One of the most interesting, unique aspects of the city is the amount of art that this city contains. Between unique street art, and fascinating Subway installations, around every corner is something new to experience. The amount of artists who have their work displayed underground is substantial, and you would need a few days to tackle it all!
Did you know that there are 469 subway stops connecting all the boroughs?? That’s a lot of stations and a lot of art. When the subway first started, people were scared to go down into its depths, so $500,000 was allowed to “beautify” the stations. One of the first was City Hall, which is now an abandoned station. You can still see it, if you stay on the 6 train as it loops from Brooklyn back into Manhattan. However, this is harder than it sounds.
We are going to highlight some of the best here, and feel free to share your favorite finds! Want to see some of these in person? A few of our tours include stops at some of these locations, so pick your favorites and book a tour today!
You can see this beautiful mosaic on the east side, perhaps on the way to a Yankee game? It depicts the Harlem music scene, with its roots in the jazz and blues era.
One of my particular favorites is this mural that stretches through a downtown subway stop with multiple connections. There are actually a few great installments in this station. These fish, which are pretty great, represent the immigrants crossing the ocean. There is one more installment down here as well…know what it is?
This is one of my favorites. And also probably one of the easiest to spot, as it runs through one of the busiest subway stops in Manhattan. This tile mosaic is pretty large, and also is representative of NYC. Have you ever felt like you were “losing your marbles”?
Another easy one to spot is this favorite too. Based on a beloved childrens tale, there are a few murals that pay homage to Alice in Wonderland. Fairly close to the theatre district,
This one is a little bit harder! Not all stations include mosaic designs, and this one is a beautiful installment of stained glass. There are many stations, including a hefty amount in the Bronx. There are also some beautiful stations on the A line, especially as you get into Queens and Brooklyn. This station has massive amounts, and as you delve deeper into the depths, more are revealed.
One of my favorite stations is a little farther uptown. While it may be “off the beaten path” it is well worth a visit. This station is quite large, and there are definitely may picture opportunities. From the outside or the inside, you’ll be sure to get some great art shots.
One of the newest installations and also one of the prettiest, has just been added to the East Side. This lovely mosaic installment pays homage to spring, with its beautiful flowers and plants. This station has been closed for renovations but recently opened with some gorgeous additions and modern touches. The artwork is supposed to be representative of Madison Square Park, and enhance the subway station for riders!
One of the most important animals in Manhattan history was the beaver, and this animal tied in with this particular subway station, played a large role in NYC. It is the state animal, and is also depicted on the state seal and flag. There is also Beaver street down in the Financial District. The name of this particular station also ties into why the beaver is so important to the city’s history.
One of the most fun and whimsical subway stations is this one. This subway stop has fun robots all over, which represent some of the neighborhoods toy and technology history. Also around the corner is another subway stop that has something “”blowing in the wind.” Know what they are and what stop it is?
There are SO many cool installations throughout the city and the boroughs. It would take weeks to go through them all, but they are all worth seeing. The station at 81st off the C,B train? One of the best murals of underground sea life. 42nd St? Has an awesome mural above the 1,S transfer. What about 14th St? “Life Underground” is over 130 sculptures situated around the A,C,E, L line. These cute little statues depict NYC life in a humorous and cartoon-like way.
What are your favorite stations? Leave me some comments or pictures!