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W81st St subway station


NYC subways often get a bad rap. Yeah, they can be crowded. And filthy. And when trains pull into the station I wish the MTA would keep the screeching noise to a decibel level lower than ‘make me deaf’. But they’re also an amazingly efficient way to get around town. It’s relatively cheap. And, occasionally, you get treated to some really fantastic performance art.

I think the thing I like the best about the subway though is seeing the incredible tile work found at many stations—especially the ones that are popular stops—like this one at W81st Street for the American Museum of Natural History. I captured only a few of the colorful mosaics at the northwestern end of the station—that’s all I had time for. But if you are headed to the museum yourself and decide to take the train (C line heading north) you’ll be treated to these amazing images, plus, some incredible reliefs of dinosaurs that are located toward the southwestern end of the platform where the underground entrance to the museum is located.

You can find out more about art in the subways on the MTA’s website, including more about the W81st Street station, in the section Arts for Transit and Urban Design.

Mary Maru