A Brisk Tour Of NYC, As Seen Through Its Subway Stations

If you want the perfect distillation of what makes New York New York, just ride the subway for a few days. Or better yet, watch this short film from the comfort of your couch.

Shot over the course of 10 days at 120 stations in all five boroughs, Stations: A Quick Scan Through NYC blends scripted scenes and pure documentary to offer a captivating glimpse at New York life.

Stations was developed by the collaborative filmmaking group Snowday, with Roddy Hyduk directing, and Chelsea Hyduk, Josh Buoy, and Meredith Finch producing.

Roddy Hyduk, who lived in Manhattan after graduating from the University of Michigan (and has since returned to Ann Arbor), has always been fascinated by the subway.

“There are so many layers of information to be absorbed within the context of each individual station,” Hyduk says. “Imagining what’s happening simultaneously across the entire system sparked my initial curiosity. This required staying a while in places where millions only ever consider passing through as quickly as possible.”

The film jumps from one station to the next, as if the viewer were changing TV channels, to give a taste of each station and its surrounding neighborhood. Three young people dance to a drummer at W. 4th Street, near New York University. A man sings an a capella rendition of “Stand By Me” before a woman gives him groceries at Times Square-42nd St. Pouring rain has passengers shrieking as they exit the train at 39th Ave in Long Island City, Queens. The little moments, taken together, reveal New York in all its imperfect glory. As Hyduk says: “The hope is that through the sum of all the stations represented, the unique texture of New York might reveal itself in a new and compelling way.”