20 Moments Every New Yorker Has On The Subway
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20 Moments Every New Yorker Has On The Subway

An American institution of culture, character, and utter madness.

20 Moments Every New Yorker Has On The Subway

Riding the subway is a way of life for every New York soul from Brooklyn to the Bronx, and in a city where everyone and anything goes, those orange, yellow, and light blue (if you’re lucky) seats have seen more than your best friend’s older brother’s college roommate who spent his twenties hitch hiking through southeast Asia. Whether you’re commuting in the morning, evening, or on the weekends, the subway is full of unwritten rituals and moments that unify the Bertie Bott’s mix of people that ride these lines every day.

1. Swiping your fully loaded card to ram into a rigid turnstile while it sassily asks you in its blue-green digital print to “swipe card again at this turnstile”.

2. Running up to your train as it yells “stand clear of the closing doors please” and regretting every life decision until that point that wasted the extra 5 seconds that could have prevented this whole ordeal of having to wait another 7 whole minutes for the next train.

3. Turning down your Spotify playlist as you pass the crowd of tourists surrounding the live musicians just to realize that it’s the same jazz group performing the same mash-up of Hello & Uptown Funk as last Thursday.

4. Trying to decide who are the more annoying humans: the tourists with three overtired children blocking the doorway or the couple at the middle pole having their morning makeout sesh in the privacy of 100 quiet strangers.

5. Staring only briefly at Spiderman sitting next to the old lady in a rainbow dress reading a cabbage encyclopedia before writing it off as normal and going back to thinking about whether or not you can afford the $8 bodega Ben & Jerry’s.

6. Feeling #blessed when one of the older lines is running a new car with those beautiful blue seats and an indoor visual of where the hell you are under the city.

7. Crying when you miss your downtown stop and accidentally end up in Brooklyn.

8. Regretting not taking an Uber-share ride as you struggle to manage 7 Trader Joe’s bags and plan the funeral of the likely four to seven eggs that are definitely already broken.

9. Fighting the urge to mansplain to the manspreader proper transit etiquette, as well as, the absolute no-no of wearing navy blue on black.

10. Peering around the corner of the tunnel in the sweltering heat as you pray to see that light of your train in the darkness before you start swimming in your own sweat.

11. Wishing someone came to you on your 11th birthday and said “you’re a wizard, Harry” so you would have gone to Hogwarts for seven years and thus could change the route of the incoming express train to include your regular stop.

12. People-watching out of boredom because you forgot to reload your email and download that podcast before you lost service.

13. Seeing a beautiful human and silently planning your life together and then spending the rest of your ride mourning your breakup when they get off at 23rd street.

14. Wanting to punch the fiberglass when there are train delays literally every time you’re already running late.

15. Knowing immediately when there’s a game of any sort when you step into a crowd of uniformed-colored fans reeking of booze and talking entirely too loudly about literally anything on their minds.

16. Wondering if you’re worthy to be in the presence of East-Village veterans who are clearly way cooler than you’ll ever be and longing to have the guts to ask them if they would spend the next 12 hours telling you their life stories.

17. Calming yourself down from a panic attack when you realize that the hot guy in a suit isn’t actually Jake Gyllenhaal.

18. Shamelessly eating a burrito while standing on a crowded train because you might pass out and honestly don’t have a choice so b*tches can deal.

19. Attempting to make out the song that the guy who’s way into his music is indistinctly rapping across the aisle and pretending like you didn’t notice when he points at you amidst his passionate gestures as if you had prepped to join in at the chorus.


20. Realizing even in your worst identity crisis that riding amongst the oddest and weirdest people in the world is exactly where you fit in. No matter who you are or where you’re going, the New York subway will always accept and embrace everything that’s beautifully abnormal about you (and any communicable diseases you may be carrying).

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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