R train returns to Whitehall Station

Today the R train returns to service at Whitehall St aka South Ferry after being flooded by Hurricane Sandy almost 2 years ago.  If you are heading to and from Brooklyn you will be very happy to have a much shorter commute after 14 months out of service. I have a fondness for the station because it was one of the last new stations to open with a fantastic art installation from Doug and Mike Starn for Arts For Transit which commissions mosaic and station art installations throughout the city. I was the Music Under New York artist who performed for the opening of the installation. It was also at a time where I was only beginning to think of recording in video some of my underground experiences. I made a short clip.  Here it is and some images from that special day.  I like to think from that day was born my Inspiration Project

past blogs about the station:

After Hurricane Sandy flooded the station: South Ferry Art Underwater

The opening day of the installation: South Ferry Installation, by Mike and Doug Starn

South Ferry subway art under water

Concerned about the fate of the Arts For Transit installation in South Ferry by artists Mike and Doug Starn, I emailed them about their South Ferry Artwork now underwater. I had the pleasure of performing in the station the day the artwork installation was unveiled in 2010. Mike replied. Take special note of Mike's comment about the changing island:

We are in Rome now and have not seen the devastation in lower Manhattan in person, but we think that there will not be any permanent damage. the glass is solid 1.5" thick and the stainless steel fence will be fine. The only thing that could remain as evidence is the possibility of  a stain on the marble mosaics.

the map piece we did is all about the changing island- the same island drawn in 1640 and we over laid with the contemporary map--- climate change will also have its affect on the island, and we think seeing some of that evidence would be a good thing. you can see the water height in this picture.


on a brighter note, we liked the Colbert Report moments….

Hurricane Sandy devastates 60 million Americans and seven subway tunnels, which means it could be weeks before they're able to restore the scent of urine down there. (04:51)

and the next day with Vince and Shamwow


South Ferry Memories

I travel to South Ferry regularly as I perform in the Station and in the nearby Staten Island Ferry terminals.  It is so sad to realize this newly designed station only open for 2 years, is now under water.  I had the wonderful opportunity to be invited to perform in the station as part of the opening celebration on March 8, 2010, showcasing the gorgeous art of the Doug and Mike Starn designed for the MTA's Arts For Transit program.  I know it will be back soon, and appreciate the amazing work of all those helping us to recover after the storm.

Here's a funky clip of me on the opening day.  


And a clip of the submerged station from the MTA youtube channel. Very chilling to see.




South Ferry new station opening

Monday, March 16, 2009 at 8:29am

I'm off to South Ferry today, it's a new station with amazing art installations from brothers Doug and Mike Starn who were commissioned by the MTA and Arts for Transit. I had a chance to perform for the private artist viewing of the spot-it was great. Today is the public opening, so it will be fun to just perform for people trying to get from one place to another, and possibly others coming our of curiosity. When was the last time a new station opened? There have been delays and complaints, but what I can see so far is that it's accessible-elevators and escalators (most stations have none or are difficult to find, disgustingly gross, or out of service). Here's a chance to give people beautiful art to look at (and fun music too).


The picture is from the opening party I performed at March 3rd by photographer Rob Wilson and sent to me from MUNY as a reminder of where to set up today (not against the elevator bank!). Funny

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 7:49am

the station opened without any ceremony, although I sat on a train held up because of a water main problem. I didn't realize until I got to the station that the main break affected the 1 line and so no one was using the new station-it was crazy. I set up where another performer Sean (a great cellist) was playing, and it worked out fine. By 4pm the station opened and so I moved. It was beautiful being inside by the art, but no one was walking by really, so that part was frustrating. It was great overhearing comments from people walking by "gorgeous", "beautiful", "wow". There were workmen there happy to see the station finally open.

Will be happy to go back.....