tmbt remembered: santiago metro
It was on my first and so far only visit to Santiago, Chile in 2006 that I was astonished by the Metro there. In many parts of Santiago, the subway stations are more or less art galleries complete with mood lighting, velvet ropes, and artist statements. The Metro de Santiago is also very clean compared to other international city subways and train systems I’ve used and features flat screen television screens all over the place. I tried to imagine just one of those screens, let alone one of the wall-sized oil paintings lasting one night in New York City, and laughed out loud. Among the painting and sculpture galleries were finely crafted mosaics and classical music piped in all around them. The subways echoed the graffiti of the city, more art than disturbance, and spoke volumes about the priorities of the people there. Art seemed to imbue everything; from the highly groomed, highly-heeled businesswomen to the placement of the sidewalk cafe tables, attention to detail and pride in appearance was everywhere.
I fell in love with that city for many reasons; the architecture, the trees, the mild winds, the European flair, the outdoor restaurants, the public gardens, the caressing accents, the plazas, the street artists, the hospitality of my friends there, and the way the Virgin Mary watched over it all. But, perhaps simply for the way in which it surprised me, one of the most beautiful things I found in Santiago was the Metro.