It's finally here and a century in the making!
For nearly a century, there have been plans and discussions, starts and stops - all relating to the construction of the Second Avenue Subway.
"The Second Avenue Subway, envisioned long ago and promised in 1951, probably will never be built." --- New York Times, 1957.
Time and again, promises were made but not kept. Until now.
After meeting a contractor at my new lobby project on Second Avenue and 53rd Street, I walked up to 63rd and Lexington to experience the new subway. The subway brings the Q train (linking the east side of Manhattan to the West side and ending in Queens) to 63rd and Lexington, 72nd and Second, 86th and Second and finally 96th and Second. Plans to expand the line below 63rd are part of phase II, connecting 125th Street to Hanover Square.
The new subway is a major improvement in the lives of many New Yorkers, including me. Now the very east side of Manhattan has another line, relieving the overburdened Lexington Avenue subway - the only line serving the east side - running from the tip of Manhattan to the Bronx.
And why do I say "Experience"? Because the new subway line is filled with art that must be experienced. Chuck Close, Sarah Sze, Vik Muniz and Jean Shin have contdributed to the largest permanent public art installation in New York State history. All 4 of the new station stops include large scale installations by these well known artists - joining an extensive underground art museum funded and commissioned by MTA Arts & Design. The focus is on portraits and mosaics and these life size figures stand like totems of New York diversity.
Riding the New York City subway system has never been better and this new underground gallery is yet another reason for people to visit and explore my incredible city.