Hooray, the Second Avenue Subway is finally open! Well, part of it. There are three new stops along 2nd Ave. at 72nd St., 86th St. and 96th St., and while they look great, they came at a great, probably unnecessary cost, as this Business Insider opinion piece by Josh Barro explains so well.
You’d think in a city with as much to do and see as New York that there would be more exciting things than subway stations, but compared to the city’s mostly dark, grimey stations, the Second Avenue Subway is a breath of fresh air — as fresh as underground air can be, that is. It’s a little odd to see mini-crowds taking pictures of the art on the walls, but most of it is actually pretty nice to look at it.
So if you haven’t seen it yet, come along on this virtual tour and then go check it out for yourself so that you can hate your local subway station even more.
The station starts off nice. There’s an inviting street level entryway like this one for the 86th Street Station. It’s nice to have a little elbow room instead of squirming past people walking down the stairs into most stations.
The escalators are terrifying. They are insanely long. Hold on for your dear life. (This pic was taken looking up. You take the escalator down into the stations.)
Something just looks off here. It looks like the machines are bald or something. For as much art as there is in the stations, maybe they should’ve thrown one over here to make you forget you’re spending money.
The mezzanine level may be a little over the top (of the subway, ha!) but again it’s nice to have some elbow room and be able to leisurely look at the art.
A little color goes a long way, like at the 86th and 96th Street newsstands.
Similarly, the painted trains also look very cool, though some are still the boring ol’ gray. I vote for more color throughout the subway system.
In general the new is interesting to look at, though without knowing much about art I would say the pieces at 86th Street are the best. I also must admit that I didn’t look at all of the pieces, including any of the ones at the extension of the subway at 63rd Street. But here’s a glimpse of the works at the three new stations:
That’s far too many balloons for one man to carry.
Up close, the murals don’t look like much of anything. Which is, like, totally a metaphor. For real though, it’s borderline awesome to see.
It will be terribly ironic when someone gets distracted by these murals and drops their papers all over the place.
So there you have it. The new Second Avenue Subway is at least a visual improvement, and we should encourage the development of more stations that expand transit options to more New Yorkers.