“I believe whoever lives, has lived, or was ever visiting a big city, has memories related to subway stations. And if the memories are connected to very colorful stations, even better.” —Claudio Galamini
I am so lucky sometimes to meet the coolest people in the world. One of those people, Claudio Galamini, I met through Instagram (yes, it is possible!). I had posted a photo of one of his neighborhood joints at the time and somehow he found it, commenting that he lived around the bend from Lewis Drug Store restaurant in Clinton Hill where the photo was taken (oh, Internet!). Well, me being me, I suggested we rendezvous for a drink sometime, as fellow Lewis Drug Store-loving New Yorkers. And so we did!
When we met he already had a pretty good idea he was moving on to Berlin from NYC. Now flash forward a year or so later, Galamini’s initial IG photography hobby has lead him to ambitiously conquest capturing every single U-Bahn station in Berlin, along with acquiring quite the following of those people interested in the German city’s subway archives.
I have been following Galamini’s journey through the totaling 104 stations along 5 lines, which doesn’t sound like a lot (if you’ve ever lived or been to a big city you would know how time-consuming this actually is), but the time and passion put forth is worth it for the wonderful, unique photography and history stemming from the project.
After experiencing the mundane stations in New York for almost 10 years, Galamini was excited to see Berlin’s colorful and diverse designs as a breath of fresh air with the system’s epic history dating back to WWII and the Cold War division of Germany and Berlin.
About 3 weeks into his transition he started to take note of the U-Bahn’s colors, art, tiles, shapes, lights—and it was the Konstanzer Strasse specifically that triggered him to start the Instagram project for real.
Galamini has no specific guidelines for the U-Bahn photo series, except it is a daily picture of 1 station with a brief historical outline of that station’s inception, construction, significant anecdotes, or any other happenings that had to do with the location. One of the most difficult things he says about completing the photos is being patient for the perfect shot, something that at a busy station does not come as easy.
As a Brooklyn-dweller I always have heard the two cities compared, though never having actually made it to Germany (yet!) I was unable to say for myself. Galamini sees a connection in the international and “hipster” aspects, but there’s no denying Berlin’s party scene is pretty much #1 (if you like clubbing that is). Galamini has been known to DJ himself, you know, when he’s not busy with his new-found project.
Follow Galamini on Instagram to see his wonderful U-Bahn photography and if you’re a true Berliner at hear or just love the city, you can purchase one of his prints in coaster form on Etsy. And who knows, maybe you’ll see Claudio up in the club one night spinning his records sometime soon.