The Cool House: Going Underground

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Going Underground

Vanfleteren fashion portraits
Stephan Vanfleteren fashion portraits at Weststation. Photo by Hannes De Geest

For those dealing with the frustrations of commuting to the east side of Manhattan on a daily basis, here is a view of how one small country gets things done. While New Yorkers have been waiting almost a century for the 2nd Ave Subway line, in the 9 years since The Guy and I left Brussels, the Belgians have opened five new stations including the hub Gare de l'Ouest/Weststation, extended two lines and just this past weekend implemented a totally revamped metro system.

Sculpture of a Brabant Horse by Rik Poot at Herrmann-Debroux station

Their underground has horses (I spent many mornings admiring this one), Icarus, a provocative sculpture and modern art in all the stations

Not to mention stations named after famous Belgians.
And your cellphone will work down in the metro, too.


Jennifer said...

Subway as art gallery... now why didn't we think of that!

modernemama said...

To be fair, the NYC subway has some art and I have this book Subway Style: 100 Years of Architecture & Design in the New York City Subway that features the great tile work in some of the stations.

Unknown said...

You can use your cell on the Paris metro too. The iphone would be super awesome if they'd ever get it running on the NYC subway...

Why S? said...

We have art in LA subways too! The catch is that the subways don't go anywhere most people want to go. I guess you can't have it both ways, unless you're in Belgium, where you can have your waffle and eat it too.

modernemama said...

Unfortunately in NY they have chosen market forces over customer service, something I have a hard time explaining to our visitors who thought the US led the world.
You might want to visit this site to see how little will there is for progress on this issue.