge riders more for late-night service, perhaps running just one train per hour? That would allow the trains to move on a single track, freeing up the other side for the track work and maintenance that gets done at night, he said.

He started the campaign to gauge interest. He even bought ads on Facebook to tout the idea.

At one point he tried to organize a meet up of the like-minded, hoping to re-create subway parties that occurred on London’s system.

But alas, Metro has talked of cutting service in recent years, not expanding it. Even the extended weekend service of 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights teetered on the chopping block during the last budget cycle, saved at the last minute by District officials.

Now, the current focus on safety makes Schiller’s idea even less likely. And then there’s the cost.

Metro has charged $27,000 to groups to open the rail system an hour early, say for a marathon or other event. At that rate, it would cost about $135,000 a day to keep trains running. That’s $49 million for an entire year.

To cover the extra costs, the system would need for riders to make about 26,000 more trips each day at $5.24 a pop (twice the current average rail fare) on top of the already 700,000 or so trips that occur on a typical weekday. That’s before taking into account the extra wear and tear on the trains and tracks or other costs that would come from running continuous service.

But Schiller says he would still like to see it happen. And the Facebook campaign lives on, gathering a few hopeful followers at a time. Three more joined this week alone.


Leave comments on the Washington Examiner website: http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/capital-land/2011/01/24-hour-metro-one-rider-train-always-half-full



[Upcoming Exhibition] Geospatial Art at The Old Print Gallery
|| 9/1/2010 || 3:10 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

I hope you can make it!


Adding a radical new dimension to traditional cartography, Nikolas Schiller: Geospatial Art disrupts the singular geopolitical viewpoint and in its place reveals infinite paths and perspectives of specific places at specific times in history. Experimenting with new methods of projecting geospatial information in a three-dimensional environment, Nikolas Schiller creates these unique maps out of public domain orthophotography. He has re-projected much of urban America, from downtown central business districts to state capitals to highway intersections to national monuments, and now, Georgetown.

The Old Print Gallery, a destination for map enthusiasts since 1971, invites you to view Nikolas Schiller’s postmodern cartography amidst the gallery’s collection of maps dating from the seventeenth century to the present. Nikolas Schiller: Geospatial Art is on view September 17 through November 13, 2010. All are welcome to attend the both the opening reception on September 17 from 5 to 8 pm and Nikolas Schiller’s artist talk on October 15 from 6 to 8 pm.


The Old Print Gallery is located at 1220 31st Street NW in Georgetown.
Visit: www.oldprintgallery.com
E-mail Questions: info@oldprintgallery.com or call #202-965-1818.
Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 5:20 pm.


The map used in the graphic above is Georgetown Lenz #2.



Four artists at Gershman Y – Philadelphia Inquirer
|| 6/11/2010 || 2:23 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Today I am featured in the Weekend Edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Nikolas Schiller, working with aerial maps, makes complex new patterns by altering them digitally, and his most inspired pieces are the ones that look easy. Convinced each of us has the capacity to change things, Schiller believes that to change the world, we should start with maps.

Now what I find mildly amusing is that the sentence “Convinced each of us has the capacity to change things, Schiller believes that to change the world, we should start with maps.” was more or less already published in a previous edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The curator of the show chose a quote from the 2007 Washington Post article about me and placed it near my map “Israel / Palestine 1993. What the author of this article didn’t realize was that the Philadelphia Inquirer published a syndicated version of the Washington Post article that contained the exact same quote.


Read the rest of the article:

+ MORE



Charted Territory: Robin Rice on “Mapping: Outside/Inside” at Gershman Y – Philadelphia City Paper
|| 5/25/2010 || 1:47 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Screen grab from the Philadelphia City Paper website

My maps are reviewed in this week’s issue of the Philadelphia City Paper:

Maps are composed of signs. In addition to text, they include linear patterns and coded colors; a sense of rhythm and predictability is part of their visual appeal. Issues of scale and modularity, either organic or mechanically imposed, are contemporary art concerns, as well. Digital kaleidoscopic repetition of aerial photographs is blogger Nikolas Schiller’s shtick. He calls his quilt-like pieces “geospatial art.” Four of his works in this show are based on the Gershman Y seen from above, and a fifth is a Star of David configuration made of fragments of disputed territories of Israel and Palestine. Appealing lacy patterns in muted greens, brick reds and white evoke myriad references from Victorian decoration to Islamic mosaics to cellular division. On the other hand, like the similarly attractive fractal patterns, they end up being more decorative than profound.

Read the rest of the review by Robin Rice:

+ MORE



Photos from the Opening of “Mapping:Outside/Inside” at the Gershman Y
|| 5/20/2010 || 5:40 am || + Render A Comment || ||

Last month I took the bus up to Philadelphia to attend the opening of Mapping:Outside/Inside at the Gershman Y. With my camera out of commission I borrowed my friend’s camera and while I was able to snap a couple photos, I’m not happy with how any of these photos turned out. They look either bleached out or fuzzy or both. Oh well. I had a great time at the opening and was pleased to have been invited to participate in such a fun exhibition. I hope to update this entry later with the names of each of the pieces shown in the photos below.

Photos from the opening of Mapping:Outside/Inside


+ MORE



Washington, D.C., Approves Medical Use of Marijuana By Ashley Southall – The New York Times, May 5, 2010
|| 5/5/2010 || 8:07 am || + Render A Comment || ||

Screen grab of Washington, D.C., Approves Medical Use of Marijuana By Ashley Southall - The New York Times, May 5, 2010

Today my names appears for the first time in the New York Times:

Nikolas Schiller, the secretary of the D.C. Patients’ Cooperative, a nonprofit group that advocates legal medical marijuana, said the amendments would have clarified ambiguities in the bill. He pointed to an example of a Wal-Mart worker in Michigan, where medical marijuana is legal, who was fired in March after he tested positive for the drug, which he used to cope with sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor.

“We asked the Council to introduce the protection for that and they refused to,” Mr. Schiller said. “And it was very infuriating to sit and watch the best practices from other states, other jurisdictions be ignored.”

Although Ashley recorded a much longer interview with me after the District Council’s final vote, I am happy (read: not infuriated) with how this article is written. I wish she could have highlighted some of the more important issues I spoke to her about. Regardless, I am still disappointed the Councilmembers voted to create one of the most restrictive medical cannabis programs in the country. The reality is that Congress already approved a more liberal version earlier this year and these amendments are far away from the original intent of District residents. The next Congress can take the program away, so why not legislate to create the very best program in the country modeled off of what works? I am sad to say that without home cultivation and limiting growers to 95 plants, the program is going to have some problems, but I hope, in time, we can fix them.

Anyways, yesterday’s vote was an important start, but there is a long way to go…

Read the entire article:

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Drug War Chronicle Issue #629 – Feature: Mixed Reactions to DC City Council’s Medical Marijuana Regulations
|| 4/23/2010 || 10:01 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

I am interviewed in today’s edition of the Drug War Chronicle:

While many medical marijuana supporters are happy with the measure, others fear it is so restrictive it will defeat its purpose. “We’re happy that they passed it — some cities have yet to enact any legislation — but we have some concerns with the language that is currently in there,” said Nikolas Schiller, secretary for the DC Patients’ Co-op and member of Americans for Safe Access DC chapter. “There is no home cultivation for patients. In 1998, District residents voted legal cultivation at home, but this measure removes that language,” he said.

Continue reading:

+ MORE



D.C. Medical Marijuana Law Enacted then Temporarily Suspended by District Council
|| 3/2/2010 || 2:07 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

I am quoted in this press release from Americans For Safe Access.
+ Click here to join the Washington, DC Facebook Group


+ MORE



51 Random Banners Now Greet Visitors
|| 12/26/2009 || 1:21 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

Banner Graphic Featuring A Detail from The Vicissitude of the Seasons Explained

New banner graphic featuring my name written in Hebrew over
The Vicissitude of the Seasons Explained” from Bowles 1780 Map of the World

On Christmas night I got a random Facebook message from a Peruvian friend of mine who recently moved to Israel. After we were done chatting, I asked the same request I’ve asked a few other times to friends in distant lands, “Can you translate my name into ____Hebrew____?” A few moments later I was sent the basis for these six new banners. Now my name is now randomly displayed in English, Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Chinese, and Russian.

Below are the rest of the new banner graphics hyperlinked to their original blog entries:

Swampoodle Quilt #2
Banner Graphic Featuring Swampoodle Quilt No.2

Racine Quilt #2
Banner Graphic Featuring Racine Quilt No. 2

West Sahara Lake Circles Quilt
Banner Graphic Featuring West Sahara Lake Circles Quilt

Vassar Quilt Refraction
Banner Graphic Featuring Vassar Quilt Refraction

University of Southern California Quilt
Banner Graphic Featuring University of Southern California Quilt

Related Entries:



The D.C. Colonist Is The Subject Of A Letter To The Editor In Today’s Washington Post
|| 11/24/2009 || 1:02 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Screen grab from the WashingtonPost.com website showing the Letter to the Editor
“A D.C. statehood activist’s historical breeches”

Text of the Letter:

A D.C. protester garbles the garb
Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nikolas Schiller seems to lack a clear understanding of the history of the District of Columbia [“Hats off to D.C. statehood,” the Reliable Source, Nov. 19]. He wears “Colonial” garb to make the point that, in his words, “the status of D.C. residents has not changed since Colonial times.” But there was, of course, no District of Columbia in colonial times. There was a city of Georgetown, in Maryland.

Mr. Schiller also needs a new costume consultant. His coat is cut incorrectly, and I hope he doesn’t really wear German lederhosen, as he said, but rather correctly cut knee breeches when he isn’t wearing blue jeans.

Ann Wass, Riverdale


I’ll have a reply in the afternoon. In the meantime, the Latin Phrase of the Day is Ad Hominem.





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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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  • thank you,
    come again!