Music blares from under the elevated subway platform of the Freeman Street station in the Bronx in an effort to boost borough-wide pride and revitalize a previously forgotten strip.
The Boogie Down Booth, a joint vision between the city's Department of Transportation, the Design Trust for Public Space and other community groups, will showcase homespun artists in the first of several planned ventures.
The first booth, under the hum of the No. 2 and 5 trains above, opened Wednesday.
"So many genres of music started in the Bronx but people don't appreciate it," said Nancy Biberman, president of the Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation, one of the groups involved in the project. "This neighborhood is one of the most devastated. When it looks and feels like this people just don't come out."
The booth, which has solar-powered lights, cost $18,000, said a Design Trust spokesman.
The booth will play 25 tracks from a variety of genres, including hip-hop and Latin.
The booth is one of the first steps toward bettering the previously neglected area, Biberman said.
"It makes the neighborhood different and gives it a different vibe," said Freeman resident Shanei Rivera, 24. "I think it'll catch a lot of people's attention and make the neighborhood better."
Brooklyn resident Nancy Kuilan, 54, was just passing through the area Wednesday, but stopped to hear the vibrant sounds.
"Music always brings people joy," Kuilan said. "It just brings you up."
More Boogie booths are in the works, with at least one set to be built in the Melrose area, Biberman said.