It’s been a dream since the 1920’s and it’s first phase was finally opened on January 1st of 2017. For almost a century New Yorkers have watched with anticipation as their hopes for the East Side extension rose and fell in fits and starts; delays, funding issues, politics, recessions and depressions, construction inconveniences, and broken promises.
It’s hard to believe, but a tangible reward is now ready at the swipe of your metro card.
It’s just a four station add-on to the Q line from 63rd and Lex to 96th Street for now, but already a real relief to the overcrowded and limited service on the East Side. Besides the convenience, newness and comfort of the new facilities, each new station has become a museum/gallery (with the lowest admission prices in the City) with permanent collections by important contemporary artists and their
NY’s Governor Cuomo has taken an unusually personal stake in moving the project forward. He recently said to the New York Times, “At some point government adopted an attitude that its job was to build things that were functional but unattractive and unappealing.” He went on to say, “But that’s not how it has always been, and it’s not how it should be. With every public works project, I believe there is an opportunity to elevate the everyday, to build a public space where community can gather and where culture and shared civic values are celebrated.” That statement and the timing of the projects opening has never been as important as it is now. Let’s hope that the Federal government takes heed…and acts [or fails to act on some of the draconian cuts in the arts being proposed by our current administration].
As aficionados of public art Marsha and I have been reading about what’s happening and were thrilled that, at least part of it, had come into view in our lifetime. We toured each new station recently and would like to share some of the amazing images for everyone to enjoy. The MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) Arts & Design program (visit the MTA Arts Link) has always made riding the subway more than just a ride, but these offerings begin a new more enticing era of bringing art to the public.
We started our art tour at the end of the line at 96th St, getting off the Q train and walking up to the mezzanine….
[Since this post is quite long, I’ve broken it up into individual pages for reading at your leisure. When you reach the end of each page you’ll see links to following pages at the bottom to click now or later. Have fun]