MTA Calming Your Way
By Caitlin Hawke
With all the talk about various coming MTA station closures for "digital upgrades" on the B and C line, I am reminded that some of us lived through the IRT station upgrades at 103rd (2004) and 96th Streets (2010)--and survived to tell the story. Yes, I am grateful for those investments -- more capital than digital. And yes, they took forever.
Let me take you back. Remember the new but miscalculated staircase on the west side of Broadway exiting the 103rd Street station? Each step seemingly a different height, walking up or down it was something of a funhouse ride or some bad Candid Camera prank -- only the risk was smashing your nose on the way up, or far worse on the way down! They sure did fix it in a flash. And at 96th, remember how prior to the renovation we used an underpass to get to the platform? It's not that long ago and how quickly we forget. Even with my pathological nostalgia, I can't say I miss that.
Leaving the 96th Street Station, I was looking up the other day and once again saw the real-life version of the rendering above. It struck me as a nice touch. Maybe the sculpture has a function, too. (Pigeon abatement?). Quaint and already retro in its non-digital way.
The looped birdsong that goes with these 200 stainless flowers is intended to have a calming effect on riders. On most days, particularly after a post-apocalyptic commute from work, calming's a thing I am grateful for. Getting most of the way home in one piece on public transportation, is another.
With Spring galloping in, we have real looped birdsong starting up. And Hawkes do appreciate the birds.