Pennies From Underground

Yesterday, in the 8th Avenue L station, I saw what seemed to be bright, shiny pennies piled underneath those annoying Tom Otterness sculptures. Thinking it was just an extension of Otterness’ didactic metaphor about wealth that I’d never noticed before and, like my fellow passengers, being too hurried, lazy, self-concerned, and/or embarrassed, I went on my way.

But the coins made me think about the sculptures, so today I looked more closely at the bronze figures to try to not be such a hater. As cheesy as they are, on principle I’m for public art, especially subway art. Visiting New York as a teenager, subway mosaics caught my late 90s industrial romantic eye. As the design execs behind Noah

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