The Union Square subway station has been a mecca for art, both commissioned and non-commissioned, from the urban archeological fragments hidden but celebrated in plain sight to the stickers put on tiles that name those who perished on 9/11. Yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo visited the Subway Therapy project in the Union Square subway station, placing his own yellow Post-It note which reads “New York State holds the torch high!” – Andrew C, and he quotes the poem by Emma Lazarus from the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free…I left my lamp beside the golden door.”
Governor Cuomo has been on a tear, emphasizing in a media event post election that the “state of New York has a proud legacy of being the progressive capital of the nation and I think that is more important today than ever before.” He then expressed his support of the immigrant community here, “If any immigrant feels that they are under attack, I want them to know that the state of New York – the state that has the Statue of Liberty in its harbor – is their refuge. In terms of individual rights, whether you are gay or straight, we respect all people in the state of New York.”
Since Cuomo’s visit, the Subway Therapy wall at Union Square (you’ll find it next to the staircases down to the 4/5/6 trains has become even more jam packed with notes. While many are anti-Trump, more are messages of hope, love, peace, unity, and about fighting for equal rights. Post-it notes are making it onto the row of 1904 subway fragments and onto a neighboring column. There are references to Hillary and pantsuits.
Subway Therapy began as an initiative by artist Matthew “Levee” Chaves about six months ago. “When people are overflowing with emotion, help channel their energy into something good,” he writes on the Subway Therapy about page. Post-election, these walls have become an even more important place for expression. Chaves holds “Office Hours” at scheduled times almost daily – today’s will be in the tunnel between the F/L and 1/2/3 trains at 14th Street. He’s not a licensed therapist, but he’s ready to listen and give personal advice from his own experience, he says.
THIS IS AMERICA, a Post-it note series reads, after a long series of cartoon portraits of Americans: LGBTQ, Ohio!, Jewish, Long Island, Korean, Puerto Rican, Turkish, African-American, Polish, and me! writes costume designer @veracoco:
“SPREAD LOVE! It’s the BKLYN WAY!”:
Scroll down for more images from the Subway Therapy wall today, which has become a tourist destination in its own right. New Yorkers were uncharacteristically quiet, viewing the Post-its. A man offered us a Sharpie and blue Post-its (we wrote “♥ all new Yorkers (even the damn tourists!))
Make America Love Again:
“Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time,” a quote attributed to Winston Churchill:
Next, read about the Top 15 Secrets of Union Square.