watch out when you enter the subway: it hides treasures to be discovered

they say New York is expensive – I think those people don’t know the New York I know of…

Once upon a time around 1904 on an day, when leafs already started to fall, NYC’s subway system was opened. Yes, it has been over 110 years that horses were replaced by steel objects to carry us, humans.

Years has passed and the subway system grew, just as the city, carrying more and feeding more. What does the 468 stations and art have in common?

Interest; perhaps thats the only word that comes to my mind. Both serves a purpose…just a little differently.

If you would ask an average New Yorker taking the subway each and every day during his last 35 years (to use as a common example), it has a great chance that what I am about to show you, he has never even seen. Or seen, but never really saw…

Daily routine kills your eyes and perhaps your soul as well, but about this later.

NYC has decided make the surrounding of the steel objects less steely, thus less cold. Just like in Harlem. Do you remember the local artist, who decided to color grey doors?
Apparently, in NYC there is something against grayness. Well, perhaps its not that surprising, right?

Approximately half of the stations, so 234 are actually museums. Right. So if you do not have 25 bucks to spend on MET or MOMA, take a metro card and start you wander underground – wow, ah, really, so nice, interesting are the words surely accompanying you on your journey.

But, who are the artists? Yes, this might be interesting, especially if you skip MET for the subways. The story goes as follows: once the big guys, the ones deciding over NYC’s life, find the need to refurbish or uplift a station, they open a tender. Sweet-honest democracy over here. Artists from all over the world can send their proposals that has to fulfill two main criteria: one, the subject should somehow fit to the area where it is displayed; second, be lasting. Budget is set, and fairly enough some (around 26,000 bucks) goes to the artists themselves. So if you have a portfolio, go check out the empty stations; who knows maybe its your turn to leave a footprint at NYC’s artsy subway network.

But enough of promises, here it goes – my underground explorations:

(special thanks for my knowledgeable and fun guide Darryl Reilly)

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42nd street aka Times Square – Alice in Wonderland and a back

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not so artsy but here is the steel structure

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still under 42nd street: displaying the cultural diversity of the city

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it goes on…

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still goes on… (actually there are 17 more of these)

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stop! you’ re going to clash!

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closer look

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welcome to Port Authority…

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hello Mr, I think you lost your hat

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peace with you too

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other corner, other art

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little boxes of art pieces – once again reflecting on Times Square’s original functions

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full-fledged art – this guy is singing legally. Yes, freaky: NYC makes auditions for underground singers and selects ca. 300 emerging art souls to entertain us, while typing on our phones….

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closer look behind our singing fellow

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do you see this guy in working hat? Yes, that one. He is the artist himself

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the other side: it’s also his work

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and he is there again (the guy on with brown shirt and blond hair looking up)

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stylish tourist

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science fiction: merging past-present-future under one roof

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looking out of the subway window – confused? me too…

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ah, sorry, the behind the scene actions….

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before metro card, there was the metro coin

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yes, go downtown

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kdis’ corner

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once the area was home to numerous toy shops, thus toy station

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yes, 28th str

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hello there robotman

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welcome to burlesque land…

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23rd str aka hat station

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Eleanor Roosevelt’s hat (and height) and beside the empty place: well that is reserved for Mrs Clinton

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mosaic shine

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you see? she would never see the hats

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self-reflection on the move – yeah I am not the guy (he was very nice, though)

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in memory of 9/11

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Rest in peace Laura…

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long way, long list – heartbreak

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‘frame the union square’ – I told you, just like a museum

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original walls from….yes, 1904

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steel connection

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the newly hired cleaning staff

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here you go, the artist’s names are revealed

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working hard

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coincidence?

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yes, my friend…

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sorry, I ain’t got not money for ticket

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homeless

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don’t pass the yellow line! how many times I need to tell you?!

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hm. its me and my dad… (once)

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I tried to call, still trying.

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yes, these little guys are on 14th street

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ups, the took her place

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ah and this I loved: it is a poem starts as:

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goes on …

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some lines I missed, but you get the point….




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One response to “watch out when you enter the subway: it hides treasures to be discovered

  1. Pingback: week 1 – starts must be strong | The NYC Journal·

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