Our adventure last week on the F was mostly about seeing what was on street level since we usually spend so much time below ground, but we also visited stations that we had never been to at all, and we encounter a lot of interesting spaces, so we tried to document the stations themselves as well as the view up above. We started strong, pulling out our little signs at ever stop, but as we grew tired and rush hour closed in around us, we slacked a little. Plus, all of the above-ground stops in Brooklyn look similar.
I’m a huge fan of subway art. I can’t help but appreciate the fact that even simple bands of colored tile took time to build and required decisions that could have just as easily been rubber-stamped into uniformity. And the real art − it just makes me love New York City so hard. Art in public places is just such a decent thing to do.Plus, many of the subway art projects are full of history and whimsy, two of my favorite things. The MTA has a website and even an app dedicated to art throughout their system, but I have purposely avoided it because I much prefer to stumble upon things and be amazing in the middle of a boring day. I did consult the website briefly today, however, and realized that we missed seeing some great work at a few of the stations we visited. Oh well – next time.
- Queens, what the heck is going on with your cavernous subway stations? You will never fill that space. It isn’t even walkway space, it is just there. I really want an answer to this. Why?
- We only encountered three or four escalators, but we relished them. Elevators = time sucks.
- I love the underground shops, especially at Jackson Heights. I like the fact that flower shops are a popular underground choice — apparently people still like to arrive at their destination with a nice bouquet.
- I think the hallway at 7th Ave. might be infinite.
- Least impressive art: The strange circles at Kew Gardens. I don’t think they are even listed on MTA’s website. I would like to believe that this is some form of really boring community improvement project or graffiti.
- Most impressive art (that we saw): Delancey. I have never seen the cherry trees on the opposite platform up close, but I love them, and seeing them gives me a visceral desire to hold these little cherries in my hand again.
- Most icky station award goes to Lexington Ave, of all places, thanks to a construction project.
You can see all of our underground photos below. Click on any of them to open a slideshow.