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Saturday, August 2, 2008

What's on the Walls, Underground

Chinatown subway
Photo by myself in the Canal Street subway station.

Several walls of the station are decorated with large, playful, graphic symbols.


Friday night I found myself at a happy hour, celebrating with ex-coworkers. One of my friends was leaving the office for new prospects, and we were talking about workplaces in general.

There have been layoffs at some of the bigger offices. Not a good sign. Architecture usually lags behind the economy, compared to other fields. Real estate is a slow-moving industry. It takes years to find a property, buy it, develop a design and build a building.

Typically the economy might be doing badly, but architects will still be busy, since developers or owners have already allocated funds for a project and don't want to stop midway through.

Despite the mortgage crisis and an insecure future, many of my architect friends are looking around for better opportunities. Perhaps it's New York, and the naive belief that this city is immune to a lack of work. Perhaps it's a generational thing. But these guys are not playing it safe. They refuse to compromise.

I'm curious to see what happens next.

Related posts: What Makes Your Skin Crawl and Code Yellow.


Daryl said...

I love the way the subways have jazzed it up with those tiles .. have you seen the little figures on the walls of the Prince St platform? And the hats on the 18th St (I think its 18th) on the N/R line?

I found my way here to your blog via Babooshka's dailyphotoisleofman.blogspot.com


Kitty said...

Welcome, Daryl
I hope to check out your blog soon.

Yes, I'm very familiar with the Prince Street N/R stop. I worked in the neighborhood for a few years.

I worked by the other subway station you mention, too. It's the 23rd Street N/R station. (hooray for the N/R trains!)

PJ said...

Interesting tiles, gives it a bit of a Delft feel, all the blue and white. By the way, Blogger is behaving really strange today. Kitty, your blog is definitely being weird -- unless you decided to drop a month's worth of posts. Didn't think so. Also, following your example I started a daily photo for Pensacola:
and got registered at CDP. I'm enjoying it already.

ken mac said...

I am five minutes away from that station but never noticed that. Good catch!

Abraham Lincoln said...

I also like the tiles and the way it reminds me of Delft china or something similar. Sure makes the place look neat and clean.

Tammy said...

That wall is really cool looking! I'm impressed how nice the subway looks. I've never been in one, but since they are underground I always expect them to be dark and scary. Maybe I'm just watching too many scary movies. LOL

Spandrel Studios said...

The green dress against the blue in the tiles makes for a great color scheme in this picture - nicely done!

Kitty said...

I'll have to check out your blog tomorrow. Congrats for starting one!

I hope you learn as much as I have in your journey. Glad you've joined the CDP crew!

Hi Ken
I don't blame you for not frequenting the station. It can be crazy busy sometimes.

Hi Mr Lincoln
yes, I like how playful the images are, too. Nice to see non-serious art.

Hi Tammy
The subway stations aren't so terrible (well, mostly). The tunnels are dark, but the platforms are okay. :-)

Hi Spandrel
Thanks! I did a little color tweaking to help things out.