Is There A “Best” Subway Station In NYC?


Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang has performed the position of the goodnatured, barely clueless frontrunner ever since he entered the NYC mayoral race. Regardless of gaffes and goofs galore, he has now embraced a brand new “post-embarrassment” part. And he appeared to kick issues off by happening the comic Ziwe’s self-titled Showtime present on Sunday night to uncomfortably reply just a few questions on his favourite billionaires, rap songs, and racial stereotypes.

However there was one little factor that basically caught out for New Yorkers: when requested what his favourite subway station is, Yang mentioned it was his native cease…Instances Sq.. “It is huge, it is cavernous, there are entertainers there, certain, like, what’s to not like?” he mentioned by means of clarification.

Some had been incredulous: “That is like saying your favourite Italian restaurant is Olive Backyard,” tweeted Jessica Valenti. Some referred to as Yang’s choose “disqualifying,” such as Miranda Yaver, PhD. Others mentioned these reactions had been excessive and elitist.

“You may have legit points with Andrew Yang as mayor and in addition not lean into gross tropes about authenticity of belonging,” tweeted Jeff Yang in response to somebody who declared that Andrew Yang was “one thousand p.c Not a New Yorker” due to his love of Instances Sq..

Learn Extra: The Midtownaissance Is Coming And No One Believes Me

Notions of authenticity amidst this mayoral race apart, the factor that almost all pursuits me about this matter is how New Yorkers outline what qualifies as a great or dangerous subway station. As a result of there are big variations within the upkeep, facilities, and vibe of each cease. The subway, greater than some other a part of the town, is one factor that probably the most variety of New Yorkers have in widespread, and all of us have passionate, extremely particular concepts about what makes one station stand out from one other.

Is it in regards to the ease with which you’ll traverse the station, and whether or not it is ADA-accessible? Is it in regards to the quantity of choices for taking completely different traces? Is it in regards to the cleanliness or lack thereof? Is it the artwork on the partitions, the stained glass mosaics, and the shine of the tiles? Is it as a result of there’s one thing distinctive in regards to the station that solely regulars would know? Is it about whether or not it has leisure or meals accessible, or maybe recent fruit and concessions? Or is all of it about comfort—do you inevitably develop Stockholm syndrome for no matter station you utilize probably the most?

READ MORE: 116 Causes We Love & Miss The Subway

Possibly it finally come right down to nostalgia and sentimentality—perhaps it is simply the truth that our recollections commingle with the altering panorama of the town, and from that our city identities are shaped. Traversing the town then turns into a mini-tour by way of your personal private historical past. Possibly the York Avenue station was the place you kissed your past love; perhaps the Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue/74th Avenue station is the place you broke down crying after breaking apart with them; perhaps Dyckman Avenue station is the place you bumped into that particular person once more after 5 years and noticed them drop a bagel on the bottom, choose it up, and eat it—do not deny it, I simply noticed you do it!—so that you counted your blessings you already broke up.

To attempt to get to the center of all this, I posed the query of favourite subway stations to my colleagues, a few of whom determined to additionally let me know what their least favourite station is, as a result of New Yorkers are nothing if not discerning.

Subway mosaic at 28th Street


The twenty eighth Avenue station is gorgeous.

Jen Carlson / Gothamist


“The Franklin Avenue subway cease (serving us since 1918) is probably the most stunning and subtly whimsical subway station in NYC,” says Jen Carlson. “From the terrazzo flooring to the artwork shows embedded within the partitions to the rose-tinted hues… it deserves your R-E-S-P-E-C-T.” Actually, following Aretha Franklin’s dying, the MTA put up some official tributes to the legend on this station.

In the meantime, the twenty eighth Avenue Station (Lexington Avenue line) is one other beaut — this one “underwent some renovations in 2018 and got here out of it a straight up stunner!” That is largely due to Nancy Blum’s “Roaming Underfoot,” a set of subway mosaics meant to “seize a number of the magic” of the close by Madison Sq. Park, an city sanctuary that options flowers like Pink Buds, Magnolias, Hellebores, Witch Hazel, Daffodils, Hydrangea, and Camellia, which had been “chosen as illustration of plant species that face up to altering local weather circumstances of the town.

Carlson additionally says she loves “the multi-tiered chaos (and churro distributors) of Broadway Junction. The design feels a bit like what would occur if a toddler was instructed to create an Escher-esque subway station — like they only saved stacking extra items on high of it?”


James Ramsay had an sudden choose for his favourite station: “68 St / Lexington Ave, that is deep as hell, that is most likely my favourite station,” he mentioned. That station occurs to have one of many steepest escalators within the metropolis. “For some motive I just like the ordeal of all these escalators. I even have sentimental emotions in regards to the Higher East Aspect as a result of I used to be born there after which my household instantly bailed, so there’s life-that-coulda-been vitality to that cease.”

As for his least favourite stations, he factors out “the Bedford L and Union Sq. L stations as a result of everybody could be very enticing, which I discover distracting and unnerving. I can settle for one hottie per station.”

Maya Angelou portrait derived from a photograph by Brian Lanker.<br>


Maya Angelou portrait derived from {a photograph} by Brian Lanker, mural by Rico Gaston, on the 167th Avenue D station within the Bronx

David “Dee” Delgado / Gothamist


For Jen Chung, the mix of views, artwork and ease of transfers are what add as much as a really nice subway station. She totally agreed with Yang’s alternative of Instances Sq., each as a result of she lives off the 1/2/3 and due to what number of transfers can be found there. For performance, she says it might probably’t be beat. “For type, I like Astor Place uptown entrance, then any subway with nice artwork, like this one at 167th Avenue within the Bronx with the superb Rico Gaston murals.”

Gaston’s subway portraits characteristic legends like of Gil Scott-Heron, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, Reggie Jackson, and Supreme Courtroom Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

As for worst station, she had two picks: Penn Station (for the specific and native trains being on separate platforms), and the hellscape that’s the switch between the F and the 1/2/3 at 14th Avenue, higher recognized to common customers because the “tunnel of dying.”


For Jake Dobkin, the power to discover probably the most mysterious corners of the town are probably the most attention-grabbing: his favourite is the “misplaced station at nineteenth Avenue on the 6, as a result of you already know I solely dangle with ghost stations.” After all, probably the most legendary ghost station is the previous Metropolis Corridor cease.

For stations presently in use, he favors the Smith–Ninth Streets for the view. And he additionally loves the underground platform on the Bergen Avenue station that they used within the 1990 movie Jacob’s Ladder.

The Fulton Street Subway station


The Fulton Avenue Subway station

Adela Loconte/Shutterstock


Caroline Lewis had two picks — Fulton Avenue and Union Sq.. The previous “as a result of it’s shiny and new with out being too obnoxious, it’s useful, and most significantly, it gives the important nexus between the A/C and 4/5 that enables me to get from Mattress-Stuy to my mother and father on the Higher East Aspect.”

In the meantime, you may’t be the leisure at Union Sq., making it an standout — “I respect the chaos/high notch buskers at Union Sq.,” she mentioned. “It’s annoying to navigate, however good buskers and other people watching.”

Sydney Pereira additionally selected Union Sq. as her favourite. “Like Caroline mentioned, all of the buskers, music, artists make me really feel… alive! And really a lot in and part of New York Metropolis,” she defined. “Plus, it is sensible in that quite a lot of trains cease there. It is overwhelming, complicated typically, overstimulating mentally, however is simply the New Yorkiest of stations.” She is also a fan of any station which has trains that may take her to the seaside.


For Sophia Chang, the primary factor is performance and usefulness. “Dekalb Avenue, as a result of it affords all pedestrians an alternative choice to crossing Flatbush on foot, and it’s sensibly laid out. Zero attraction although,” she famous. She additionally appreciates all the aboveground stations on the Q line in Brooklyn, and thinks the most effective buskers are working on the Metropolitan cease on the G line.


Nsikan Akpan picked his previous stomping grounds: the 96th Avenue station on the Lexington Avenue line. “I used to stay by there,” he mentioned. “The entire thing feels very gritty (regardless of its location), and I just like the design (particularly the arches). The entrances confide in a reasonably eclectic combine—playgrounds, a gyro store, a Starbucks, a sweet retailer/newspaper stand, an eyebrow place. General, it feels fairly New York-y. I feel they filmed Léon: The Skilled close to there.” He’s right about that: Léon and Mathilda’s house constructing within the movie was positioned on the nook of E 97th Avenue & Park Avenue.


Lastly, Liz Kim was unequivocal about her high choose: “Hudson Yards!!!” She pointed to the video under of ballerinas performing Justin Peck’s “THE TIMES ARE RACING” there in 2017. “It at all times had the novelty of being so shiny and spanking new,” she mentioned. “However after I noticed that video, I dream of working up the steps and doing fan kicks throughout the station.”


Try just a few extra tweets from folks discussing their favourite and least favourite stations under, then chime in along with your picks within the feedback.