Sometimes the subway is hell. It may be hot, crowded or stinky. Last night was no exception (stinky) but apparently this car knew it well enough to self identify, as such.
Category Archives: New York
Something that strikes me about the landscape of New York city almost every day is the interaction of the urban landscape with its natural surroundings. It’s easy to get caught up in all the structures, construction and hustle and bustle. But, if you take the time to look around, the glass and metal of the city often offer wonderful reflections and views of the natural world around.
On blue skied days, I love how the glass buildings the ripple in the sunlight and mirror the clouds. In what is likely to be the first of many posts of the subject of the city versus nature, I’d like to share some of my favorite photos of the glass skies of New York.
Every week day, on the way to work, I exit the subway at 34th Street/Penn Station and walk past one of the most beautiful and prolific subway mosaics that I’ve seen. Comprised of several panels of various sizes, The Garden of Circus Delights by ERIC FISCHLis a homage to the circus, which performs at Madison Square Garden above of the subway station.
The 34th Street/ Penn Station subway stop is perhaps one of the busiest in the city. During rush hour, the stairs, entryways and halls are often packed body to body with commuters making it hard to take in the full breadth of the mosaic series. But, in quiet moments, you can see exotic animals, clowns, fire breathers, dancing bears, jugglers and acrobats. The idea being that the mural allows a commuter to leave the ho hum day and be pulled into the circus, where he experiences the magic of the circus. On the other side of the tent, the commuter emerges from “the white light and harmony, a commuter again, but transported and transformed.”
To find the mural, you’re best bet is to enter at 34th street and 8th Ave on the East side of the intersection, and follow the stairs all the way down to the lowest level – following signs toward the platform for the Uptown and Downtown A train. The mural is on the lowest level.
Of the work, the artist says “I thought it would be amusing, to do a contemporary Dante’s Inferno, to turn commuting into a spiritual quest.” Spiritual quest or not, the murals certainly brighten my commute. I hope you find the opportunity to experience them for yourself.
The Highline in New York City is a park built on the previously abandoned and disused elevated railroad tracks of the New York Central Railroad spur which runs from the Meatpacking district to Midtown West. The north end of the Highline is near my office and I love it dearly. I have spent many a lunch hour wandering the park, people watching and taking in the juxtapositions of urban sounds, construction and building with the peaceful flora and fauna of the park.
The Highline has been open since 2009, but since the opening, construction has continued to push the park northward. The final section of the park running from 30th street and as the New York Times describes “swing[s] west from 10th Avenue toward the Hudson River…It spills into a feral grove of big-tooth aspen trees on 34th Street.” Indeed the sunsets are glorious.
The newest and most northern section of the Highline, has a different tone, both literally and and metaphorically, than the rest of the park. It juts what seems dangerously close to a high rise construction site, and loops post the end of the line for the trains at Penn Station. Even the path way is more industrial, with more exposed rails and rugged black top rather than the concrete pavers seen elsewhere in the park. There is a constant cacophony of drilling, hammering, horns honking, and trains chugging along.
Certainly, its less than peaceful, but it seems like the perfect end to the park. After a more peaceful and sometimes magical feeling walk through the southern sections, the end of the Highline slowly brings you back to the urban reality of midtown Manhattan.
As seen in midtown in line for breakfast sandwiches. Fancy pants (literally) construction worker.