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Mural Turns Rego Park Store Into Subway Car

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | July 17, 2016 10:58am
 Kristy McCarthy paints a mural at Chatime Station in Rego Park.
Kristy McCarthy paints a mural at Chatime Station in Rego Park.
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Chatime Station/Facebook

QUEENS — A Rego Park bubble tea store wants to take you for a nostalgic ride on a Queens subway.

Artist Kristy McCarthy is currently painting a colorful mural on the walls of Chatime Station, at 97-11 64th Ave., transforming it into a subway car riding through the borough.

“When you are inside of the store it’s as if you were inside of a subway car,” said McCarthy, 33, of the Harlem Art Collective, who began painting the mural last week. 

“The subway,” McCarthy said, “is riding through the past and visiting landmarks that don’t exist anymore in Queens.”

The landmarks, which will be visible through the car windows and open doors will include the Alexander’s department store, which was once located on Queens Boulevard in Rego Park, Shea Stadium, knocked down in 2009 and replaced by Citi Field, and 5Pointz, a mural space in Long Island City demolished in 2014 to make room for a condominium.

Shop owners said that they had the idea to turn their store, situated just one block from the 63rd Drive-Rego Park train station, into a subway car for a long time.

When Chatime Station opened last year, they decorated it with subway maps and authentic benches and grab handles that came from old 7 train cars.

Since its opening, the store has become a community hangout, where residents often discuss neighborhood matters and talk about the history of Rego Park, the owners said. 

"Eventually, we decided to pay homage to all the things that are no longer in Queens," said David Lee, who owns the shop with his wife Victoria.

"We wanted to make it even more community-oriented," Lee noted.  

Photo credit: Chatime Station/Facebook