By Neal Buccino, Media Relations Staff
Imagine the frenetic crush of buses and passengers using the world’s busiest bus terminal at rush hour. Now imagine all that motor and foot traffic running at hundreds of times its normal speed.
“PABT Time Lapse 2017,” a new exhibit by landscape photographer Tony Gregory, includes a display screen looping several time-lapse videos in which the Port Authority Bus Terminal and its customers merge into a living system, becoming a beating heart to the life force it circulates – 232,000 bus passenger trips and 7,800 buses each weekday – between New York and New Jersey, and beyond.
The exhibit runs through the end of April at the Bus Terminal’s “Gallery of the People,” in the South Wing near the Ninth Avenue entrance. A sneak peek can be found here:
The video is displayed with still photos that Gregory took throughout the facility and its surroundings. They reveal splashes of glowing color and architectural grandeur that the average busy commuter might otherwise never notice.
As part of the agency’s effort to provide a better customer experience, the Bus Terminal has become an unexpected oasis for cultural enrichment in midtown Manhattan. But with this exhibit, the terminal itself is the artwork on exhibit.
“As a photographer/filmmaker and New Yorker, I have always been fascinated by seeing locations around the city captured on film,” Gregory said.
It was the Port Authority’s recent commitment to eventually replace the Bus Terminal that inspired his “PABT Time Lapse” project. Although the overhaul won’t take place immediately, he said, “I thought there was no better time to document the building and its surroundings. So that in the future, people can enjoy seeing what this neighborhood of NYC once looked like.”
The Bus Terminal isn’t just an artistic inspiration for Gregory. He also happens to spend his weekdays at the terminal, tending bar at the Heartland Brewery at its Eighth Avenue entrance. “Serving commuters is interesting, and it makes you part of the life here,” he said. “I’ll see some of the same people come in maybe three times a week.”
He shot the video and still photos during the last few months, always accompanied by Port Authority staff members. Creating the exhibit so quickly has been a challenge, but one that just happens to mesh with the always moving, never stopping pace of life at this thriving facility in the heart of New York.