I hopped off the N train the other day just to take some photos for you.
Oh ok, maybe I did it for me, too. This is my favorite stop in the subway system, and I don't get to admire it much anymore. (Once upon a time I worked in the Flatiron Building, which is just upstairs from this station, so I visited it much more often than I do now.)
The walls of both the uptown and downtown stop are lined with mosaic hats.
Here's a quote from the MTA Arts for Transit website about the work:
"From the 1880s through the 1920s, 23rd Street was a major vaudeville, entertainment, and cultural district, and 'Ladies Mile,' the fashion and department store haven of the time, was located nearby. In his mosaic Memories of 23rd Street, Keith Godard represents the area through the various hats they might have worn."
The hats are all at different heights. Here's one that's especially far from the floor:
Why? Well, take a close look at the plaque below it:
I would imagine that Mr. Barnum was very tall. And why do I say that? Take a look at the hat next to it, which is very close to the floor. Click the photo to see whose hat it is:
(If you can't read the type, it says "Tiny Tim.")
I love the glass tiles used in the mosaics. They have a rippled surface that reflects the light in a fascinating way, and the colors themselves are incredibly clear and vibrant.
It's fun to stroll up and down the platform imagining the people who wore these hats. I have a few favorites, but I'll let you admire them and pick your own:
There are many more, but unfortunately the next train arrived and I needed to leave.
Which is your favorite?