Next Stop … A Tribute to NYC’s Miss Subways

Photo: The first Miss Subways winner, Mona Freeman, via the Miss Subways Facebook Page.

New York City Subway stations have a specific type of beauty: underground urban sensibility mixed with iconic ceramic plaques and tile mosaics. We wouldn’t have thought they’d serve as the backdrop for a beauty contest, but we’re glad to be proven wrong.

For decades beginning in the 1940s, the Subway stations paid tribute to more than 200 winners of the Miss Subways contest. To enter, you just needed to be a lady, a New York City resident, and a Subway rider. The lovely winners’ photos, accomplishments, and aspirations were featured on posters throughout the transit system. New York artist Fiona Gardner and journalist Amy Zimmer tracked down 40 of the former beauty queens, photographed them, and plan to tell their life stories in an upcoming book, Meet Miss Subways. The duo still needs funding to complete their book — here’s more info on the Miss Subways Kickstarter project.

We have to admit, this unbelievably cool project has left us with a little city envy. Can we have a Miss Muni, please?

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