New York City never fails to amaze me, but I have never been as awestruck and proud of the city as when I stumbled upon the Union Square Subway Station’s Post-it note walls. Not a single piece of the walls covered in these notes was visible, as there were so many handwritten notes that the walls were buried under several layers. While the intended purpose of the notes was to express anonymous feelings regarding the 2016 election, the idea skyrocketed into a goal of letting other New Yorkers know that the city and its inhabitants are and will always be there for each other.
While the subway station was lined with its fair share of crude and antagonizing comments, the Post-it notes were dominated by inspirational and positive messages (“LOVE, that is all,” “gratitude is the answer,” and “STAY STRONG,” to name a few). Also, because it’s an NYC subway station, there was a man singing “Hallelujah” when I happened to be walking through, and I have to say I’ve never seen so many people swept up in emotions at a subway station as I did that night. Fresh packs of Post-it notes were left wherever they would be most visible, along with markers and pens, offering the opportunity for current subway riders to leave their literal mark on the station.
Missing trains was no concern to those engrossed in the messages lining the walls. The sheer volume of notes was enough to make even the most distanced New Yorker pause to soak it all in, and trying to stop reading the messages proved to be extremely difficult as they were all the personal thoughts of complete strangers, and you’re lying if you say you don’t have a single interest in knowing what other people think.
With the holiday season officially wrapped up and the new year in full swing, who doesn’t need a little motivation? For those who haven’t had the chance to experience the state of amazement that comes from viewing the countless notes, and those who just want a refresher, the notes are being preserved and archived by the New York Historical Society to prevent the project from being lost. The Post-it note project in the Union Square subway station solidifies the fact that there truly is no city like New York City.