Last week, we recorded a segment for Cityscape on WFUV Public Radio, an NPR affiliate in New York City. In one part, host George Bodarky asked us about the tiled signs in the subway. For those that love transit and illustration, the wonderful website NY Train Project celebrates those very tile mosaics. Organized by letter, you can virtually visit 118 subway stations (so far) and read a fun tidbit about each one.
NY Train Project is run by Adam Chang, who runs the design firm Same Tomorrow. So far, he’s spent 20 hours riding and waiting for subways but used only 9 subway swipes! It reminds us of the guys who tried to break the Guinness World Record for conquering the entire NYC system. Chang writes “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. I decided that I wanted to share this with others by creating an online gallery of subways stations in NYC, starting with Manhattan.”
In many cases, Chang captures key elements of surrounding tiles, visually capturing key elements like the vaulted architecture of 181st Street A train stop or the red square tiles at 34th Street B/D/F/M.
Here are some of our favorites from the NY Train Project: