4. A Gathering at Canal Street Station

A Gathering subway artwork
Courtesy of the MTA. Photo Credit: Rob Wilson

Scattered throughout the Canal Street station are dozens of birds, 174 grackles and blackbirds to be exact. While live birds may be seen as well, these are all cast in bronze and given a glossy black patina. They can be found in dozens of different poses, perching on railings, or watching commuters from beams above.

Birds are very social animals, similar to New Yorkers. Subway riders may find echoes of themselves in these small creatures and their fun expressions. A daily commute may be boring, especially if the station is commercial and devoid of nature. Artists Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz created the creatures to enliven the space and bring a smile to New Yorkers’ faces.