Randy Kennedy was born in San Antonio, Texas, and raised in Plains, a small farming town in the Texas Panhandle, where his father worked as a telephone lineman and his mother as a teachers’ aide. He was educated at the University of Texas at Austin. He moved to New York City in 1991 and worked for twenty-five years as a staff member and writer for The New York Times, first as a city reporter and for many years covering the art world. His first novel, Presidio, hailed as a "rich and rare book" by novelist Annie Proulx, was published in 2018 by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster. A collection of his city columns, Subwayland: Adventures in the World Beneath New York, was published in 2004. For The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine he has written about many of the most prominent artists of the last 50 years, including John Chamberlain, Claes Oldenburg, Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci, Nan Goldin, Paul McCarthy and Isa Genzken. He is currently director of special projects for the international art gallery Hauser & Wirth. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Janet Krone Kennedy, a clinical psychologist, and their two children.
Now, in Subwayland, as the subway celebrates its centennial anniversary, creator of The New York Times's award-winning "Tunnel Vision" column Randy Kennedy leads us on an extended tour of this storied subterranean land, revealing:
* Its inhabitants: the Tango Man, the traveling magician, Mayor Bloomberg
* Its wildlife: the subway-riding pigeons, the Fulton Street cat, the blind mules
* Its customs, taboos and secret histories: door blocking, leg spreading, pole hugging, even, yes, token sucking
* Its government: the sheriff of Grand Central, the Ethel Merman of the shuttle, the motorman who drove the last No. 1 train beneath the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001
* Tips for the first-time traveler: how to get a seat, how to get a date, the fine art of "pre-walking"