If you happen to take the N, R or Q trains to the Fifth Avenue and 59th Street stop on your way to the Central Park Zoo, be sure to first participate in the underground Subway Art Safari that’s going on in the station, as you will not only encounter this colorful flock of Butterflies, but also tiles mosaic murals of Parrots, Penguins, Horses, Monkeys and other creatures.
The Delancey and Essex Street Station is home to the J, M, Z, and F Trains, and also this colorful glass mosaic mural of two fish, which appear to be swimming on the surface of the water. Fun!
With minimal Googling, I discovered that the mural is called Shad Crossing, Delancey Orchard (2004) by artist Ming Fay. For the backstory, let’s go to Yelp Reviewer Tina C. from Queens, who writes:
Glass mosaics on platform and mezzanine walls symbolizes the the liveliness of the once thriving fishing marketplace in this storied Lower East Side community. Aquatic images are a metaphor for “crossing” in a glass mosaic mural on the Brooklyn-bound platform, inspired by the prominent DeLancey family’s eighteenth century farm, which stretched from the East River to the Hudson River. The farm’s cherry orchard was located where Orchard Street stands and is memorialized with radiant cherry trees on the Manhattan-bound platform.
The larger mural is adjacent to this underground directive (above) , but on the platform for the Brooklyn Bound F, you will also find these small tile mosaic Fish Heads at random intervals along the wall.
Once each week, I have an appointment in the vicitiny of 45th Street and Madison Avenue. which gives me the opportunity to walk the length of the long passageway between the S shuttle to Times Square and 4, 5, and 6 lines, under Grand Central Terminal: an excellent shortcut I love to use to avoid excess time on the congested streets of this heavily foot-trafficked neighborhood.
It is at either end of this passageway that you will find Dan Sinclair’s Fast Track and Speedwheels; two mixed-media wall-mounted assemblages crafted from bright metallic sections that include wavy aluminum sheets, steel wheels, brass disks, copper springs and wires. Fast Track, see in the two photos above, is installed closest to the S shuttle to Times Square platform, adjacent to the tracks.
Mounted high overheard on the wall at the end of the passageway that’s closest to the 4, 5, and 6 lines, you will find the expansive Speedwheels installation. It’s a bit challenging to photograph in full, because there is a support beam about ten feet in front of it
The art-deco shapes and various turning wheels, spinning gears and pistons interpret the speed, energy and train travel imagery into this relief sculpture, and add to the aura of the location, below one of America’s premiere rail stations.
Sinclair explains, “I want my sculpture to make people think of the power of the engines that drive the trains, the speed and efficiency of them. The sculptures also reflect the architectural elements of Times Square and the Art Deco glamour of Radio City Music Hall.”
If you happen to take the N, R or Q trains to the Fifth Avenue and 59th Street stop on your way to the Central Park Zoo, be sure to first participate in the underground Subway Art Safari that’s going on in the station, as you will not only encounter this colorful flock of Parrots, but also tiles mosaic murals of Penguins, Horses, Monkeys and other creatures.
The 5th Avenue and 59th Street Subway Stop of the N, Q and R Trains lets you off just few blocks from the entrance to the Central Park Zoo, and you can enjoy a bit of urban safari even before you exit the station which features a collection of colorful tile mosaic murals of various animals that you might find in the zoo or in and around the park. Check out this family of monkeys!