Yesterday, the MTA unveiled the newly-renovated Central Ave M station, and apparently it's quite an improvement over the crumbling mini-lake it was before. The $11 million renovation includes all new staircases, structural updates, a new control house and what looks like a fresh paint job and solid cleaning; Michael Tapp, who took some of the photographs above, told us, "It's the cleanest subway station I've ever seen."

The old Central Ave station was in pretty bad shape, with a leaky roof and poor drainage system; whenever it rained, puddles would fill up under the turnstiles, which was always unpleasant. And now, the leaks are no more! The station also got some funky new art; Brooklyn-based artist George Bates was commissioned to do a piece called Generation Dynamica, which is made up of several panels featuring laser-cut silhouettes. Bates lived on Myrtle Ave from 1999 to 2007; he recently wrote about his time there on his blog:

While I was living there I was reading Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller and in the book there is an entire passage that describes how Myrtle Avenue “...leads to America’s emptiness” and how nothing of value or substance has ever emerged from Myrtle Avenue. The passage goes on to describe an insufferable bleakness and sorrow about Myrtle Avenue that simply escalates with each paragraph. I remember laughing out loud and I was really astounded at how strange it was to actually be living in the place that this bleak passage referenced and how this sentiment was entirely contrary to my own experience of living there. What I had witnessed, firsthand, on Myrtle Avenue was a vibrant, diverse, welcoming and thriving community of families and individuals who were actively engaged in their lives, finding joys and satisfactions throughout and expressing themselves and their interests to the fullest.

Next up for the MTA and the M line: partial closures at the Seneca, Forest M and Fresh Pond Road stations.