When New Yorkers think of the subway, there are three immediate thoughts that come to mind: filth, rats, and urine. Yet, people from all over the world travel to New York City not just to see Time Square and and the Empire State Building, but to walk the underground tunnels of the MTA Subway. Now, we’re not going to lie, the Hoyt-Schermerhorn and Canal Street stations might have you jumping in a cab to LaGuardia ASAP, but we can confirm that many of the 469 stations that make up New York City’s subway system have more to offer than just the occasional pizza rat sighting. Whether you’re a local or traveling from afar, here are three subway stations worth checking out in NYC:
Underneath Bryant Park itself is one of the largest subway art pieces in the city: Samm Kunce’s Under Bryant Park (2002). The mural is a favorite of traveling Instagrammers, displaying quotes from the likes of Mother Goose to Carl Jung.
Leo Villareal’s neon hexagonal light installation at the Broadway-Lafayette Street stop will make you feel as if you’ve time warped back to New York City’s finest era: the 80s. It’s thought that artist Villareal seems to be commenting on the high-speed buzz of life that passes through the station.
New York City graffiti and street artists came together in May 2015 to adorn the walls of this Washington Heights subway station as part of the 191st Beautification Project. Adorned with bright and bold pieces of work, these walls have transformed the darkest, scariest, and deepest known tunnels part of the MTA subway into one of the most Instagrammable places in all of the city.