In the great crush of commuting, New Yorkers don’t always have time to stop and appreciate the art of the subway system, one of the world’s largest. The detailed mosaic tile work that serves to identify each station is rarely celebrated. Here to change that is freelance art director Adam Chang. On the website NY Train Project, he highlights the beauty of New York City’s subway signage in all its grimy, piss-stained glory.
Chang’s goal is to catalogue the signs of every MTA subway station, organized on the site by each different line. Each station has a factoid, like when it opened, what long-forgotten features it once had or what film or music video it has appeared in–for instance, the 23rd Street 2 train station gets destroyed in the 1998 version of Godzilla.
“One day while waiting for the 6 train at the Bleecker stop, I began to notice the intricate details of the carefully placed tiles in the station sign. Which led me to noticing other station signs and how they were all different, infused with the personality of the neighborhood,” Chang explains on the site. “I decided that I wanted to share this with others by creating an online gallery of subways stations in NYC, starting with Manhattan.”
So far, Chang has covered 118 stations, largely in Manhattan, riding the train for a total of 20 hours.