Tunnel of Love: The Best and Weirdest Subway Art on Etsy
By Kristin Iversen
Here it comes!
When I was little, I lived along the 1/9 line, or, as my grandmother called it, the IRT. My grandmother also insisted that there was nothing in the world that you couldn’t get between the borders of Morningside Heights, specifically between 116th and 110th Streets and Riverside Drive and Amsterdam Avenue, because my grandmother was a sort of perfectly provincial New Yorker in a way that doesn’t really exist anymore. Anyway. I was fiercely loyal to the 1/9 for a couple of reasons. One, it was really my only subway option and a lack of choice breeds both loyalty and even love, I’ve found. This extends to relationships as well, obviously. And, two, I was born with the unfortunate burden of having both a first AND last name that start with letters which are not represented by subway lines. There was no K train, no I line for me to enjoy riding on. To put it mildly, this fucking sucked. I’m still not quite over it, as you can see.
But, yeah, I sure did love that 1/9. Enough to write a song about it like people have done for the oft-maligned G train? Well, no. Not at all. The New York Post, in an article titled “O-M-G”, spotlights some people’s love for that four-car, limited to Brooklyn and Queens, unreliable on weekends, red-headed stepchild of the MTA—the G train. It turns out that a lot of people actually love the G. Whether it’s because of “Brooklyn elitism—it’s the only train that doesn’t enter Manhattan” or because of what the Post not entirely unfairly terms G train-related “Stockholm Syndrome,” riders just can’t help professing their love for “the turtle of the train system.” And not only do they profess it in song, like the band Teen Commandments, they also profess it through art. But what kind of art and where can you find it? Well, some of it is really great! And some of it is really weird. And some of it is both. And all of it, of course, is on Etsy.