New York can be an intimidating place, especially when it comes to the subway. Not only is it confusing to figure out where you're going, but some of the stations look like they are preparing to film the next installment of the Saw franchise. My best subway story, which I may or may not have told here before, started off innocently enough. Sharon and I are standing on the platform, waiting for the train to arrive, and all of a sudden some lady pushes past us in disgust, continuously looking behind her, and mumbling "oh my God" over and over. We turned to see what had got her in such a panic and no more than ten feet away from us was a grown man dropping the deuce. Now when you think about pooping, which who doesn't, you picture someone squatting down. Not this guy. He was standing straight, sweat pants around his ankles, and growing a brown tail like it was as normal as checking your text messages. Now try as I might to look away, I just couldn't. It had nothing to do with the horror of what was happening as much as it had to do with making sure he came nowhere near us. A man that will poop out in the open on a subway platform is a man that :
1.) is full of germs
2.) is probably a tad unstable and might decide that a stabbing is next on his to do list
He finished his business, pulled up his pants, and got on the train like nothing was out of the ordinary. We walked three cars up from where he got on (the recommended distance you should always have between yourself and someone who's committed such an act) and went about the rest of our day unable to speak of anything else.
My point behind this story is to say that the subway could use some sprucing up, and I don't mean with the random spattering of Scientologists and American Idol hopefuls it has now. Bigshot Toyworks remembers a time when you could at least see colorful, albeit illegal, artwork adorning the sides of every train. So much so that they created the All City Style subway train car so artists now can relive those days when Times Square was more Mad Max than Disneyland, and riding the subway meant getting an art show to go along with your mugging.
A tone of artists have customized these cars to put on display this weekend at PIQ in Grand Central Terminal. The show opens November 22nd and will feature tons of artists you know and love. A listing of participants can be found in the picture waaaaaaaaay up at the top there.