It may feel a bit Pollyannaish, but the MTA recently set up a Community Information Center on 125th Street in East Harlem to give the neighborhood more details about the eventual extension of the Second Avenue Subway. Expected completion date? The folks inside wouldn't commit to a precise year, but let's put it this way: right now the MTA is just beginning to take soil samples.
Inside the small storefront is a tidy exhibit with maps showing the three future stops–106th Street, 116th Street and 125th Street–and the work that will be involved in building them. At the last station, the track will curve around to Lexington Avenue where the Q will connect to the 4, 5, and 6 trains, the Metro-North Railroad, and the M60 bus to LaGuardia.
Although the information provided is quite detailed and interesting, the best reason to go–especially if you're the type to spy on your driver/conductor/pilot–is the Subway Simulator. You stand at a set of train controls (which actually feel pretty real) and look at a screen that shows your subway starting and moving through the tunnel, your speed, the changing signals, and if you're rolling into the station at the right pace. I kept missing the mark–it's definitely not as easy as it looks.
MTA Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center, 69 East 125th Street (between Park and Madison Avenues), 212-722-3700