40 years illustration new york subway

As a person that loves New York so much I write a blog on the place, I’m always intrigued to find out about other people and their NYC passion projects, like Philip Coppola from New Jersey, who started sketching the mosaics inside New York City’s subway stations in 1978 with a ball point pen.

“The idea came from my father, he told me that there are pictures on the walls, in the subway stations of old buildings, Old New York. Twenty years later, after going through everything, school, college, all that stuff, I finally thought I’d just give it a look and see what my father was talking about.” Almost 40 years later, he’s still at it!

New York City film makers, Great Big Story, picked up on what Philip was doing and made a short video of him at work as he draws the intricate mosaics that decorate the subway stations, telling the tale of how this “passion project” took off, how it’s become his identity and that it might not be complete until 2040! Here it is if you’re interested:


  1. Kristen Ringler Reply

    Hi Dede,
    This is your old roommate for Simmons, Kristen Doherty! I will be taking my 14 year old daughter to New York in march For her first time! This blog is great and I know will be very helpful in planning our trip! Hope all is well!

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