2. Life Underground at 14th Street and 8th Avenue
Tom Otterness’s whimsical bronze sculptures can be found scattered throughout the 14th Street Subway station at 8th Avenue. Installed in 2000, the installation comprises 130 tiny figurines that can be spotted tucked away in corners and perched atop banisters, posed in various scenes of mischief, revelry, and work. Otterness told the MTA his figures were inspired by the history of the subway, New York City’s urban myths, and New York society. You can see these themes exemplified in the diversity of the statues, from a giant sewer alligator to the police officer figurines and robber baron types with top hats and bags of money.
There are many ways you can interact with the Otterness sculptures because there are so many and half the fun is finding them! You can stand atop a giant pair of feet flanked by a cartoonish elephant and giraffe, have a seat next to a figurine clutching a bag of money, or rub the money bag-shaped head of the figure in the middle of the stairway for some financial luck (then promptly wash your hands!).