Archive for April, 2005

SUBWAY FOLK: Monthly Recap

Every month, I will post links to all of the SUBWAY FOLK entries from the past 30 days.

I also wanted to tell you all that SUBWAY FOLK will no longer be a daily beat. I’ve decided to make it biweekly (i.e. twice a week) so that I have the time to choose the most interesting stories. You can expect a new entry every Monday and Friday.

Click the following link for the archive:

The Nation’s Neighborhood

Each weekend, I work part-time at a toystore in TriBeCa. This neighborhood is beyond my means to afford, being ranked the 13th most expensive zip code to live in. Constantly I see the black American Express cards, hear people talking about buying new places for several millions, I’ve even seen an actual diamond encrusted sidekick! However, I love it. Why? It’s a true neighborhood. It’s a neighborhood of families, to quote Cheers, where everybody knows your name. I can walk down to Morgan’s Market and get stopped by five different people just to chat, and I’m only there on weekends.

Today was the TriBeCa Film Festival Family Day. Greenwich was transformed into a myriad of face painted kids with color streaked hair and tents selling cookies, waffles (I shall forever curse Petite Abeille for bartering waffles for toys with me, making me ill on sugar) and multicolored popcorn. It wasn’t just neighborhood people, it was families down from the UWS. I met people from Florida, California, and even Hawaii. I even had lengthy conversations in French with two families from Paris. TriBeCa transformed into the nation’s neighborhood street fair.

Yet, it didn’t feel different. It didn’t feel pretentious. It felt like being back home, hanging out with friends, being introduced to new ones. TriBeCa may be a trendy neighborhood, one where people go out to eat and live the high life, but it is also one of the City’s best places to raise a family. People often times gloss over it, stereotyping it as the playground of the rich and famous, but I encourage everyone to take this time where “the neighborhood” is in the national spotlight and go explore what I think is one of the most “down home” places the city has to offer.

SUBWAY FOLK: Hella Long Commute

homework.jpgA girl doing homework on the train at 9:40 p.m. It’s one of the saddest sights in the City. Knowing that she’ll have to ride this train for another hour, at least, before she gets home, that her commute is so long that doing her homework on the subway is the only option she has… it’s just awful.

I know a girl named Rosa, a beautiful, hardworking Italian girl from Queens. We took a course together on the literature and politics of American slavery, and the reading for that class was INSANE. But Rosa always had her shit together. In fact, one day, our professor gave us a pop quiz, and Rosa was the only person in the class to get every question correct. Even the professor was astonished by her effort. We all asked her how she managed to do it. “How in the hell did she manage to retain Olaudah Equiano’s autobiography? It was just assigned two days ago!” we all wondered.

“Well, my commute’s so long; I just read it twice. I had nothing else to do.”

Does anyone know how long that shit is? Christ. It bothers me so much that a distance of maybe 15 miles or so would take THAT long to travel by subway. Shit’s fucked up, yo.

Seriously? I love New York, but I’m moving the day the train makes me have to read something twice. TWICE. Shudder.


It’s that time again, folks. I won’t be writing anything about the subway, so keep reading even if you aren’t a fan of SUBWAY FOLK.

It’s that time when I ask all of you for a little help. If you know of any place that is hiring, or if you may have some leads that will help me get a job, or maybe you just have some general advice, I would appreciate it if you could get in touch with me. I am looking for full-time employment, as my bio states, in media. Writing, editing, website management, concept design, I believe I can do it all. I have a resume ready to send if anyone is interested. E-mail me at

I am also skilled in other areas (I’ve worked in an office and with disabled populations, for example), so if you know of a job that is not media-related, I would love to know about it.

I had a few prospects in the works, but they’ve all fizzled. I’m not quite scurred about my situation yet. I suppose that if nothing comes to fruition by the end of May, I could temp.

But, basically, I love New York, and I don’t want to sublet my apartment and have to move to Pennsylvania or California to live with my family. Though they’re lovely places and lovely people, I want to stay here for now.

Thank you.


Ever had to carry luggage or shit from Ikea on the train?


Sometimes, New Yorkers just really wish they had a fucking car.

The Way This Goes


SUBWAY FOLK: Subway Transmitted Diseases

food_again.jpgThis is how it spreads. IT. Remember?

The audacity of this woman! And, the ignorance of this man! It’s astounding. After she shoved those filthy potato chips down her throat, they totally macked. It’s a good thing I hadn’t had much to eat — I only dry heaved.

But, when their kids are born with scrotums for chins, we’ll all know why. So, I better not catch any of you engaging in the same behavior — uh, both eating on the train AND having babies with Peter Griffin chins, I guess.


The Prodigal Blogger Returns


Fresh from Cali, the blogging resumes. I noticed the nyc metblog has drafted some new talent. On behalf of myself and Art Lowe, subway sleuth to the stars, welcome. The heating is bad and the water is slow to come on, but its home(page) nonetheless.

Every time I go home it further cements the fact that I made the right decision moving out here. I

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CWA: Conductors With Attitude

As a regular subway commuter I’ve heard many conductors announce stations, transfers, service changes. Most of them hate their jobs as is evident from their purposefully sloppy pronunciation, false information, and the general tone of contempt in their voice. They’d rather be above ground drinking wine coolers or something rather than wear those crappy MTA uniforms and be exposed to daily abuse by impatient and fed up commuters while working for the worst run non-profit in the world.

Nevertheless, once in a while the conductor was born to be a conductor and you will know it when you hear her/him. Sometimes they don’t limit their announcements to the above-mentioned topics but use their microphone booth as a sort of soap box. Sometimes they also communicate in an excessively happy singsongy voice, which really gets annoying after about two stops.

Anyway, here’s an example of a conductor/social critic:

A few days ago, at the York Street stop the train was waiting in the station for a rather long time. The doors tried to close and kept opening, etc. This usually means that someone’s holding the doors or that there’s a door problem (and you don’t want a door problem).

The conductor announces, “Ladies and Gentlemen! When there are train delays, don’t blame the MTA, blame your fellow passengers who are holding the doors open. They are usually causing the delays.”

(I’m sure at this point everyone in the car in which some kids were holding open the doors was just staring them down with the signature big city-you’re making me late-death look.)

Then. “Ladies and Gentlemen. I would like to remind you that this is a PUBLIC transportation system not a private one.”

And then. “Attention Parents: Using your children as doorstoppers is borderline child abuse.”

At this point the tension in the train dissolved into that wonderful moment when everyone looks up from their reading, makes careful eye contact with the other passengers, and exchanges barely visible grins.

The doors closed and we were off.

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