Hey fellow Urban Explorers! Getting around New York City just got a lot easier. Did you hear the news?! The First phase of the 2nd Avenue Subway is finally open! As every New Yorker who has struggled with commuting over to and from the East side of town, I was excited and eager to see what the new stations look like. I can recall my walking commute to the Lexington subway line when I lived on 100th street and 1st avenue. It was not a pleasant one, especially during the harsh wintry mornings.
I visited the new 2nd Avenue Subway to document and wander around the new facilities showcasing permanent works from New York City based artists; Chuck Close, Sarah Sze, Vik Muniz & Jean Shin.
The immense expansion was originally proposed in 1919, but plans were not put to work until 1972 due to the Great Depression, and other budget deficits that interfered along the way. After several delays, and construction eyesores with traffic congested streets, Phase 1, a 4.5 billion dollars project finally opened to the public on January 1st, 2017. Happy New Year! Phase 1 consist of four new subway stations; 96th street, 86th street, 72nd street, and the existing 63rd street & Lexington Avenue station (who was expanded to connect to the Q line)
86th street station showcases “Subway Portraits” permanent mosaic works by Chuck Close, one of the most prolific artist of our generation, and a one of my favorites. Chuck Close is best known for his photorealistic massive-scale portraits done in a pointillist style. What the eye sees from afar will be very different when admiring the works from up-close.
72nd street station welcomes you with “Perfect Strangers” by Brazilian artist and photographer Vik Muniz, who is best known for reproducing popular art and pop culture images. “Perfect Strangers” is a collection of mosaic artworks portraying New York City’s melting pot of cultures and eclectic attitudes.
“Phase 1 is served by the Q train, which runs at all times. The N provides limited rush hour service on Phase 1. A second phase is planned to extend the line from 96th Street to 125th Street, and both the Q and limited N service will be extended to 125th Street when Phase 2 is built. A new T train will serve the entire line from 125th to Houston Streets at all times once Phase 3 is completed.”
Now is your turn! Aren’t you curious to see the rest of the works on display, including pieces by Jean Shin “Elevated” in the 63rd street Subway Station, and Sarah Sze’s “Blueprint for a Landscape” at the 96th Subway street station?
Photography: Tatiana Katkova
Backstage Videography: Iya sugar Brown