Knitting “Terrorist” on the Subway

On any given day, at any given time, you can see shocking things that would make your eyes burn and your head shake.

This morning was no different. I boarded the R train that goes from my house in Midtown to my job in Soho. It is a fairly quick trip, but even on the quickest of trips, you can catch a glimpse of a myriad of interesting things.

Today was probably the most shocking of all.

Across from me was a black man about my age. He was all ghettoed out, wearing baggy pants, a puffy ski parka, a Sean John sweater and a ski head pulled menacingly down on his eyes. He had chains around his neck and bright bling on his fingers and in his ears. He had a big bag on his lap and was shaking his head in time to the gangsta rap he was listening to that filtered into the rest of the car in staticked beeps.

He reached into his messenger bag and pulls out…. what I can’t quite see it…I squint my eyes to discern…it’s long and pointed…is it a knife?…is it a needle….

No, it’s a crocheting needle. He promptly pulls out a half-made green sock and continues on looping and connecting, his hands working wildly. There he sat from 42nd St., to Prince, pulling bright green wool from it’s skein and jabbing his number 7 crochet tool in and out, crocheting his little heart out.

Does it also take a village to properly beat a child’s ass?

A guest post from noisiestpassenger.com.

The post-work subway ride uptown on Friday is my favorite of the week. I can always get a seat from the Wall Street stop, as people tend to leave their offices earlier. Because we get to sleep late the next day or have fun weekend plans too large for a cubicle, everyone tends to actually look at each other and even smile.

I don’t consider my workweek over until I’ve tutored my last student, Jing, on Friday night. But I do feel lighter. There’s a zip of camaraderie among passengers, like we’re all in on the same joke or headed to some surprise party someone very high-strung doesn’t know about.

A few Fridays ago, I was sitting on the train, listening to music and feeling good. A couple boarded with their toddler, the human equivalent of a sticker burr, a few stops after mine. He clung to his exhausted mom and howled when put down in his own seat.

I locked eyes with the woman sitting across from me. She was coming from a workplace somewhere near mine and had an easy smile barely hidden by Stranger Face, the public “Just get me where I need to be” face. Neither of us needed to say anything to verify a wavelength. If that kid didn’t shut up, our Friday evening buzz would be seriously harshed, man.

The mom and dad bent over the toddler to shush him. Strangers shot knowing glances as the boy kept screaming. “Just hold him already!” every passenger silently chided. A 2 train hath more judgment than the pearly gates.

Once on his dad’s lap, the squirming child vine fell into a short-lived hush, the calm before the snotty, whining storm. Then he started to scream and thrash like the lead singer of a death metal band.

The woman across from me sent a blinking grimace my way, which I recognized from my days of teaching. In English, it translates to something like, “Do we really need to keep this one alive?”

Does it also take a village to properly beat a child’s ass?Read More »

Mailbag – MTA Please Fix Jay

Got this email today from a SUBWAYblogger reader.

I wanted to let you know about my blog – MTA Please Fix Jay.

It’s dedicated to the conditions at the Jay Street-Borough Hall subway station in Brooklyn.

There are a few issues to deal with at the station:

1. the interior condition is a disaster.  Riders deserve to commute in a clean station.  Jay Street epitomizes neglect and disrespect.

2. the condition of the MTA owned building above the station is a disaster and a waste of money.  There is a sidewalk shed that has been there for a decade.  In the midst of a budget crisis the MTA has a valuable asset that they have left vacant for a decade.

3. the lack of attention outside the station means that cars (MTA vehicles included) park in the bus stops, forcing buses to double park in bike lanes and forcing riders to board in the middle of the street.

The blog is sarcastic and a bit silly, but the points are serious ones.  The MTA must serve us better.

Heavy Breathers

This is a second-hand story that I will retell now.  I’m sure many of you will be able to relate.

I was speaking to a lady friend the other night, and she was telling me how she hates heavy nose breathers on the subway.

She’s not very tall.  Average height I guess.  However, when she’s in a crowded train in front of a taller guy, she often finds herself under his nose.

Not all up in his biznass, but close enough that they are literally breathing down her neck.  Some of them apparently breath out of their noses like they just got finished running the marathon.

I’d say that ranks up there in the grossness meter.  I don’t think I would be able to have some big dude breathing on my neck or head for an entire ride.

I haven’t experienced this myself, but I guess it is pretty common.

Photo

Thanks for the reminder, Hopstop

Got this email yesterday…

Hello,

I work for Hopstop and I’m a fan of your site. I’ve noticed you haven’t posted an entry about Hopstop in a while. Hopstop has recently acquired partnerships with Duane Reade and NY Magazine. We’ve also been featured on ABC News…

http://www.hopstop.com/video/abc2.html
http://www.hopstop.com/video/abc1.html

I would love for you to write another post regarding Hopstop’s growing popularity.

Best,

Name Removed to protect the intern that sent this (per her request)
Hopstop Inc.

—–

I guess it has been a while.  Have a feeling this will hold me over for quite a while now.

Calling all Subway Fans (or Haters)

SUBWAYblogger has an open casting call for guest subway bloggers.  If you’ve got a subway related story worth telling, we want to hear about it!  Heck, so does everyone else.

To share your story, simply shoot an email with your story off to “submit [at] subwayblogger.com

Be sure to include any information about yourself or your website you would like included in the post.  You will get link back credit!  Or if you prefer, you can remain anonymous.