Posts Tagged ‘New York City subway scene’

“The subway is a microcosm of New York City”

November 19, 2018

We may never know what printmaker Harry Sternberg was thinking when he etched this rich, detailed scene inside a city subway car (appropriately titled “Subway Car”) in 1930.

But I like Nicole Viglini’s take on a web page published by Smith College Museum of Art in 2015: that Sternberg, who was born on the Lower East Side in 1904 and as a kid took free art classes at the Brooklyn Museum, depicted a microcosm of New York City.

“Though people from many different walks of life are present together, they do not directly interact with one another,” Viglini wrote. “A couple chats in the foreground, and a few shady-looking men look askance; everyone else seems to be absorbed in their own thoughts.”

“The ads above the seats remind the viewer of the busy commercial madhouse above ground. Within the confines of the subway car, hurtling through tunnels beneath the chaotic city, there is a measure of calm and a respite for people to regain some modicum of control.”

A vintage subway sign hangs on in the Village

January 4, 2013

It’s been more than a year since this old-school sign was uncovered after the removal of a newsstand in front of a subway entrance at Sixth Avenue and West Fourth Street (Gothamist scored the details in September 2011.)

Eighthavenuesubwaysign

Amazingly, the MTA hasn’t yet covered the slightly tattered but very charming sign. Could it be here to stay—a ghost from New York’s transit past reminding riders that the A, C, and E used to be part of the Independent Subway System, opened in 1932?

The IND ran as a separate network from the privately owned IRT and BMT lines for eight years, until all three lines merged into one enormous city-run system in 1940.