Too Close

  
No one should be THIS-CLOSE to anyone during their subway commute!! I was on my way to a friend’s event at Harlem Stage after work. This girl got on and parked herself right up against me. I was pinned against the train doors, her hair all over my face & going up my nostrils! My cell phone was so close to my face, I felt cross-eyed trying to look at the screen! She kept fidgeting too! Like I wasn’t even there! UGH!!!

I was so grateful when she got off & I was able to go further into the train car. Seriously, some people are so oblivious, or worse, don’t care!!

Feel free to post comments or share similar experiences, whether in NYC or elsewhere.

~Izzy

Homeless Evening Commute

Last week I started going back to my painting class on Mondays & Tuesdays. This past Monday was very cold, so I rushed to the train station after class. Since I get out late, I expect to wait longer than usual for the train. I sat on the bench, between a woman & a man. After about a minute I smelled a rancid, sour smell. I knew it wasn’t the man because he was well groomed. Then I saw the woman’s hands as she played a game on her cellphone. Her nails were encrusted in dirt. She shifted in her seat & the smell spread. I seriously didn’t take her for a homeless person. I pinned her for a traveler since she had a carry-on sized suitcase, which was in good condition.

When the train arrived I got on. It was a bit crowded, but I managed to get a seat. As people got off at their stations I came to realize there were five homeless people in the car I was on. One man was sitting in front of me, previously blocked from my view by the standing crowd. There was even an older couple on the far front of the car. A few stops into my ride, another homeless man came in from the next car, begging for change or food.

The cold weather makes these situations more visible. Sadly it’s been getting worse over the past few years. It’s almost as bad, if not worse than when I was a kid. I remember seeing what looked like cardboard cities under building scaffolds, on church steps, & train stations.

Feel free to post comments or share similar experiences, whether in NYC or elsewhere.
~Izzy

Commuter Incidents

Within this past week I partially witnessed two commuter incidents on the subway. On Monday, I was going home from having dinner with my best friends. I was waiting for the 2 train at the Times Square station. I had my earphones on as I normally do. Suddenly I started hearing a man wailing. I looked around me, thinking there might be a mentally unstable homeless man near me. They’re usually harmless but there are times when they snap & get in your face a bit. The wailing continued and sure enough I spotted a a crowd across on the downtown platform. I instantly thought, “Oh God, no…” There was a stalled 1 train and three EMT workers trying to pull up a man who was stuck in the gap between the train & the platform. A couple of cops were around the EMT workers, keeping the crowd at bay. What struck me was that other than the small crowd near the incident, no one seemed to realize what was going on, just feet away from them. I didn’t see the incident when it happened & I couldn’t really see the man involved, but I was glad for that. I felt horrible for the man, but I knew he was being helped & hoped his injuries weren’t too severe.

Then Thursday, I was on my way home from running some errands after my first work day of the year. As I was going up the stairs to the platform, I saw a woman laying along the side of the stairs. She was crying & moaning as a subway worker knelt beside her, keeping the forming crowd away from the narrow space by the platform edge. From what I heard from the crowd it seemed like the woman had fallen into the tracks as the train was coming into the station. They had managed to pull her back onto the platform & were waiting for the EMT to take her to the hospital.

I really hope this isn’t an omen of how the year will be riding the NYC subway.

Feel free to post comments or share similar experiences, whether in NYC or elsewhere.

~Izzy

Subway Photo Series

Last year I finally bought my first Nikon DSLR, a D3200. I’m still a newbie when it comes to photography, but I’ve always wanted to take it up as a hobby. However, I haven’t been able to take advantage of my new camera as much as I’d like. So I was thinking, it would be great to take my camera out while I challenge myself to photograph on all the NYC subway lines. Of course it will take me a while to accomplish, specially if I want to capture as much as possible along the entire length of each route. But I think it’ll be a fun way to use my DSLR, while exploring the subway, and give me great material to post here.

Stay tuned for my Subway Photo Series, capturing my views on the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, J, L, M, N, Q, R, S (42nd St Shuttle, Franklin Ave Shuttle, & Rockaway Park Shuttle), & Z trains.

Feel free to post comments or share similar experiences, whether in NYC or elsewhere.

~Izzy

I’m Back!!

I know…it’s being a LONG time since my last post! Life just kept me busy and I’ve horrible at making time to dedicate to my blogs.

Although I’ve been MIA from Subway Diaries, the NYC subway hasn’t been lacking material to write about (it never is, lol). Unfortunately, I didn’t keep notes and too much time has passed for me to remember all the details. But some things are just difficult to forget, like the following from the past few months:

  • On Valentine’s Day, a woman standing by the train doors and projectile vomiting on the woman seated next to her. I guess she was sick of all the love hype, or she just didn’t like the flowers the seated woman had, lol.
  • A young adult (18-20) lashing out at a much older man (60+) in an abrupt violent beat down on the train, with such an impact the older man flew out of the train onto the platform. The older man had apparently been too vocal about the young man’s female companion and her “unmodest” outfit.
  • A full grown man squeezing himself into a seat I wouldn’t even try to put my hips in.
  • A little girl (about 8 years old) going buck wild on the train while her grandmother’s patience thinned out. That girl was running back and forth, twirling herself around the poles, and even flashing her nipples. The grandmother eventually snapped, gave her a smack, causing the girl to wail loudly until they got off the train.
  • A guy dropping his wallet as he ran to catch the 1 train at 59th St – Columbus Circle (he missed it). Another guy saw it, picked it up, but in the crowd lost track of the wallet’s owner. He jumped the turnstile, thinking the guy left the station. I ran after the guy who picked up the wallet and told a woman on the outside part of the turnstile to find him because the wallet’s owner was still in the station. While she went to find the “wallet hero”, I ran to the owner. He hadn’t realized he had dropped his wallet. Soon enough the “wallet hero” managed to return the wallet to its rightful owner.
  • I was waiting for the 2 train at 125th St with a friend, when a woman started pacing near us, moaning. At first I thought she was either a junkie on a bad trip (she did look like she was on something) or somewhat demented. After hearing her wailing and screaming at the station agent, I realized she had lost her daughter. She mentioned a green book-bag, so when my friend & I got on the train I scanned the platform at the next station. Sure enough, there was a traumatically frightened little girl with a green book-bag, crying and trembling next to a couple trying to soothe her. The man and I went to the station agent while my friend and the woman tried the calm the girl down. We told the agent to call the station before because the mother was there. Eventually the mother arrived and they were reunited.

Feel free to post comments or share similar experiences, whether in NYC or elsewhere.
~Izzy