Ryan and I were traveling on the Q train from Brooklyn to Manhattan tonight when he told me to look out the right-hand-side window. Before I knew it, I was looking at a colorful animation created by panels on the walls underground.

Check out the video:

As you can see, we slowed down halfway through, but this wasn’t all bad because it showed me how the animation was put together.

How frickin cool?

Some dodgy photos

Some dodgy photos

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The animation – which shows changing shapes, rockets taking off and cartwheeling figures – is the creation of Bill Brand. It’s called Masstransiscope and was installed in 1980 in the abandoned Myrtle Avenue subway station, which you can find between the DeKalb Avenue and Canal Street stops. It was restored in 2008 and again this year.

The whole thing is made up of 228 hand-painted panels which can be seen through the slits. It’s supposed to emulate a Zoetrope, one of those circular toys that you spin to make an animation.

Pretty great addition to a subway ride, I reckon. And much better than checking out your iPhone.


Thanks, the Q!