The New York City Subway. A Brief Rant


Today’s Music: The Police – Every Breath You Take
Days Til Spring: 20

This is just something I wanted to get off my chest, and since it isn’t what I usually do, I thought I’d throw it in on the extra day we get this year.
I ride the NY Subway system every workday. I take the train in, I take the train out. Sometimes in the course of my day, I need to take the train Uptown. Then, to get back to the office, I need to take the train Downtown.
The J, M, 4, 5, 6, 7, E, F, R, G, 1, 2, 3, 9. Even the D. I’ve ridden almost every line in the system.
Sometimes it’s a freaking nightmare.

Sardines have it easier

The NY Subway has around 7.5 million riders per day. They go down to the platform, get on train, get off the train and back to the street.
So what I don’t understand is why two things happen every day:
– Someone holds the doors for more than the 15 seconds we all expect
– How some of the train crew manages to keep their jobs.

Yeah I've ridden with this guy.

We’re all in a hurry. That’s why they call it rush hour. And you don’t want to wait five and a half minutes for the next train. Because you’re special. So you race for the door and then hold the door for your slow friend.
Great.
But at the next station, when some other pez-head does the same thing, you explode in righteous rage. Because they aren’t special.
Sigh.

Generally conductors are nice enough. Some of them throw a little something extra into their station announcements. Mostly, they know their way around the system, and are happy to give directions.
But sometimes, they don’t care. Or even more likely, they don’t like you.
Seriously, I’ve seen conductors stand with a smile on their face waiting for someone to race to the bottom of the stairs before yanking the door close lever.
While smiling.
And I’ve seen it a lot.
Sure, I whined about the door holders above, but the conductors? Dude, we have to be someplace. You’re probably going to get stuck in the tunnel because of traffic or a bad signal anyway.
Have a heart.
I don’t think there is deliberate ill will in the subway, but there sure is an awful lot of random ill will.
And it all seems designed to piss me off.

K, that’s it. Rant over. I still think it’s one of the best mass transit systems I’ve ever been on.
The best is London’s Tube.
Now for a fun subway moment.

Advertisements

460 responses to “The New York City Subway. A Brief Rant

  1. Join the club, this happens at the Brussels subway too… Love the song by The Police!

    Like

  2. Hi,
    Loved the video, I had to laugh, one guy on the train looks like he may be reading a book didn’t look up once, just kept his head down, most peoples heads did not even move, to watch the guys. I thought the guys were very good. 😀

    Like

  3. Believe it or not, I have never stepped foot in a subway. I guess I need to add that to my bucket list.

    Like

  4. Ah quit yer bitchin! -grin- Used to take the D train from Brooklyn everyday to my job at Rock Center. Koch was mayor, the city was bankrupt and the D trains rarely had functioning A/C or heat.. not to mention the constant track fires, breakdowns, etc. Hey you kids get off my lawn!

    On the good side for a while I lived in Queens and the F train went right to Shea Stadium for the Mets games. Remember the year the Mets won the World Series. Our packed train was stuck in a tunnel under the river (typical) and most people had been listening to the games on their radios and walkmans. One guy had reception and was shouting out the plays to the rest of we passengers. Ha. New Yorkers DO rock.

    Agree with the Tube in London. Funny story: I was 15 the first time I visited and got on to the Tube. I didn’t understand why there were signs warning not to pick up any unattended boxes or bags. Geez. What an idiot.. only an American kid wasn’t aware of the IRA back in the day. On the other hand I was there with a group of students with no parental supervision.
    Also, the subway in Moscow was breathtaking. Art on the walls, carpeting, and chandelier fixtures on the platforms. Of course this was still Communist Russia… who’s going to deface anything? In Mother Russia chandeliers watch you!

    Great rant! Agree with the sardine line and conductor’s actions and attitudes. Phuckers.

    Like

    • The Moscow ride sounds like the old subway here, back when the lines first opened.
      Thought you’d have some memories about the subway, Miss B.
      I remember when none of the cars (or system) worked. It’s actually gotten a lot better in the last 10 years.

      Like

      • Once rode from midtown to Chinatown (Canal Street) with a dead guy. couldn’t figure out why a car was empty -and had A/C and SEATS at rush hour. Until I got on and noticed the bum on the floor. Except it wasn’t a bum. It was a corpse. Assuming he road all the way to the end of the line at Coney Island.
        Sorry! No oysters and riding the Cyclone for you.

        Like

        • You win hands down, Rachael. I have some good subway stories, but nothing even close to that!

          Like

          • High Five EG! Gotta love New York, as you said..everyone is in their own world. Corpse on the floor? Ah fuckit, I’ll just smash into one of the other cars. They’ll find the poor bastard at some point…
            Agree with the ‘new’ subway system. Was back about 5 years ago and couldn’t believe all the new trains! Miss going to the Bronx to visit my bestie. Passed the Stella D’Oro factory on the 1 train. Best thing about the Bronx heh. Heard it has been torn down 😦

            Like

            • Yeah, a few years ago, Rachael. They got the big Tastee factory in Queens too a while back.
              Loved seeing how many days they’d gone without a lost time accident. Always was concerned when it reset to 10…

              Like

              • EG: You have completely destroyed my longing for a NY Tastee Cake. Damn. Can’t get ’em out here. Still remember the jingle though. As well as Tom Carvell pitching ‘Fudgie the Whale!’ Next time I’m in the city will have to make a pass through Queens. If Tastee smells as delicious as the Stella D’Oro factory I shall forgive the body parts in my Tastee Cake.

                Like

        • Was that around 1999, by any chance? Because I think I was on that train, too. Or maybe we had a different dead person — I think I was on an N or R train out of Times Square.

          Like

  5. It’s like they are all plotting against you- they must be related to ME!
    GuapOWhining today.

    Like

    • I didn’t know you were a con piracy theorist…me too, just don’t tell anyone. 😉

      Like

      • Hmm…Interesting theory, The Hobbler. By the way, my friend The Hobbler had a question for you:

        “I was wondering if you might help me out…El Guapo and Edward Hotspur gave me quite a bad time the other day, and I thought it might be fun if some of us bloggers who frequently see their sites would mention “conspiracy” or some form of the word in any comment we make on their blog tomorrow. The idea is to get them thinking that it is weird that so many people are talking about conspiracies…but we should still be subtle enough that they won’t figure out there really is a conspiracy to quickly”

        Oh wait, “Ok, abort plan with EH and EG…they know…unless I’m paranoid, but yeah…pretty sure they know (burn after reading)”

        So, never mind.

        Like

    • Hmm…Interesting theory, GingerSnaap. By the way, my friend The Hobbler had a question for you:

      “I was wondering if you might help me out…El Guapo and Edward Hotspur gave me quite a bad time the other day, and I thought it might be fun if some of us bloggers who frequently see their sites would mention “conspiracy” or some form of the word in any comment we make on their blog tomorrow. The idea is to get them thinking that it is weird that so many people are talking about conspiracies…but we should still be subtle enough that they won’t figure out there really is a conspiracy to quickly”

      Oh wait, “Ok, abort plan with EH and EG…they know…unless I’m paranoid, but yeah…pretty sure they know (burn after reading)”

      So, never mind.

      Like

  6. Used to ride the subway. Now I don’t. I didn’t mind it so much, even during rush hour. When I lived in MD, I rode the Metro. I hated that. The Boston T was fun.

    London’s tube is cool, Paris’ subway too. I’ve never been to Stockholm, but if I ever go, I’m going to their subway. Have a look: http://youtu.be/2lXh2n0aPyw

    Can we expect no more complaining until next Feb 29? Thank you.

    Like

  7. I would be really worried about getting kicked in the face with that performance. Clearly, people are very used to it as none of them even flinched.

    Like

  8. groovy, man… way cool to watch… having never been to NYC (i know, I know), I can only imagine what subways and trains and stuff are like… your 1st post pic sadly brought to mind a dystopic sci-fi abduction plot in which aliens conspire to get all us people to walk into the metal (cars) cans, seal them, lift them and send them all packed tight to the (sardine) people packed factory, where they label the (cans) cars “imported packed people” and distribute them across their galaxy as the most expensive hors d’oeuvre in the universe.
    oh, you haven’t heard that one yet?
    IMHO, being trapped in a car (can) in an under-the-river tunnel for who knows how long would be way worse than that…
    😉

    Like

    • There’s an old cartoon from Mad magazine like that, BuddhaKat, where King Kong has ripped off the end of the car and is shaking the riders into his mouth except for one guy holding on.
      Godzilla says to him Yeah one always sticks at the bottom.

      Like

      • I remember that cartoon well! I have been to NYC once. (I live in Indianapolis-no mass transit here…yet!)
        We didi not ride the subway, but we did take a couple of cab rides! What an experience….better than most roller coasters for sure.
        And looking at a map of Manhattan and then driving around, not an accurate way to travel the city! We ended up in front of the Apollo Theater in Harlem on a Saturday afternoon when they were having a street fair. It was intersting but over whelming for sure.
        It is so funny how when you have never experienced something you think “Oh I could never do that everyday.” Then once you have to deal with it everyday, you learn how to cope. Like tornados and Indiana.
        This is such a fun post! Thanks for sharing. I am interested in checking out the rest of your work. Have a great day!

        Like

    • Oh, and the trapped in a tunnel is more annoying than anything else.

      Like

  9. you…you ranted…you RANTED… woowwwwwwww … that’s AWESOME..!! you said….pez head ! :this was cool – if I ever come to NYC again – the likliehood is none since I was 42 before I…..seasoned world traveler – and I only say that because i have been a lot of cool ass places- but only to New York Once – maybe i’m just trying to say …..yea – i missed that train for real – dropped and went skittering across the floor….. but something about ….. Do you know the way to San Jose? You ROCK THE RANT TOO…. cause i mean…you ranted…… 😉 fin – noggin….Duuudddeee

    Like

    • Pez head is my go to insult lately, lizziec. No idea why…
      The city is much better seen from a taxi. But that has its own set of hazards…

      Like

      • i am inspired to be more creative with my insults – my go to lately has been spineless tw….oh nevermind. I was there one day in September in a rental car – have wanted to go there my whooolle life.. I have enough pictures you would have thought i had been there …daaayyyyss. i think i will start using them. I have one of a lady hailing a taxi – it just struck me as bizarre. I was way overwhelmed by it all – the noise and the people like i felt like i wanted to run but loved it at the same time….not sure i could live there and hang on to any bit of sanity… for sure i would weigh about 150 lbs more lol…

        Like

  10. I took the train into Gotham for a better part of my life. When my company moved and my commuting time became a 2 1/2 hour ride each way, I bid adieu and found a job near home. Can you spell s-t-r-e-s-s relieve? Yeah. And, as am sure you do, I have some good stories of my commuting years that always make for good conversation. Like your blog guapo.

    Like

  11. You’re so right about the London Underground. It’s so easy and clean.
    I grew up in New York and I always found the subways difficult and pretty rank. The video is cool, I’d get into it, but I swear I could smell it all the way from here in Chicago! haha!

    Like

    • I’ve ridden the Chicago lines, through the loop, and more recently, from the airport to downtown.
      The lines I was on were clean,and I was impressed by the smoothness, A Gripping Life

      Like

  12. I’m so glad I don’t have to ride the subway.

    Like

  13. Your tale could so easily have taken place on the tube, identical, must be a cons pis racy against commuters across the world.

    Like

    • Hmm…Interesting theory, JoeHoover. By the way, my friend The Hobbler had a question for you:

      “I was wondering if you might help me out…El Guapo and Edward Hotspur gave me quite a bad time the other day, and I thought it might be fun if some of us bloggers who frequently see their sites would mention “conspiracy” or some form of the word in any comment we make on their blog tomorrow. The idea is to get them thinking that it is weird that so many people are talking about conspiracies…but we should still be subtle enough that they won’t figure out there really is a conspiracy to quickly”

      Oh wait, “Ok, abort plan with EH and EG…they know…unless I’m paranoid, but yeah…pretty sure they know (burn after reading)”

      So, never mind.

      Like

  14. It’s a constipatracy, I think. All subway conductors around the world have an annual meeting to decide the best ways to tick people off.

    Like

    • Hmm…Interesting theory, whatimean2say. By the way, my friend The Hobbler had a question for you:

      “I was wondering if you might help me out…El Guapo and Edward Hotspur gave me quite a bad time the other day, and I thought it might be fun if some of us bloggers who frequently see their sites would mention “conspiracy” or some form of the word in any comment we make on their blog tomorrow. The idea is to get them thinking that it is weird that so many people are talking about conspiracies…but we should still be subtle enough that they won’t figure out there really is a conspiracy to quickly”

      Oh wait, “Ok, abort plan with EH and EG…they know…unless I’m paranoid, but yeah…pretty sure they know (burn after reading)”

      So, never mind.

      Like

  15. After all my years in Boston I’m convinced that the MBTA conspires against those who can enunciate. Anyone who can enunciate has no business being a train conductor for the T.

    Like

    • Hmm…Interesting theory, Brian. By the way, my friend The Hobbler had a question for you:

      “I was wondering if you might help me out…El Guapo and Edward Hotspur gave me quite a bad time the other day, and I thought it might be fun if some of us bloggers who frequently see their sites would mention “conspiracy” or some form of the word in any comment we make on their blog tomorrow. The idea is to get them thinking that it is weird that so many people are talking about conspiracies…but we should still be subtle enough that they won’t figure out there really is a conspiracy to quickly”

      Oh wait, “Ok, abort plan with EH and EG…they know…unless I’m paranoid, but yeah…pretty sure they know (burn after reading)”

      So, never mind.

      Like

  16. London’s Tube is definitely the best. I didn’t mind Paris’ Metro at all, except for the fact that I didn’t know where the hell I was going. I’ve been in NYC’s subway once. It wasn’t my fave, but it worked. Lot’s of friendly people!….And unfriendly people as well.

    Like

  17. whiteladyinthehood

    Never been on a subway…we have a trolley.. (lol) I bet its an adventure everyday! (Guapo, you just rant all you want, dude!!) and the video was wild!

    Like

  18. You should try the Tokyo subway. They have special men in white gloves whose job it is to squish as many people into the carriages as possible before the doors close. Pity the fool who gets pushed in first and has to get off at the next stop.

    Like

  19. Loved London “Mind the Gap”. Paris was good as well, except they basically just stop at 12:45AM in whatever station they’re in and go home (the drivers). Had a long drunk walk one morning there because of that. Rome’s was the easiest to figure out, but was pretty beat up.

    Like

  20. Great post! Love the video of the kids dancing!

    Like

  21. I was the one weirdo who, in all the time I lived in Queens, never once rode the subway. The closest I got was stopping in GCS to take pictures (like a freaking tourist). Well, unless you count the station in Lawrence, which was two blocks from my house in Nassau. I loved the subway museum.

    But then again, I am the one who moved to NYC with no line on a place to live, a 5 month old and a cat in a 15 foot truck. I had my burb shipped to me. Drove it until I bought the car and then had to figure out where in the snot to park TWO cars, with alternate side of the street parking. What brain surgeon dreamed up that nightmare?

    For some reason, I do not miss the Verrazano or the George Washington.
    Red.

    Like

    • Wow Red. The worst subway commute is better than alternate side. Especially with two cars.
      At least now, if there’s enough snow to matter, they suspend alternate side.
      And as much of a pain as the are to drive, the GW and Verrazano are two of the coolest bridges in the world.
      Along with the Brooklyn Bridge.
      Which is the coolest.

      Like

    • Red you and I are sisters from another mothah. Did the same damned thing. Finished college, had some friends in NYC and Bergen County (oh yay the GW Bridge!) I knew from my first two years at a private college back east. So I did the only reasonable thing any 19 year old college graduate with a worthless BFA would do… sold all my possessions (except the cat, books,records and clothes) and moved to NYC. No job, stayed in a hallway -seriously, but it was a cubby in the main hallway- with some friends. Took six months before I could afford my own place and move to NYC. Oh dear god… six months in Hackenslash is enough to traumatize anyone.
      How in goddess’ name did you get around WITHOUT the subway? Genius.

      Like

      • I would sooner pay tolls than have to wait to go home. Served me well on a number of occasions. One of which being down on 7th Ave when a local decided he was tired of the tourists and shot one…through the camera lens. May have to post the one pic I took of that one for posterity’s sake.

        The first place I lived there was a beach front apartment in Far Rockaway. (Yes, I am nuts.)
        Red.

        Like

        • Rock Rock Rockaway Beach…sorry. flashback to CBGBs.
          Post that pic. Think we’re all twisted enough here at El Guapo’s place to crave this kind of deviant post.

          Like

        • I used to drive through Manhattan from Queens to Weehawken.
          There’s plenty of waiting.
          The only advantages are being able to smoke, having a seat and playing music.
          Ok, those are pretty big advantages. Until you look at all the morons on the road around you…

          Like

          • I only went to Manhattan on purpose. I went to Jersey far more times than I care to admit. Still have offspring in Staten Island and on Long Island. Planning a trip there this year. Hoping to pull it off in late summer…Driving vacation.
            Red.

            Like

          • Ah, a Jersey boy. What exit? -rim shot-
            I;m afraid of heights. For the ultimate experience in horror I recommend the Mackinaw Bride in northern Michigan; takes you to the UP. Miles long, Far far FAR above the water for miles. -shudder-. Don’t miss Michigan. At least I’m not in jail… I DID miss PsychoFuck, er, my last ex-husband. Really never minded the GW..

            Like

            • Hey, I just worked there. I took great pleasure in telling people who asked for directions that all I knew was how to get out of the state (lincoln tunnel).

              Like

              • Love it! Opened my first retail store in a tiny mountain resort town between Los Angeles and San Diego. You have NO idea how fascinating snow is to southern Californians. Hell, when I was a kid we used to pray for rain at Hanukkah and Christmas… REAL weather.
                Once had a guy and his wife ask me ‘where can we get a good pastrami sandwich?’
                ‘New York’, I replied.

                Like

            • Yup. People know where the goods are. I’ve driven bagels from NY around the north east to deliver, and flown pastrami from 2nd ave deli across the country.

              Like

  22. Wait – what the… Are you saying there’s some kind of plan afoot, Guapo? Because I heard that was cancelled. Hang on, let me see….

    “Ok, abort plan with EH and EG…they know…unless I’m paranoid, but yeah…pretty sure they know (burn after reading)”

    So EggHouse and Extra Generous would have had something happen to them, but it was called off. Oh well. That would have been fun.

    Like

  23. hey man… next time BURN B4 reading!!!
    🙂

    Like

  24. I think some people were burning something before posting, is what I think.

    Like

  25. I like it when you rant! Good for you for getting the annoying pez-head behavior off your chest! And how cool are those dancers! I would like to go to New York someday just to see them! For a minute I thought one of them might have been you but since they were fully clothed dancers . . . Nah

    Like

  26. EG, great post. i gotta tell you – the funniest thing i ever saw on the subway was once in rush hour the express was jammed to the gills, a solid wall of riders at the open doors as the express waited for the local across the track (yes, it happens) i was inside squished in-between the center poles. and this one guy on the platform was pushing the pack, trying to get on, but there was absolutely no room. so he goes back a couple steps and sorta leaps into the wall of people…no dice. he goes back a little further and takes a bigger leap…nothing. he then goes back about 10 feet and, as the local pulls in, takes a run and leaps into the wall, and this guy who by now had obviously had it, just punched him out in mid-leap. the guy dropped like a sack and lay there…nobody made an attempt to get on. as the guy came to the express doors closed and the train pulled out . it was so friggin’ funny.i am still laffing. continue…

    Like

  27. Bloody Hell – took a long time to get to the comments box – all I was going to say was “Mind The Doors!”

    Like

  28. LOL! The person on the right in red seems disinterested. Meanwhile, if I witnessed that as much as you have, I would be in the same boat with you. Watching people helps identify the selfish.

    Like

    • Not necessarily selfish, Frank. Personal space is at a premium, especially on a crowded subway. It’s the only way to maintain an illusion of having enough room to breath.
      Plus, there are performers on every single line, and sometimes you just aren’t interested…

      Like

  29. I loved that video so much I just facebooked it. Laughing at what you said about self-entitled people holding the door and then exploding when someone else does it, that’s so true!

    Like

  30. Those guys in the video were AWESOME. And your rant into the subway system is actually great insight for someone who has ridden the subway exactly once. In Boston. On Sunday. For a whole three minutes. My experiences don’t touch this kind of thing, and I love to see it from the inside.

    Like

    • Jester, If you want the full experience in just one ride, take a walk through the Times Square station at rush hour.
      Or catch the 4, B or D after the Yankees have lost to the Red Sox.

      Like

  31. Rant on! I LOVED this one!
    Too bad you didn’t like living it!

    Like

  32. I like how the canned voice says, “Mind the Gap,” on London’s tube. A riot. My favorite subway in the world!

    Like

  33. That doesn’t just happen in subway cars. I have a dance floor in my van and we put on lots of shows while running errands.

    Like

  34. I don’t envy anyone who has to ride those things. Here on the island, we have no subways, and only the east coast have access to a city bus. Thankfully my community is small and you can easily get from place to place in your own car…our gas prices are a different story!

    nice rant, hopefully it made you feel better getting all that off your chest!

    Like

  35. I’ve hated trains ever since I raced for one and got stuck in the doors. I didn’t have a faster friend to hold them open for me.

    Great post! You’ve reminded me why I work 50 hours per week solely to pay for taxi bills.

    Like

    • Ouch. I know the Paris Metro can get a bit crazy too.
      I mostly take cabs home from concerts. I still end up spending way too much on them.
      (Damn concert habit…)

      Like

  36. Eric Murtaugh

    I think I would freak out riding the subway in NYC. Don’t get me wrong. I have plenty of experience riding mass transit, such as The L in Chicago. But your commute kind of scares the shit outta me.

    How long does it typically take you to get to work? And I assume you purchase some sort of monthly commuter pass. How much does one of those bad boys run these days?

    Like

    • Right now, 45 – 55 minutes (unless there’s an all too common signal failure).
      I buy a regular metrocard (not the monthly) because sometimes I have to ride the path, which doesn’t take the monthly. I spend a little under $100/month, but it’s a pretax 100, so…

      What scares you about the NY commute?

      Like

      • Eric Murtaugh

        Maybe scared isn’t the right word. More like annoyed. The thought of being surrounded by so many grumpy people in the morning sounds annoying. But hey, it probably beats driving in the city.

        You know what would be kind of interesting? A short documentary about all sorts of commutes. The movie Life in a Day is sort of like that.

        Since I got laid off, my commute consists of waking up early, scratching my ass, taking a piss, and getting to work on life. I used to drive solo 7 miles down the coast to work. It took me about 10-15 minutes, depending on if I wanted to stop to check the surf. Talk about stressful, eh?

        Maybe we should leave my current commute out of our documentary. Ha!

        Like

  37. I haven’t been on a NY subway since I was 14. I use to visit New York a couple times a year. I thought it was exciting and loved the mix of people. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my kids out before they are retired.

    Like

  38. If I someday travel to New York I must avoid rush hour. > . < So crowded and stressed.

    Like

  39. Pingback: Friday Foolishness – Extra Bright Edition | Guapola

  40. I’ve only taken the train once in NYC, so most of my knowledge of the subway system comes from the movie CHUD. I imagine it’s pretty accurate, though.
    And it’s fitting that your song of the day is a stalker song!

    Like

    • I’ve never seen CHUD, Smaktakula.
      But I was appalled when one of the Spiderman movies had an elevated down fifth avenue.
      You’re the first person to comment on the stalker appropriate song for the comments on this one.
      Well done!

      Like

  41. This is great. I love New York, and am constantly trying to find excuses to come back.

    Like

  42. I abhor the NYC subway system. It’s so hot and icky during the summer on the platforms and freezing cold in the winter. And everybody looks pissed off at all times riding it. It’s not difficult to use but I’ve never really liked it. I’ve lived in Madrid, Spain the past 2 years and the metro (as it is called here) is the easiest system I’ve ever used. It’s clean, efficient, the trains are usually on time. The 2 big differences between NY and Madrid are that Spaniards stare. At everyone. Not just the men, everybody stares you in the face with no qualms about it so that was a huge culture shock for me. Whereas in NYC if you stare at someone for longer than 2 seconds it is considered a crime. And the second big difference: we don’t get cool breakdance performances on the train, we get these super annoying musicians who play these whistle/flute type instruments which drive me up the wall! Had one in my car this morning.

    Like

    • The quality of music is generally one of the advantages here, amelie88.
      As far as the platforms, I can’t disagree with you, at least for the outdoor ones.
      But the MTA really has done a good job on some of their renovations.
      I don’t know how I;d react to staring in Spain though. That’s just wierd.

      Like

      • Ah yes the Spanish stare. 😀 It was really weird at first. I thought it was because I spoke English with my friends, then I realized everybody did it to everybody. I don’t notice it in the street so much anymore but in the metro it’s impossible to avoid. Spaniards are way more in your face and don’t have the concept of personal space. Just another one of the million cultural differences between Spain and the USA.

        Like

  43. Oh the MOST annoying people are those people who are holding the doors open with their bags or something and they just continue standing there without doing anything because they’re so oblivious to what’s going on with their iPods plugged into their ears! Ahh! Don’t you just love New York City

    Like

  44. What? You don’t have a flying backpack yet?

    Like

  45. Raaj Trambadia

    Oh wow !! The subway ride is awesome 😀 Gr8 video !! I’m visiting USA soon !! Can’t wait to go to the city that never sleeps 😛

    And please check out my latest post on love & relationship – http://raajtram.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/let-the-time-decide/

    And even my new PhotoBlog – http://raajclicks.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/oh-i-love-my-laptop/

    Like

  46. See, this is why I walk everywhere. The subway trains irritate me to no end. If I had a nickel for every rude conductor I’ve met, I’d…well, I’d probably never have to ride the subway ever again. 😀
    Another irritating thing is when someone stands in front of the door, even when it opens, while wearing earphones, so when you say “Excuse me, can I get by?” they don’t hear you, and when you push past them they look annoyed. I mean, do they really think the doors won’t open for other passengers at any point? Geez…

    Like

    • Chris, I think headphones just made it easier for NYers to ignore everyone else, Yeah, I’ve met the guys you’re talking about.
      On the other hand, a stiff shoulder is a perfectly acceptable form of Hello on the subway.

      Like

    • As noted below, the stiff shoulder is indeed appropriate in this case. And I NEVER acknowledge their annoyance at my dislodging them from their post with anything more than the obligatory “get the hell out of the way, @$$hole”.

      Like

  47. Always enjoy a New Yorkers point of view…Spent more time on Chicago / Philly trains; but in general I’m a fan of not having to deal with parking.Except for the Japanese video – wow !

    Like

  48. Great post. Congrats on being FP (one of my goals). Our transit here in Chicago is usually a neutral experience-a good thing for sure, occasionally positive, sometime negative. I think I witnessed an exorcism last week -I’m still deciding how to rate that moment in public transit history. Keep on writing about your urban adventures & I’ll keep reading. Take care out there.

    Like

    • Thanks William. I don;t think I’ve seen an onboard exorcism, but I’ve heard plenty of references to the devil.
      Apparently (from what I’ve heard) he likes to sleep with another woman’s man, and he enjoys stealing cell phones.

      Like

  49. Now that you are Freshly Pressed, I can say “I remember Guapo when …. ” Congrats!

    Like

  50. robertdickinsonphotography

    i first experienced the new york city subway last august and on my first journey ended up in brooklyn as i got the wrong train, an over complicated system where i was supposed to end up at the 9/11 site, eventually over next few days i was there managed to work out the system and got where i needed to be easy without any fuss.

    Like

    • Robert, there are over 700 miles of track (711? 713?), and you can get to the two farthest points in under 2.5 hours.
      Way too complicated, but mastering it is a badge of honor in these parts. And it sounds like you did well when you were here!

      Like

      • robertdickinsonphotography

        over the 4 days i was there 11 august to 14th august i can say i mastered it well in terms of getting where i needed to be and remembering which was my stop closest to my hotel, when i came from the exit i walked down wrong street haha but still managed to get myself back to hotel safe

        Like

  51. Really enjoyed your post. Was out in NYC for two weeks early this year. Maybe it’s something about being on holiday or somewhere out of your usual sphere, but I really enjoyed my subway experiences, even in rush-hour. Would trade you for the Tube any day of the week. You’ve got aircon…

    Like

  52. You should check out Hong Kong’s subway. its brightly lit, has shops, has an electronic card you can use “tap, doesn’t smell like pee, has an electronic map, clear voice over, great and avaliable service, cell phone reception,The only think NY has that is superior is that its 24 hours. its like going to the future!

    Like

    • They’ve starting moving to new subway cars with good speakers, happcatgirl.
      It’s an unbelievable improvement just to be able to understand announcements.
      As for cell-service, they thought about that for the MTA, but fortunately decided to not too. It would make the ride even crazier.

      Like

      • I agree completely that MTA has come a long way, I remember having to strain just to hear one clear word in the announcement so I would know where I was, and didnt have to peer over someones head in the “map seat” to figure it out. Also loving the electronic signs and ETA of the next train. I never thought days like this would come but MTA seems to be pulling through!

        Like

  53. I feel your pain!! Happens here in Philly too! On the El which for some reason always, without fail, smells like someone had a really really bad burrito for dinner the night before. This is hell.

    Like

  54. congrats on the FP …and I would say, if you want to make your life better, head to India for a month or so and travel by train everywhere …you will be overjoyed to take the NYC subway for the rest of your life…

    Like

  55. We have the same problem with overcrowded trains and people holding doors open in San Francisco/Bay Area too. Although I will say that generally people are pretty civilized while waiting for the train – everyone lines up in the spots where the train doors open and if it’s not your train you politely step aside for others. Of course there’s always the jerks that cut in front of the line, so if it’s not my train I try to block those people from getting in until the line shuffles through. Don’t get me started though on the people who won’t give up their seat for the huge pregnant woman though.

    Like

    • I’m betting the jerks you talk about are transplanted NYers, Rae.
      If you are further back than three inches from teh arriving train, someone will find a way to cut in front of you.
      And the not giving up a seat? Yeah, that’s just wrong.

      Like

  56. That video is amazing! I think there are bus drivers with the same cold heart.
    This time whining to win worked with getting Freshly Pressed!
    Congratulations!

    Like

  57. What can I say?
    Congrats being Freshly Pressed!
    https://mylastpen.wordpress.com

    Like

  58. LOL…even though it might not be funny for you. But just love your post!!!
    Unfortunately I haven’t been in NY yet, but thanks to you I know what to expect when I will…. 🙂

    Like

  59. Stone’s concert…on the way back from event on Portland’s MAX…shoulda’ been there…all cars squished with people singing Mick songs. Too good!

    Super post! EL G. Congrats!!

    Like

    • That’s a good shared experience,jots.
      Here, those are fun too. Until the drunk guy starts screaming about how The Who are better, and it turns into a screaming match.
      Sigh…

      Like

  60. Transportation etiquette is a much appreciated attribute. I travel five days a week all over the country and I get terminal rage. I get it especially when I am rushing to my gate to catch my flight and I am slowed down by the family of five who has never been to the airport. They think its necessary to walk slowly side by side, five across ,blocking everyone’s path while they take in the “sights”. UGH!

    Like

  61. I so wish we had a subway in our country! I would ride all day just to see somebody dance 🙂 …and then join them!

    Like

  62. How well I can relate to this rant living in the Bronx and experiencing those priceless rides into the city or far-flung “neighboring” boroughs. Thanks for some real slice-of-life commentary. All you needed was Smell-o-Vision for the full effect (HA)!

    Like

  63. Haha I agree with everything you say, but Hong Kong’s Metro system is definitely the absolute best. And 90% of daily commutes there are via the metro.

    They also have platform/suicide doors on all the stations.

    Like

    • I’m thinking I’ll have to check out Hong Kong after all the comments, asiainasia.
      Our suicides don’t use the doors, They use the front of the train.

      Like

  64. Ride the subway every day. Agree. It’s hell and sardines have it better. FYI…I once knew of someone who used to drugs from a subway conductor. That was years ago. Train pull and the exchange be made there right on the platform.

    Like

  65. On my way home this evening I saw a man lying on the platform of the Metro station atop a poster ripped down from the wall, eating Ready Salted crisps and watching the train pass by. In fairness, I’ve always associated Ready Salted with people who like soccer more than people who like trains.

    Like

    • but…can’t they like both, Amory Stour?
      And from how far away could you smell him?

      Like

      • Train watching is definitely a Cheese and Onion thing.

        To be fair, from where I was (approximately 8 metres), I couldn’t smell a thing. But I’m guessing that someone who spends a lot of time in those kind of locations might have quite an interesting scent.

        Like

  66. Can I just say that I love that you call people “Pez-heads”? 🙂

    Like

  67. Wow, Guap! You’ve been Freshly Pressed!!! So excited for you, Buddy! Congrats 🙂

    Like

  68. LegosnEggos.com

    Please tell me those great dancers in your video got a little change in their hats afterward. I love people who make the best of their time like that. lol

    Like

  69. Congrats on FP Guap!

    Like

  70. London Tube one of the best in the world?!?! I ride it every single day and I would say it is the oldest in the world! (It is…lol.) It is way over crowded, plagued by signal failures, partly shut every single weekend/holiday period for never ending repairs and “modernisation” that don;t seem to happen…and forget about air conditioning- in the summer you literally melt! So, I guess the grass is always greener… I would happily ride your subway…lol!

    Like

  71. Ha Ha! I can just imagine the guile of that conductor closing the doors on someone running down the stairs… Great rant for Freshly Pressed 🙂

    Like

  72. I loved taking the metro in Mexico City. Sometimes it was a little crazy, but you never know what you’re going to see or who you may meet. That’s an awesome video by the way. Makes me want to bust a move!!!!!:)

    Like

  73. As mentioned above by amelie88, the subway system in Madrid is quite good. The stations have electronic boards that indicate when the next train will arrive, and they’re pretty accurate. That might be a disappointment for NYC subway riders, who seem to think that by staring down the track to the vacant tunnel they will make the train come sooner.

    Vienna has a clean system, it just isn’t very extensive. Same goes for Prague.

    Like

    • They’ve started using the electronic arrival signs, Tom.
      We all still stare down the tunnel.
      I wonder how the Vienna and Prague systems manage to avoid the litter. Is it a great sanitation system, or does the populace actually care?

      Like

  74. The city is brutal. I grew up in a small town of 100,000 inhabitants and I think five cars ahead of me at the traffic lights is busy traffic. Then I went to Paris and got around via the Metro…it was a wake up call like no other. Millions of people, very few who care and no time to waste on being polite or friendly. It made me a little sad and also quite surprised that I was beginning to appreciate small town life in spite of hating it all of my life.

    Like

  75. When I was in New York, I could never figure out what train went to where, if I was on the right one headed in the right direction or the wrong one headed in the wrong direction – was thankful for the people that helped this very confused country boy who had come to the big city!

    Like

  76. And i thought that my hometown, Bucharest was crowded…:D Only 2 milion people here, in Bucharest…

    Like

    • Wow, I think I would like living in a full size city with a smaller population, alterego.
      Or I’d go crazy(er)…

      Like

      • 🙂 this is a big city…and very expensive….we, romanians, have very small salaries, about 300 dollars/month (medium salary)…and Bucharest is one of the top 10 most expensive cities in the world(from what i know)…

        Like

      • here, a 2l coke bottle is about 2 dollars…(but in romanian money), a cinema ticket is about 8-10 dollars… a lunch downtown is about 10 dollars…and so on..

        Like

  77. Amazing, I saw these same guys in your video on this same day…we were on the M line. They are something else. Great post.

    Like

  78. transplantednorth

    I did the NYC commuting thing for years. I know it gets old real fast, but there are times I actually miss it: the crowds,the interesting people watching, the “let them off let them off let them off” shouts of the conductors. I know this is wierd, but being away from it for so long, I even like the SMELL of the NYC subway whenever I come to visit. I inhale, and think “I’m HOME!” thanks for the memories!

    Like

    • They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, transplantednorth.
      And I can understand the smell of the subway reminding you of home.
      But liking it?
      Wow.

      Like

  79. I’m a former New Yorker. I now live in Las Vegas. The reason people don’t want to wait for another subway is because they never know when the next one will come. It could come in the next two minutes, next 20 minutes, so I can’t blame them for trying to get the subway that’s in the station. As to London, I remember riding the tube and it was absolutely filthy. Cigarette buds all over the tube floor. I never saw New York subways as filthy as in the ones in London. And in London, you’re charged according to distance. In New York you pay one price and you can ride the system for as long as you want without paying for the distance. Plus, New York has so many more people than London, or any of the other systems mentioned.

    Like

  80. Love this post! Makes me feel better about my commute taking the Canada Line from Richmond to Vancouver in BC. I absolutely hate when people hold the doors and slow everything down for everyone.

    Like

  81. Wanna “take the A train” or “love train” ? 🙂

    Like

  82. Congratulations on the Freshly Pressed EG!

    Like

  83. El G. Yes…went to Who, too. The drunk guy next to me kept pinching my bum. Wouldn’t have minded so much if he’d been cuter…

    Like

  84. Gotta love the subway. It’s even better on those hot, humid summer days!

    Like

  85. Huzzah, you freshly pressed fool.

    Like

  86. Budapest has a truly great public transportation system. Underground, street trolley, and bus stops all over the place, often very close to one another for easy transfer. In two years that I lived there, I absolutely never waited more than 3-4 minutes for a ride, and most often it was a lot less than that. We could learn a lot from them — but probably won’t!

    Loved your rant, though. It reminds me of Boston, very much the same.

    Like

    • How easy is it for tourists to figure out the system, Sarah D?
      And thanks, looks like waaay too many of us have suffered at the hands of city transportation planners.

      Like

  87. I would hate the subway in the summer when it is 100 degrees outside, The station smells like old pee and I always used to get stuck in the crowded car with the broken AC and hot sweaty people standing way too close to me.

    Like

  88. Riding the subway is always an adventure. I live in Boston and riding the “T” is no different – you never know what you’re going to get on that thing…

    Like

  89. marginalessays

    I recently visited New York City for the first time. I was very impressed by the subway system. I didn’t know much about the public transportation before going on my trip. When I arrived, my host said something like, “Well, some people think the subway’s dirty and dangerous, but it’s not that bad.”
    Maybe I had low expectations, but I enjoyed every ride on the subway.

    The stations were dingy and cold, but the rides were always on-time and the system was easy to navigate with the help of pedestrians and maps. Over a weekend trip, and riding the subway multiple times from lower Manhattan to the Bronx, I only made one subway riding mistake, which was easily corrected. I was surprised at the level of security on the subway, and heard multiple announcements regarding the doors and personal belongings. Coming from a place in the U.S. that has no mass transit system, I was impressed with the safety and efficiency of the subway.

    Like

  90. The Tube in London is so easy to use! I got spoiled while I was over there…!

    Like

  91. Please excuse but I just have to join in on this rant! Other annoying habits are preventing passengers from getting on an otherwise empty train just because everyone wants to crowd in the door, or only 2 out of 10 subway lines running the way they are supposed to on the weekends, getting stuck in the tunnel for no apparent logical reason, ok I will stop here but somehow I still love the subway with its crazy people on it. You can be sure that something is about to happen at any given moment…good luck on your future rides!!!!

    Like

  92. haha! This post is honestly yet amusingly true. This is my daily relationship with the MTA. I’ve become the ‘no heart New Yorker’ who doesn’t given a damn about anyone, and just wants to get from point A to point Z. Everything irritates me, from waiting to the subway, to someone holding the door, to the subway stopping because of another train ahead. I’ve become less patient. Don’t blame the people around you, blame yourself for becoming a product of the system – a New Yorker!

    Like

  93. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! I love the video of the dancers. Thanks for including it. I’m going to be taking a group of college students to DC and NYC in May. (We get to NYC on May 23.) Two of them have never been on a plane before, and I bet that most of them have never been on a subway. They’ll be tweeting about their experiences, so stay tuned! I love the metro in Madrid. I lived there for a year, and it was my main mode of transportation, aside from walking. Just be thankful you don’t have to drive to work! Cheers, Denise

    Like

    • Thank you, San Antonio Tourist!
      Have a great time on the trip, and make sure everyone knows which subway line to get on and which station to exit at before you start the ride!

      Like

  94. I loved your rante!! In this case you need to travel the legendary Mumbai Railways. It has the highest passenger densities of any urban railway system in the world. And travelling in it is a worst night mare come true. But its efficient and real time saver. And like you said its gets very frustrating at times. check this out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai_Suburban_Railway

    Like

  95. Being a Northern Ontario boy, riding the NYC subway was quite the experience. In 08, my parents took me and my brothers there. My younger brothers were 13 and 15 at the time, I was 17. One night, we were heading to Little Italy for dinner and planned on taking the subway. Luckily, my dad had told us all that we were getting off at “Spring Street.” So, we were early for the train and the platform was empty. Maybe 4 or 5 other people. As time passed, a few more people came, until it was absolutely packed.

    The train finally showed up, and it too was packed. My dad attempted to rush us all on the train. My three brothers and I got on, but our parents were pushed out. My dad quickly said “guys! Get out, we’ll catch the next one!” I had to push a guy out of the way, but I got off.

    My brothers didn’t.

    They tried getting off, but they were blocked and the doors closed. My dad yelled at the conductor to open the doors, but he only opened them for a split second, barely enough to open them past halfway.

    There’s a whole other story about my dad and the ticket booth woman trying to locate my brothers (which is hilarious), but it’s far too long for this extended comment haha.

    In the end, my brothers ended up being at the next stop.

    So when someone tries holding the door open for somebody, try and be courteous and wait that 5 seconds. You’ll get to where you’re going.

    Like

  96. Living in the middle of nowhere Texas with no public transportation and the nearest store 15 miles away, I was fascinated. The entertainment should make the trip go faster, and I heard they hired people in Japan to stuff people into trains so as to get the most amount possible in each car.

    Like

  97. I was born and raised in New Yoirk City. I rode the subway every day as a young child to visit the major museums in the downtown part of the city. In those times I was 9 to 12 years old. As a teen I wrote the sub every day from the bronx to 56th Street to attend the High School of the School of Art and Design. In June of 1959 I road my last sub ride to Broadway for my last physical at age 17 to join the U.S. Air Force. In all those years did I ever feel fear in being a rider. What a masterpiece of design in transportation is this gift to all New Yoirkers. It certainly was such a gift for me as an individual that came from a poor family that could not afford a car.

    Like

    • The subway really is something, John J. Rigo. And it’s gotten even safer over the last 10 years.
      Being on it every day makes it a little harder to remember how good it really is.

      Like

  98. Great song choice and very cool video. You have every right to complain, but yeah, what can you do? I just hope that there is one or two days on occasion that you get lucky with a quick and uneventful ride!

    -Cindy

    Like

  99. Being a train rider myself, I so know what you have just ranted. Lookin’ on the bright side, you only have small things to deal with as far as riding the train is concerned. In my country, there are plenty of things that could, in this case, piss you off.

    If you want to know more about the dreading “ill will”, if you may qualify it for that, and just in case you’re here in the country for our train:

    http://yobynos.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/neglected-simple-rules-and-other-rules-for-riding-the-train/

    But at the end of the day, I also still think that our Metro Rail Transit (MRT) is one of the best means of transportation in the metropolis. Not to mention, cheapest …

    Like

  100. After coming back from New York to Sydney Australia, I have to say that New York Transport is awesome. No one ever needs to ‘hold the doors’ because the train will well and truly wait for everyone and probably sit there a minute or 2 after everyones on… just in case… and with trains coming every 20 mins in peak hours… u learn to be patient… u don’t know how lucky u have it.

    Like

  101. I grew up riding the NYC subways and feel your pain. Now we’re traveling around the world for a year and thought you might want to try the Shanghai system sometime. In a high-tech manner you can even take care of grocery shopping while you wait for the train: http://www.changesinlongitude.com/a-billboard-that-helps-you-shop/

    Cheers!

    Michael and Larissa Milne

    Like

  102. Nice post. I live in Beijing, and the subways here are usually crazy crowded. Line 1 is the worst. I’ve seen people almost lifted off their feet while they’re cramming in.

    Jimmy

    http://www.slightlyreworded.wordpress.com

    Like

  103. wow really nice blog…………the subway is looking very good……………..

    Like

  104. Wow. Even though time does not allow me to read all the comments here, I will say that I thought Detroit was full of attitude. But like every other major American city, Detroit, like NYC, has its own style, panache, and flavour. I have yet to visit NYC, but I’ve been to Cleveland and Chicago over the years and sometimes I’ve observed similar attitudes-tho not as extreme as others. But to visit “The City that Never Sleeps” remains a lifelong dream that I would like to see fulfilled one of these days.

    Like

  105. Matt Swartzen

    The London tube has it right by eliminating the ability to hold doors. If you try, it’ll just close on you and you’ll be stuck. As dangerous as that is, no more delayed trains.

    Like

  106. You should see the Mass Transit System in Mumbai called the Mumbai Locals. You will be happy to ride the subway after that 😛 Around 10 million people use it every single day and there are no doors which gives a lot of people the opportunity to “hang around”. During rush hour your lucky to get into the train and sometimes when the train stops at a station people wouldn’t have finished getting down before the train started moving again(that’s one whole minute of people getting down!)

    Like

    • I think the Mumbai system is winning in the comments as far as “most wretched”, shailvani! 😉

      Like

      • It is an experience worth having because you see humanity in its raw form. There have been loads of times that i have seen commuters literally pulled in so that they get on the train. Also I once saw a kids life saved by a fellow commuter when he just slipped between the tracks 🙂

        Like

  107. Awesome post……..

    Like

  108. Still better than being stuck in a car or a cab. At least you’re moving.

    Like

  109. Reminds me of London (see photo of crowded underground here: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/loneliness-doesnt-kill-people-do/). After two years there, I just wanted to be alone, far away from people.

    Like

  110. really made me laugh. but on the tube you get the people who insist on reading. they can be at the most awkward angle crammed onto the train yet they manage to pull out a book, a magazine, a newspaper and manage to engross themselves in their own world.
    there is also the people that take a runup to the tube. they can see it is full. they take a step back and take in what space there is on the carriage, when they see a small gap they will step slightly further back. they tube driver announces that the doors will be closing soon.
    all of the passengers think ‘ah no way will he get on this train, he will have to wait for the next one!’ BUT NO he is actually taking a run up. he runs toward the stuffed train and manages to push himself on, using the doors closing power to push his head fully into the train.
    also people on the tube refuse any contact with anyone outside of their bubble. they lock themselves in their own little world refusing eye contact with anyone around. they are engrossed in their music, magazine, phone games or daydreams.
    but anyway, my rant over 🙂
    keep smiling

    Like

    • I don’t understand why you’d want to piss off 75 people right before you’re trapped in a small space with them, emmahevezi.
      The kindles and e-books have made readers much easier to accommodate in NY.

      Like

  111. And I thought that happened only in Delhi Metro. Thanks for confirming that its perfectly normal. 🙂

    Like

  112. WOOP WOOP WOOP WOOP FRESHLY PRESSED WOOP WOOP WOOP.

    Like

  113. Try Berlin – spacious, comfortable and the trains nearly always run on time!
    PS: If you’re lucky, sometimes the driver will even wait for latecomers.

    Like

  114. LOVED this piece and all the entertaining comments, thank you so much! As a Londoner of 22 years’ standing who has just finished writing a novel partly set in Brooklyn (in the 70s), I have plenty of experience of both the Tube and the subway and at their worst they are both pretty horrible. My greatest fear is being stuck in a tunnel with zero breathing space being in physical contact with strangers. On the way back from a Christmas party this year on the last Tube I was wedged in tighter than I had ever been plus everyone was drunk – yuk! My pet peeve is people standing in front of the doors in the platform so passengers can’t get off easily. The London Underground has improved massively since I’ve lived here and more so recently due to the investments for the 2012 Olympics – it’s nice to hear foreigners praising our system. To the person who said it’s filthy and covered in cigarette butts, come back soon, because smoking was banned a very very long time ago.

    I like the subway though it always amazes me how long it takes to get from my base in Brooklyn (near Newkirk Ave) to the city. Also much easier to understand the London system as we don’t have multiple lines using the same tracks. That said, can’t wait to return to NY in October and do it all again!

    Like

  115. “The best is London’s Tube”

    You’ll be surprised how many Londoners will disagree with you! The complexities of running such systems are mind boggling, especially when then run on infrastructure originally built up to 130 years ago.

    But yes, people who hold the doors open. Can’t stand them! That and lost tourists on getting in the way, living in London gives you little patience….

    Like

  116. This is awesome, Guap! You’re somebody! You’re somebody!
    /navin johnson

    Congratulations!

    Like

  117. You know, I’m glad I live in North West England, I couldn’t handle that amount of people, or even the kind of people who delay everyone else!

    Like

  118. I’ve done the mt thing for years and I don’t believe I’ll do it again. When I traveled to the City everyday it was bad. But now it’s worse. More people, more crime, more bs… don’t have the head for it.

    val
    http://valentinedefrancis.wordpress.com

    Like

  119. Wow, I live in Singapore and we have an awesome train system. I’ve never heard of people holding doors for their friends. Isn’t that a tad bit extreme? hahaha

    joy

    Like

  120. interesting that you say the best is London’s tube… for real or sarcastically?! We complain a lot about the tube and not just because complaining is basically a National sport for Brits.

    Like

  121. Nice to get a little feel of train in NY. In Tokyo, trains during peak hours are horribly packed that the officers will help with pushing passengers inside as the doors close. Fancy that better ?

    Like

  122. The last time I rode the NYC subway the man sitting next to me kept furtively sniffing my hair and laughing like a maniac.

    Like

  123. The video at the end of the article is cool.

    Like

  124. The London system is far worse than New York’s. There’s just as many rush hour jerks shoving through and NO ONE lets people off the train first like they are supposed to. It also doesn’t run 24 hours a day. The NY system may be a pain sometimes but count your blessings – you have it much better than us Londoners.

    Like

  125. I just noticed!!! WOW!! Very excited for you! Well deserved Guapo, CONGRATS!!!
    : )

    Like

  126. I’m still saying ” Pez Heads!” I like that. I bet your blogs blowing up being freshly pressed congrats. I feel lucky living out in the middle of know where Montana you reminded me to count my blessings. Thanks.

    Like

  127. Anyone who has been on the MTA KNOWS… if your going to work..leave early if your really that much into getting some place on time..Don’t bother with it because like every New Yorker knows…s@# happens

    Like

  128. I lived there the past 7 months and took the R-N-D trains everywhere; I felt like a rat in a cage. One time, a girl threw up right next to me in the train. Another time a man threatened to kill everyone in the car. I am back in Buffalo now, with my CAR, thank God, haha. -Mark http://www.meetmarkweber.com

    Like

  129. Yeaaah London Tube is the best!

    Like

  130. too funny – i had a similar rant, but mine was a callout on all the people from the burbs that don’t know how to act in the city. the hold the doors things drives me crazy, but escalators. AAGGHH
    http://highfiverson.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/burb-dwellers-vs-city-slickers/
    great post, guapola! i can definitely empathize with you 🙂

    Like

  131. Great! Love your writing style, not too long or short, nice music & vid. Don’t have much experience on the NY Subway, but Chicago public transit was always an adventure. I loved it, actually. But maybe that’s because I was never in a hurry to get anywhere. Congrats on making FP!

    Like

  132. The closest I’ve been to riding a subway is the El in Chicago, but your rant convinces me that the subways in NY are pretty much what I imagined.

    Like

  133. I’ve often wanted to rant about the Paris Metro, but I haven’t yet…not saying I won’t. But I always wonder why – when I’m moseying along underground (and I’m a Southerner, so I mosey, even in Paris), minding my own business, walking along the wall mind you to stay out of their way – I always wonder why they have to shove me in their rush to get to…what’s that? A new billboard? They stop dead in their tracks to look at a billboard. Or a shop window. Or whatever. After pushing me out of the way because I was walking too slowly. Or walking period.

    Like

  134. Tokyo public transport during rush hour. Your opinion is null. 😛 Seriously I’d take NYC over Tokyo rush hour seeing as there are men hired specifically to shove people into the train and get maximum space filled. Teehee.

    Like

  135. I live in London and our trasport system is pretty good. Paris is good also but very dirty. I used to Live in Lisbon and their underground is good and very very clean, you’d expect that as it isnt as busy as New Yorks or London.

    Like

  136. Hilarious – I use the London Tube every day and it’s a nightmare! Just as packed as NYC, full of rude people who trample on you and there’s always delays. The grass is greener I guess 🙂

    Like

  137. I would say that the Mexico City Metro System has to be up there as one of the best in the world as well- certainly one of the most lively, crowded and probably the most economical at 3 pesos (25 c) a ride. It is the cornerstone to my project as well, a virtual tour of Mexico City with stops at EVERY STATION on the the network.

    mexicocitymetro.wordpress.com

    Like

    • Ah, but have you ever done the whole system in 24 hours, mexicocitymetro?
      It’s a frequent stunt here in ny.

      Like

      • that doesnt interest me so much, the project is to explore the area around each station and document a slice of life with images and impressions, that couldnt be done in 24 hours! It is going to be a few months in the making! I hope to ride the NYC subway someday, i have a few pet peeves of the system here in DF. happy that i came across your post and site- cheers

        Like

  138. Great post. It’s funny how we are okay with holding the doors but the second someone else does it — HOW VERY DARE YOU! I wrote a list of rules of how to be rude on the subway. 🙂

    http://carceralnation.com/2010/10/12/how-to-be-rude-on-the-subway/

    Like

  139. I live on the way East side, so commute via taxi every day. And the delayers – the ones jumping in the middle of the door and the mean conductors – are the reason why I’m glad I don’t have to take the subway every day. I agree that it’s the a top one (London, Hong Kong, Tokyo all up there) but I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with it every day. Great post though!

    Like

    • Commuting by cab brings a whole other set of challenges though, kkprivateblog. Like not unloading on buses and cars that block the intersection going the other way!

      Like

  140. Look at you all freshly pressed and I can say I knew him when! Congratulations, my friend. It is well deserved!

    Like

  141. I tend to like subways pretty much anywhere… I don’t know why, I just do.
    I favour London’s (even though I’m Swedish and worked in the Stockholm Subway System 1995-2000), but New York’s ain’t that far behind. 🙂
    I do however remember being completely taken off guard by the short time frame given to get off/get on during my first New York visit.
    I was standing on the platform at whatever station, the train pulled in and I just followed that which is the polite custom in Sweden – you let people off first, THEN get on yourself.
    The last person hadn’t gotten off when the speakers suddenly blathered:
    “NextstopGrandStreetStandclearoftheclosingdoors!”
    And with a ‘woosh’ the doors were closed, the train pulled out and I was left standing on the platform looking stupid.

    -When the next train pulled in I plowed my way through the exiting people like a true bully! 😀

    Like

  142. I enjoyed this post. I spent 10 years working in London and grew to despise the Tube, last year I spent a week in NYC and loved the subway – ah, the perspective of the relaxed tourist 🙂

    Like

  143. I love New York City, but I’m not gonna lie: I’m glad I live in a town where I have the freedom and liberty to go anywhere I want with relatively little hassle by driving my car.

    Like

  144. LOL! That’s why I never run for the subway. There is something so sad about running for a subway and arriving just in time for the doors to slam in your face. P.S The Tube is my favorite even though there is no dancing. lol

    Like

  145. So does everyone tip those subway performers when they’re done? You are sort of a captive audience… I’ve been on trains in Chicago where everyone just sits and stares blankly – no entertainment on any of the trains I’ve been on.

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed, and remember to mind the gap!

    Like

    • Depends on the performer and the crowd, Huffygirl.
      I’m a sucker for platform guitarists and horn players, but usually, the dance troupes get at least something for their trouble. If only from those who are thankful not to have been kicked in the head…

      And thanks!

      Like

  146. Outside of the occasional memory erasing stink of a pee covered bum sleeping in the corner, teenagers hanging on the bars general pricks and occasional nice person who gives up a seat to a person who needs it, you’ve done a great job summarizing the morning commute.

    Like

  147. Spain’s system (mostly Madrid) beats London’s…hands down. The worst I’ve seen is Turkey’s!

    Like

    • What goes on in Turkey’s subway, kiki580?
      Made it Turkey once. Never made it out of the airport area.
      It was a great night!

      Like

      • Let’s see…we flew into airport, bought our token and got on the train. Seemed easy enough. But no. We had to pay to transfer to the most crowded train I have ever been on (and I have been on A LOT). We finally snag a seat and suddenly EVERYONE disembarked. A new wave of people started pouring in and one man just pointed at us, saying “Off! Get off!” Apparently there had been an accident. A nice old man tried in his best English to help us find a bus instead (equally as befuddling). Needless to say, we ended up walking 🙂

        Like

  148. The Beijing subway looks pretty much like the photo you posted during the rush hour. The worst part is that the subway crew will try to squish in all the people getting in the train by pushing them in so the door can close. It’s horrible!
    I once chose to stand on the side for an hour and be late for work rather than get suffocated or get trampled on in the subway!

    Like

    • Self preservation often needs to be suppressed when commuting, janieblim!

      Like

      • Well, it was a particularly crowded day. The subway train didn’t come every 3 minutes as it should during the rush hour. Many people were very impatient and angry because only around 5 people can get in the train. I have been pushed inside the train, where my ipod got pulled out of my pocket, and then pushed outside by the people who were trying to get out.
        On other days, it wasn’t as bad and I didn’t have to worry too much about getting injured.

        I took a video of the subway that day. Here’s the link:
        http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzE5MDYwMjM2.html

        Like

        • HOLY CATS!!!! I have to ask – how bad is “not as bad”?
          I have been on platforms that crowded, and the 74th St – Roosevelt Ave platform for the 7 line is pretty bad, but that’s unbelievable!

          Like

  149. whiteladyinthehood

    Woo Hoo Guapo! Congratulations!

    Like

  150. As much as I love living in NYC, I have to laugh at this, because it is SO true!

    Like

  151. confessionsofanactress

    I live in Toronto. We’re all so incredibly jealous of the New York system (and basically everyone else’s)!

    The TTC: 1.4 million people late for work, everyday.

    Like

  152. omg “242 comments skipped” ..

    How’s Freshly Stressed going, there?
    *hands you a drink*

    Like

  153. El Guapo, this could possibly be the longest string of comments. Ever. In the entire realm of the blogoshpere.
    I bow to your greatness
    Humbly,
    JohnBigboobies
    CFO
    YoYo-Dyne Propulsion Systems

    Like

    • Thank you for your kindness, Mr. Bigboogies.
      On another note, if possible, I would like to move forward with the rental of some 8th dimension inner-mountain real estate for a brief period, so I can give my hands a few days to recover.
      (Plus Androgoth is lending me nympho massueses!)

      Like

  154. Of course Andro would have Nymphos -face palm-
    I CAN get you a good deal on an overthruster though, No middle man. Despite the smooth deal (and nubile bodies Ando may offer). Damn. The Goth Man may have the serious advantage here. Damn you Androgoth.
    Oh wait. Too late 😉

    Like

  155. I like your writing style really loving this web site .

    Like

  156. The only time I’ve ever been on the NY subway was when I was 20 years old, making my way to Grand Central to catch a train out to Long Island. I ended waiting quite a while for a train, playing my guitar for a 14 year old heroin addict, and his uncle (apparently to keep the young man out of trouble), who were just hanging out. Very strange time….good post. You know I think that same conductor was on the train I finally rode!…..or a clone, anyway….

    Like

    • I think the uncle failed miserably, gigoid. Unless the uncle was the dealer and the 14 yo was the sample…

      I’m pretty sure “Rude” is an appendix in the conductor manual. You know, for those that pass the test….

      Like

  157. Rode the subway for the first time on my trip to NY in January…not nearly as bad as I built up in my head–even in rush hour, with luggage. THIS would have been cool to see in person.

    Like

  158. Guapo, mi jefe!! I was a City dweller – musician, singer, etc. etc., and had to take the ‘bway home at 2 AM with full gig regalia on. Somehow, I emerged unscathed. I think it’s my menacing squint. Point of pride: I can put on a full face of makeup out of my purse while the express train is moving, hanging off a strap, Not bad for a little chanteuse, huh? LOVED this rant, and I’ve written poetry based on the same stuff. I’m subscribing to you, honey. Amy Barlow Liberatore
    http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/03/09/prove-it-trifecta-and-rush/

    Like

    • The makeup is impressive, Amy. I’ve shaved on commuter rails, but would never try that on the subway!
      And never underestimate the power of the menacing squint at subduing the natives!

      Like

  159. Ha, I like this a lot. Sounds like some of the staff on London’s Underground system; deliberately unhelpful and spiteful. I see only too much of this scandalous door-holding myself. Too many times, I’ve waited patiently on the platform for the next train, if my companion has just made a train, and my getting on would delay the journey for everyone else. Besides, it makes me very nervous when the doors skim the back of someone’s head in a hasty, last-second attempt to throw themselves onto a crowded tube train.

    Like

    • The tube has that advantage over the mta, soupdujournalism. Our doors are straight, so it’s up to other riders to take the heads off of offenders.
      Yes, that happens too…

      Like

  160. I love reading your blog!

    Like

  161. Reading this and looking at that picture is enough to give me a panic attack. Holy crap, look at all those people, scrunched together, bustling about. Too many trains, too fast, too many people, too much noise, not enough air….AAAHHHH!!!!!

    And that is why NY is the last place I’d ever want to visit even though my best online friend lives there.

    Like

    • I was waiting for the E express the other day. I let three of them pass because it was just too damned crowded.
      Ah, New York.
      Like you say, not enough air, but way too much smell.

      Is your online friend taller than me? 😉

      Like

      • Ha! I have no idea how tall he is. 🙂 I keep trying to get him to move to TX but he says that’s the last place he’d want to go with all the fields, quietness and crickets (among other things). Said last time he was here he couldn’t sleep and missed all the noise.

        Like

Ahem *best Ricky Ricardo voice* Babble-OOOoooo!!!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s