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Artwork to be Erected Under 40th Street Subway Station

Rendering Provided by NYC Department of Transportation (DOT)

May 4, 2013 By Christian Murray

How about doing a few pull-ups before catching the subway?

Well, Sunnyside residents will be offered that opportunity come summer time when artwork/exercise equipment is erected underneath the 40th Street subway station.

The new plan was presented by the Department of Transportation before Community Board 2 on Thursday—with a spokeswoman for the DOT stating that the structure would enhance the space as well as provide some practical use.

“I’m trying to bring art and function [to the area],” said Darren Goins, the artist, who worked with the Sunnyside Woodside Boys & Girls Club in putting together the design. “It’s about the concept of simple shapes…with simple equipment.”

The equipment, as seen in the rendering, will be made of stainless steel and be surrounded by rubber for safety purposes.  Signs will accompany it to ensure people know how to use it.

A spokeswoman for the DOT said that the equipment/artwork will be up for one year—and then it will be taken down.  It will be up to the artist and the Sunnyside Woodside Boys & Girls Club to maintain it during that period.

The community board endorsed the concept, with the proviso that it be cleaned every week.

Members of the board were concerned that the structure would be an attraction for pigeons and might get dirty.

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62 Comments

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123sunny

Ok, I’m done here – but again, it is the location – Annie D – that is the concern (a very simple, easy Wikipedia search gives me all the data I need to know that this is a bad idea – not that I even really needed this to figure that out . . . ):

“The combination of Queens Boulevard’s immense width, heavy automobile traffic, and thriving commercial scene made it the most dangerous thoroughfare in New York City and has earned it city-wide notoriety and morbid nicknames such as “The Boulevard of Death”[2] and “The Boulevard of Broken Bones”.

From 1993 to 2000, 72 pedestrians, were killed trying to cross the street, an average of 10 per year, with countless more injuries. Since 2001, at least partially in response to major news coverage of the dangerous road, the city government has taken measures to cut down on such incidents, including posting large signs proclaiming that “A Pedestrian Was Killed Crossing Here” at intersections where fatal accidents have occurred and installing more road-rule enforcement cameras.

In 2005, there was hope that there had been a permanent reduction in pedestrian fatalities, because in 2004, only one pedestrian was killed crossing Queens Boulevard.[3] However, 2011 marked the first year that no one was killed crossing the street. [4]”

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86Mets

Annie D wrote: “CLEARLY the community board and DoT took these things into account re: safety,”

Like government bureaucracies never screw up.

Maybe on some other planet but not this one.

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86Mets

@Annie D

“Hard facts or data?”

How about some common sense? How about using your own eyes, ears and life experience to spot a potentially dangerous situation?

I don’t need to have all the statistics printed out on paper about pedestrian traffic accidents to know that I need to look both ways before crossing. I don’t need a scientific study to know that it’s a bad idea to put my hand on a hot stove or that it’s better not to stand on the edge of a subway platform. Some of us still have our God-given wits about us.

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Annie D

I really don’t think name calling is at all appropriate here. There were some similar projects on the site I linked (yes most are murals, but there are also some interactive pieces).

CLEARLY the community board and DoT took these things into account re: safety, and they actually have data and research regarding placement of these kinds of things in relationship to surrounding traffic patterns, which they’ve done in the past.

Unless you have some hard facts or data, I don’t think calling someone all the names you just called me or suggesting I don’t care about children is warranted and suggests to me you probably have no friends or people who can tolerate you in real life, which makes me kind of sad.

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Sunnysideposthatesme10

Annie, I wrote a message directly to you and it got erased by this admin. I called you a pretentious twit. A self absorbed narrow minded twit that is dangerous. You don’t see the obvious…you don’t care to listen to the well thought out concerns of intelligent individuals…

which makes you ignorant as well.

So…let me ask you…when a child..flies off into the street on 40th st when a car is flying down at 60+ what will you feel? what will you say? You’re basically saying you don’t think it’ll happen…but what you’re really saying is far more sinister that I think should be mentioned.

you don’t care. I can see it. you don’t care because you feel in the end its the parents responsibility right? that, my dear is what makes you a pretentious ignorant twit. The names apply..they are not insults when you live up to the name with your thoughtless comments.

people like you need to go far away.

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123sunny

Yes, Annie D – your comments show a lack of thoughtfulness for others — particularly children.

Do you truly not see the potential danger here?? I mean, do you REALLY not see it?? That baffles my mind if not. . . .

If you value attempts to make “pedestrian spaces more playful” at the expense of such a high risk to children, so be it – but this is what lawsuits after a tragedy are made of – ignorance to obvious risk.

Hopefully nothing sad happens here, but why even invite the chance for it with something like this?? Couldn’t they just paint a picture or install this somewhere else??

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Southie

Annie D I would like to tell you a story: When I was six years old, my neighbor’s five-year-old son was hit by a car and killed. The little boy was sledding with his family. He moved his sled to the wrong side of the hill and slid down. He was so light that the sled went really fast and he slid into the street. It took no time at all–he had great, protective, responsible parents and he was having fun with his family. He was struck by a car and killed.
Children having fun do not perceive danger in the same way adults do. I have no idea why you are mocking the concern stated by others about this design. No one is worried about this installation causing anyone to be “murdered by homeless people, or having the life force sucked out of their neighborhood” and you know it.

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sm

I looked at the current projects the DOT exhibits – 95% or more look like artwork murals. That’s different.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2012-11-urbanart-projects.pdf

Absolutely none looked like a jungle gym/playground like the one proposed in the middle of Queens Blvd.

If they want this design – that is fine – but they are NUTS to put it in this particular location. People/adults will not get hit by cars becuase of this structure, but a mom trying to keep 2 or more kids in toe coming upon this — and them deciding to play a game of climbing and chase — that’s who I’m worried about.

Yes, parents need to watch and supervise their kids – but setting up something like this in the middle of the Blvd. is just unfair and senseless. It is asking for trouble and they should know better.

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Annie D

The Dept of Transportation has done many similar projects (such as the pianos that popped up on street corners a few years back), and none of them have caused an increase in people getting hit by cars, getting murdered by homeless people, or having the life force sucked out of their neighborhood. It’s a positive initiative by the DoT to try to make pedestrian spaces more playful.

Take a look:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/pedestrians/urbanart.shtml

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Quiet One

@Tone The last three words of your post “deal with it,” are nasty, irresponsible, shallow, and monstrously unneighborly. You–yes, you–are just the kind of person this neighborhood has way too many of right now. Self-involved, self-satisfied arrogant elitists are not make good neighbors, they are ravenous, poisonous leeches feasting on the blood of a long-established community. Sunnyside had a great mix of people of every kind. The overwhelming influx of smug cretins are a problem. You will be gone just a soon as someplace else becomes more “edgy” or “hip” or whatever word may be current right now. You are a locust, and you will move when the swarm does. I just hope I can outlive this moment in the neighborhood’s development. It was a quiet, homey place up until now.

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Rick Duro

OM, you are definitely getting creepy, dude. You need to get out more….

RD

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Capricorn

There already is some very nice art at that station. I’m referring to the stained glass windows on the platform. Thoughtful, functional and the work of someone with talent.

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43rd & 43rd

I’m all for public art, I’m all for increased play space and gym space somewhere . . . but what an awful location for it!

The birds will love it. The homeless guys will love it (much nicer to sleep on rubber than concrete, right?). It will be filthy in no time. It will impede pedestrian traffic. It looks like it will remove at least one food cart.

And here’s the thing — nobody will even use it. Who wants to work out with a thousand commuters staring at them?! You know who will love it? Kids (who will injure themselves because it’s all stainless steel and it’s not designed for them) and drunk idiots late at night (who will injure themselves because they’re idiots).

If they wanted to install this equipment, there are other places where they could’ve done it more safely and sanely. If they want to beautify this location, there are a thousand other things that would’ve been prettier without introducing so many downsides. I guess it’s nice they’re doing SOMETHING, but it’s a shame that their work will be detrimental to the people who use this area.

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Sunnysideposthatesme10

what, so the hypocritical admin on this site strikes again,? you can wish someone gets hit by a truck but you can’t call them an asshole?

so stupid this site is.

Melissa, that club xio that was reported a few days ago on 39th.

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Melissa

Sunnysideposthatesme10, which is the bar that invites some of the most disgusting ghetto trash you have ever seen? Just wondering.

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86Mets

@oldtimesunnyside

You accuse commenters of being “cranky” then you wish them physical harm, possibly death, under the wheels of a truck.

Your hypocrisy is breath taking.

I’ll take a “cranky” person over someone wanting me to die violently, any day.

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Annie D

Dude, NOT having public art there isn’t going to suddenly make the negative aspects of the area become enhanced. It’s part of a larger process, and no, just because I like public art doesn’t mean I don’t also think other issues of public safety are important.

Maybe if you didn’t randomly call people you don’t know ignorant and dangerous on the internet for something as benign as sticking up for public art in an area that has NONE, Sunnyside Post wouldn’t “hate you.”

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Sunnysideposthatesme10

I don’t think we should be sugar coating our opinions, people like Annie are dangerous, they don’t SEE the big picture. They are narrow minded and ignorant. yes..I said it..

because if you can’t SEE the blatant SAFETY issue then you are ignorant. You want to “beautify” a neighborhood that only a block away has a bar that invites some of the most disgusting ghetto trash I have ever seen. Seriously I thought people were exaggerating till I passed by there this Sunday morning. I was just walking by and some guy was buying drugs off another guy in the corner.

now people supporting this idiotic idea are the type of people we angry old sunnysiders hate. Because you’re only looking to raise property values, you’re not looking to improve the quality of life.

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Annie D

It isn’t a full-blown playground, though, and so it isn’t fenced in and specially sited the way a place like Noonan is.

It’s adding elements of play and interaction to an otherwise neglected space – and this will be one that is not culturally coded as “kids only”. Unless you are spinning around on one of the poles like Bugs Bunny, I don’t see being thrust into on-coming traffic to be a particular problem, and clearly no parent would leave a young child unsupervised at a place like this.

I doubt this would make the intersection any more dangerous, and in fact it might make people slow down and take a minute on their way to or from wherever they’re going. In the end, I think that’s a positive thing.

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Oppressed Masser

The innovative graphic work done by the Sunnyside Post to inform the public in this article should not be overlooked. I think the depiction could be improved if the Post would add the image of Rick the Wonder Dog to the background in the area of the cars. Taken from Sophia’s award winning poster, the erect Rick, on hind legs, broom and dust bin in hand, would help deliver the message that this area will be a dog poop free zone.

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sm

Annie D – the idea may be fine, the location is the concern – you cite the fun kids will have playing on this structure/structures like it – did you take into account that it is buffered, not by any sort of safety fencing, but crazy traffic on Queens Blvd.?

Unless playgrounds in the city are heavily buffered by other park/open space, they all have fences around them . . . this has nothing. . .

Yes, more public space is something to seek, but trying to convert a speedway into a playground is a bad idea . . .

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Annie D

Projects like this have been very successful in other cities, they make great stops on walks or runs to get some extra exercise in and are also fun for kids to play on. The notion of combining public art with use is a great one, and something we should support in our neighborhood.

We don’t have enough public spaces in Sunnyside, and making little pockets of interest at a site people pass everyday is a great idea and will generate pride in keeping that area clean.

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Southie

Putting playground/exercise/”art” equipment between busy lanes of Queens Boulevard is irresponsible. Did the Boys and Girls Club leadership or the Community Board discuss the obvious safety hazards here, or was the concern really about birds and dirt? Reckless.
Maybe at the end of the year, they can melt down the “art” and use it to patch the platform ceilings that leak when it rains.

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Tone

Wow…you people don’t like anything, do you? Please move out of Sunnyside, fast and quietly! IT’s not the “old” neighborhood anymore…deal with it!!

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Anonymous

Ridiculous idea !!! Obviously the sunnyside community board have nothing better to do with their time.Seriously get a life.Do they not realize how much distruption it’s going to cause whilst setting this up.Also what a total & complete waste of money. Why not use the money for the people that lost everything in the hurricane ????

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Oldtimesunnyside

That’s it! I’ve had it with these newfangled young humans with their dogs, children and art in this neighborhood. What we need is a bunch of cranky old drunks and crones with baseball bats and anger to stalk the streets at night yelling and shouting all the boring silly shit the old drunks and crones already do on this website.
Then we can see each other for who we really are; stunted, foul, scum. I demand that all the brave voices of this site march on Sunday with their names bravely printed on t-shirts through the neigborhood.
Let’s go: 86Mets, Roxy,43@43, and all the rest of you lonely lost losers. Let’s march and take back Sunnyside for the silly and dumb!

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Sunnysider

I can understand the disapproval, but man are you guys an angry bunch. Do you people live on this website, refreshing it every 10 seconds in the hope that there’s another article that you guys can get your panties in a bunch about?

CALM DOWN and step away from the ledge.

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Gladiator

I don’t want to live in this world anymore… The least we could do is chain our bicycles to this, “art.”

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Rick Duro

OM, I think you have OCD (ANY post becomes an anti-dog rant) and most likely a ‘shut in’ (as you don’t seem to leave your keyboard very often, trollboy). It’s too bad your OCD doesn’t stretch into doing anything to improve the neighborhood. You are nothing but a huge bag of wind. Type, type, type, do nothing…Repeat.

SUDS did a ‘pick up the poop’ day 2 weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon.

We went through the neighborhood in 2 groups of 4, including a member of JVB’s staff (Jason Barney). We covered 40th Street through 47th Street, from Skillman to Queens Blvd and picked up several pounds of dog crap. We wanted to leave the PS #5 poster and our SUDS ‘Reasons Why You Should Pick Up’ on poles around the ‘hood (which we have been using for the past few years), but it was recommended that we didn’t do that because it’s technically against the law. So, we passed the PS 150 signs around to businesses instead.

One thing we always notice on these walks, is that about 75% of the poo on the ground is from small dogs. I imagine some people, in their little minds, think because it is small poop it’s ok to leave there? I have stated this many times, but, I walk my dog 4-5x a day and rarely ever see people not pick up. This tells me many of these folks do pick up when someone is around, or are walking their dogs @ 2-5am.

Instead of whining OM, do something.

All talk and zero action, Mr Troll.

RD

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O'shea

@86mets
Couldn’t have said it better.
I wonder what they will call art next?
Pictures of squirts rorschach test on the floor?

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Royale with Cheese

I’m afraid some kid might mistake this for a playground and hurt them self on one of the sharp corners. The potential liability here is obvious.

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Roxy

With cars, trucks, and buses racing by on both sides of Queens Boulevard 24/7. is this a safe or even sane idea?

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Sunnysideposthatesme10

Gesibel, when a kid runs off into queens Boulevard and gets hit by a speeding car, I want you to come back here and look at your comment and see how dumb your comment is.

little wimsy…

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43rd@43rd

““I’m trying to bring art and function [to the area],” said Darren Goins”

In order to do so you must first consider the function of the area. That area is for pedestrians to walk through. Your “art” disrupts that function entirely! Instead of being able to walk freely through that area with many people entering/exiting the stairs and crossing QB they now must walk around the “art” and the people who are “exercising”.

Imagine if they set this up in Grand Central?

Squandering tax-payer money aside; if you must bring “art” to 40th street station how about fixing the ceiling and constructing art there?!? They didn’t erect gym equipment in Time Square Station? No, they tiled all the walls – that is art that maintains the function of the space.

In short: this belongs in a park, not in a place where people are rushing about trying to get to work.

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Gesibel

wow, i had no idea sunnyside was full of such cranky people….LIGHTEN UP AND ENJOY A LITTLE WIMSY FOR A CHANGE.

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Oppressed Masses

The Dept of Transportation is to be commended for seeking to brighten the neighborhood and getting folks thinking as they head to and from the 7 train. Unfortunately, a cruel fact of life in Sunnyside is the thoughtless dog owners and their feces producing machines. Perhaps SUDS can get their collective heads away from focusing on cigarette butts and be proactive about keeping this area under the 7 train a dog poop free zone. If this area of 40th Street under the 7 train can be maintained free of dog crap, then the art/exercise area will be a welcomed addition.

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123sunny

UUUHHHHMMMM, really?? You do realize to kids this looks like a playground – right between both side of Queens Blvd.?? Try keeping two year old’s from trying this out (you can’t blame them – it looks like the rainbow at the “Rainbow Park” playground on Greenpoint). . . Disaster all around with this. . .

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SuperWittySmitty

Get rid of the smelly food cart, stop the Asian lady from feeding the pigeons, and have social services address the homeless guy who obviously needs help. Those are priorities, not some lame and goofy “art” installation.

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pomme

A bad idea. The structures will soon be covered with graffiti, with garbage stuck around the bottom. The structures are also in the way of pedestrians at a busy station entrance. Have people lost their minds? What is the Community Board thinking?

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Quiet One

Artistic minds operate on the leading edge of creative thought, looking for new possibilities. Other people think about what is rather than what can be. I like all kinds of art, and I like this. It seems like this website is heavily weighted with representatives from the latter category. It takes all kinds.

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43rd@43rd

A bad idea. It exemplifies what is wrong with government – how much did this cost the taxpayers already just to plan this out? How much will it cost us to implement? America is at war with its budget; instead of finding new ways to justify raising taxes; how about you stop squandering OUR money in the first place?

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Tom

I like the idea of brightening up that area, but this idea has “disaster” written all over it.

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Me

can’t wait for the 1st lawsuit when some drunken idiot falls over it or off of it at 4am!! Next brilliant idea???

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cookiemonster

It’s going to be a new place for punk kids to hang out after school.

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Herb

If you kick my coffee guy out, for some urban gym-art… I am going to raise hell:)

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a Walker

Sunnyside is becoming a haven for idiots. Who thinks of these things? Where oh where will the pigeons be able to *go*. Several years ago someone dumped a very large pile of food , taken obviously from a restaurant, right next to the station and there it stayed for a very long time. Do you really believe this *art* will be cleaned? Forgive me for laughing.

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86Mets

The Mona Lisa is art, Rembrandt’s Night Watch is art, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is art.

This is something cooked up in a kindergarten class.

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Deniz

What a tall order for any art project to work its magic right there – unless someone knows something we don’t, it’s hard to think the idea is not ill-advised.

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Pete

This will create an interesting juxtaposition with the homeless man who is permanently camped under there. We should be working to eliminate homelessness in the neighborhood before we erect publicly-funded superfluities.

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86Mets

“Art is what you can get away with.”

Andy Warhol

Apparently some no-talent hack got away with this pile of junk.

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Anonymous

The community would be better off with 40th street opened back up to traffic

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Patricia Dorfman

I like this! I know we might need some supervision there to make sure no one gets hurt, but it seems like a fun, practical art project, without pretension!

(founder, sunnysideartists.org)

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Sunnysideposthatesme10

oh jesus christ WHAT A STUPID IDEA. seriously, do the people who come up with these IDIOTIC ideas even take the 7 ? because if they did they would know that this area is BUSY. now we get to walk around artwork that promotes people to LINGER .

hey..Dummies, if you want to make something so that Sunnyside isn’t such an EYE SORE why don’t you get rid of the BUM that sleeps RIGHT on that CORNER SPOT ???

jesus christ.

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