Hi! I’m Karin Kohlmeier, and this huge, crazy, unbelievably fun project is my brainchild/mission/passion/life’s work for the next however-long-it-takes.
New York City has been my home since 1999, and I love it in ways I can’t even explain. I will never forget the day I moved here. I was in a cab going from the airport to my new apartment late at night. I particularly remember looking at the graffiti-covered metal grates that were pulled down in front of the local businesses and feeling like I was home. Given that I grew up in rural Colorado, on a dirt road 10 miles outside of the nearest small town, and had never really even spent much time in cities, it makes no logical sense how strongly I have felt that New York is a part of me from the minute I arrived here. There’s just something about this city. I can’t explain it, but I feel it with my entire soul.
From the time I moved here, I’ve always loved walking around—sometimes for hours at a time—and exploring the city. But, as we all know, life happens, things get busy, routines get established, and I eventually found myself mostly frequenting the same familiar neighborhoods unless I had a specific reason to go to a new place.
Fast-forward to 2014. A friend who lives in Forest Hills, Queens texted me a photo from his neighborhood. It was a beautiful and interesting spot, and one that I had never seen in all my years of living here. I thought, “I wish I had a reason to just explore this whole city.” Then it occurred to me: “You’re an artist. Make one up!” In that moment, this project was born. I decided to go to every single subway stop in all five boroughs and photograph the neighborhood around each stop.
Over the course of the next year and a half or so, I completed 39 stops (out of 472). Then, once again, life got in the way, and I had to set the project aside. At this writing, it’s April 2019 and I’m ready to dive back in and keep exploring. How quickly that will happen will depend on how much time I can spare from other life things…like having to work to pay the bills. Wish me luck and stay tuned!