Unexpected art in the bowels of the world’s most storied station.
It happens to me all the time. I find myself whining about the heat or the physical challenges of navigating the city, and WHAM — the universe tosses a stunning little visual treat my way.
Taking the Metro North up to Westport, Connecticut, I was in one of those moods. The sweltering heat was making me cranky, and my train was leaving from what seemed like the grossest, stinkiest, deepest underground level in the terminal.
Then I suddenly noticed the half-washed walls, layers of soot, and general urban decay surrounding me. It wasn’t gross at all — it was stunning. The lack of maintenance and cleaning left patterns of black and white, drips and stains from mold and old paint. Vertical lines from moisture and wear-and-tear. Lovely marks that referenced one of my favorite abstract painters, Cy Twombly. (Pic #1 – right).
I recorded these “museum walls” with my iPhone, and suddenly realized I had one of the best days in NYC in years. So, the biggest secret about Grand Central isn’t the secret sub-basement, (that the Nazis nearly destroyed) but the surprises left on the walls — from nothing more than neglect. Sometimes art reveals itself in the strangest ways…now if only we could be ever so slightly more aware of its playful intent.