Baby Almost Born on Subway

Maybe next time, take a cab?

Jeanie Colberg was on the 4 train with her young daughter on the way to the hospital yesterday when her water broke.

Baby almost born in subwayLuckily, a good samaritan was there to comfort her and calm her down a bit.  At Union Square, EMS workers were there to handle the rest.  She ended up giving birth to a 7 pound baby in the back of the ambulance.

She even gave the baby her middle name, Rochelle, after a transit worker that assisted her.

I don’t know for a fact that she was on the way to the hospital because she was in labor.  If not, it’s a pretty freaky coincidence.

So let’s assume she was in labor, would you really take the 4 train?  I’m personally gonna go with NO.  It’s either 911, or take a cab.  Even if you’re a bit light on the cab fare, I’m pretty sure they’d let you get away with it.

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

A guest post from

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 »

“Shut up kid.”

This morning I had a little kid standing near me with his little sister and parents.  Overhearing the conversation, it turns out that the dad used to live in Manhattan years ago.  The family was in town on vacation.

It started off with them jumping on the train.  Dad told the kids where to hold on, etc.  Mom looked a little jacked up about the whole experience, but whatever.  The boy was about 7 or 8 years old.  The little girl was probably 5.

Well, every little jerk and bump, the boy would yell, “Whoooaa!  Hold on,” like it was a roller coaster or something.  Of course, he was asking his dad a million questions.

Why does it go so fast?
What stop are we getting off?
What’s the next stop?
What are the lights outside?
Why isn’t that guy holding on?

At first it was pretty cute.  It was clearly his first train ride ever, and he was super excited.  It was like Disney world for the kid.

After about 5 stops is started to get a little old.  I made a note to invest in Ritalin stock later today.

I was fine with it until the train started to really get crowded.  I mean it was the heart of rushhour and I think they were headed to the Statue of Liberty.   So they were on board for the long haul.

At one point the kid was behind me holding on to the pole that is in the center of the aisle.  I was closer to side holding the overhead bar above the bench.  Once we started moving again, he kept slamming into me.  I mean he was holding on, but he was being ultra dramatic about each little bump and jerk.

I guess the thing that made me uncomfortable was it’s an 8 year old kid that keeps throwing his back into my ass repeatedly.  We adults bump shoulders and what not all the time, so you hardly notice it.  But when there’s something behind you constantly hitting your butt, it gets a little awkward.  I don’t even think he was paying attention to what he was doing.

But it is just another example of parents not taking control of their children in public places.

Welcome Home Kids

The kids are back on the train.  They’re back from their summers in the Hamptons, and they look excited…haha.

Schools in the city have officially started, so students are back with us on the platforms in the morning.

It’s fun to watch the high school dynamics.  It’s like a flashback for me.  They cluster in little groups.  The hot chicks in one group, with the obligatory gay guy friend.  The punk rock kids in as much black as possible.  Cracks me up.

The trick is figuring out how to avoid the train door they are going to use.  They’ll only get on the train if they can all fit at once.  So you don’t want to be caught in the middle of that for an entire ride.

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend.

110th Street (Columbia University area) Multiple Stabbing

 110th Street

I was up at Columbia this afternoon, and heading to the train on my way home.  I happened to be closer to the 110th Street station, so I headed in that direction (versus the 116th stop).

Quickly, realized that was a bad idea.  The place was crawling with NYPD and rescue.  From the look of it, I thought for sure there was a jumper or something.  People standing around said there was a fight.  Looked like there was way too many cops and EMT’s for a simple fight.

So I went back to 116th thinking that the train would at least roll by 110th where I could get a better look. Well it did roll by…without stopping.  The police had closed the stop.

So I went home not really knowing much more than that.

Just moments ago, I found out the real story thanks to Newsday.  It turns out that there was a multiple stabbing that involved three teens.

The kids started fighting at 59th Street/Columbus Circle.  The fight eventually spilled out onto the street at 110th.  Two of them ended up stabbed or slashed.  The other was beaten with a cane.  (Are kids carrying whipping canes these days?)

I love this quote from a witness:

“This is a grassroots problem,” said Shira Dicker, 45, of Morningside Heights. “Anybody who rides the rails knows that the kids are a real menace.”

The AP reports that non-caned were slashed in the face.  Sweet, at least that will build future “street cred.”

However, there were no arrests made, which seems a little odd.  Perhaps there’s more people involved that didn’t get catch the business end of a blade…or cane.

(Editor’s note:  I know 110th isn’t technically Columbia.  However, if you are familiar with the area, then you know that from 110th – North is definitely college territory.)

Surf the Web — Not the Train


Words of wisdom from the MTA that escaped some dude recently.

AMNY Tracker reports that today’s morning Q train snafu was due to a subway surfer.  No, not some idiot riding inside the train pretending to surf down the middle of the isle.  No, instead it is usually a rider on top of (as in the outside) the train or clinging to the side.

This practice is discouraged, hence the MTA Subchat campaign pictured above.

Who in the hell would actually do something like that?  Well, just last month, SUBWAYblogger posted a video clip of an entire train’s worth of idiots riding on the outside of the train.  Of course, that was a different country, but you get he point.

It took 45 minutes to get the guy off the top of the Q train which stopped between stations.  If I were stuck on that train, it wouldn’t have mattered if the guy got off alive because I would absolutely killed him anyway.  He would have had a better shot at surviving the trip on the roof.

“It’s happened before and usually when it happens, the person gets killed,” said Transit spokesman Charles Seaton.

Uhhh…yeah.  No shock there.

For that matter, do kids that live in New York have any right to complain about being bored?  I mean are these kids that bored out of their minds that they have to train surf for entertainment?  You essentially live at the center of the modern universe, yet you cant find anything better to do with you time than this kind of crap?

High School Kids: They’re Back


I think the high school population in my neighborhood doubled this year.  Today, there were waaaay more kids waiting for the train than last year.

The girls really bother me.  They move in little packs of 2 or 3, and will not separate no matter what.  So instead of being able to navigate around just one of them at a time, you have to treat them as a single person.

They get on the already crowded train, and then stand on top of each other in the most inconvenient spots possible.  Then, as the ride continues, they don’t move with the natural flow of the train car.  As other people get on and off, they refuse to separate.  As if they weren’t going to the same place.

If they get separated or travel alone, immediately the iPod earbuds go in.  Also, oversized sunglasses go on so they can spot their girlfriends without people knowing they’re panicked.

Then there’s the guys.  They tend to be a bit more nomadic, however it depends on their race.  No, I’m not racist.  It’s just an observation.  Feel free to disagree.  Here we go:

White Guys:  They tend to gravitate to the pods of girls.  They move solo.  If no girls are around, two guys might ride together.  Otherwise, they go it alone, or  with a minimum of 2 girls.  You’ll usually see a group of girls with the token dude standing somewhere near by.  Shaggy haircuts and designer t-shirts a must.  They come off as way too cool for everyone on the train.  Oh and don’t forget the messenger bags

Hispanic Guys:  The true nomads.  They tend to do their own thing.  They’re often the least noticeable because they travel solo, move with the flow of people, and generally don’t get in the way.  I relate best to these guys.  They just look like they want to be left alone…like me.  As if they haven’t had their second cup of coffee just yet…like me again.  By the way, what do Mexican guys use in their hair to make it so slicked back?  What ever it is, it’s at the peak of slickness early in the morning.

Black Guys:  Always have a wing man.  They tend to travel in pairs.   More often than not, one tends to be much taller than the other.  There’s very little talking.  Almost telepathically, they set up position in the doorways.  They never move, even when the doors open.  Would simply turning their bodies 90 degrees to let people on and off work?  Of course!  Will it happen?  Not likely.  They’re easy to spot because they have those Nike sports bags that have the rope cords that cinched the bag shut at the top.  The guy could be 6 feet of torso, yet the bag cords are always long enough to let the bag hit them near the ass.

Only about 8 or 9 more months till summer vacation.

I think the kiddies are gone

I think the high school kids are finally gone for the summer! They might have been gone for a week or more now, but I am just noticing how much less crowded certain trains are.

There’s a particular time in the morning where it seems that most of the high school kids go to catch the train to school. For my neighborhood, it is right around 7:40am. That’s when the bulk of them seem to be around.

The guys, who all think they are badass gangstas, stand in the doorways, and rarely move when the doors open. The girls travel in packs of at least three. Usually, they seem to be at peak annoyance in groups of five or more.

Anyway, they all seem to be gone!

The funnier part is that you don’t even see them around the neighborbood either…even on the weekend. Where do all these kids go? Are they all holed up somewhere?

Live from the subway, back to you in studio… .

Strollers + Bum + School Group = Suicidal SUBWAYblogger

OMG.  I don’t even know where to begin to describe my morning commute today.  It was so stressful, that I couldn’t even write about as I was witnessing it.  Not to mention, it was so crowded that I could barely move my arms.  If I had managed to pull my BlackBerry out to write, I would have thrown it as a weapon.

Here’s the rundown:

Homeless Bum:  I get on the train, and it is somewhat more crowed than normal.  However, I’m looking around over people’s shoulders, and I know I can see open spaces.  So how crowded could it really possibly be?  Ok, I squeeze into the train.

We get to the next stop and a bunch of people get off.  Then I see it.  A huge bum taking up 2 or 3 seats.  Stinking up the place.  Might be drunk…who knows.

The plot thickens…

The Stroller:  The homeless guy has an old baby stroller stretched out in front of where he is sitting.  It is literally sticking straight out from his legs, essentially road blocking the isle.  So that’s why there was so much space.  He was blocking people out.  Also, on top of the stroller was two milk crate things with lord knows what inside.  Then, there was something big rolled up in a large plastic bag on top.  This thing was the size of an RV. 

Here comes more trouble…

The Kiddies:  We get to the next stop, and there’s a field trip of 8 year olds standing there.  They flood onto the car using all the available doors, including the one where the bum was sitting.  The come streaming on board with another 15 adults trying to get on too.  Now we’re packed, and no one wants to be near smelly homeless guy.

Then the kids start bitching that they are being squished.  “Don’t worry kids, no one else is going to be able to get on at the next stop.”  “YEAH RIGHT!” I said out loud to the woman.  Sure enough, half a dozen more people packed in at the next stop.

Finally, one of the teachers started telling people that there were “kids” on board that couldn’t be “crushed” anymore. 

The fallout: The three things I hate the most…all happening right in front of me…on the same train.  Ohh it’s 9am and I already need a drink.