Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Subway Sightings: Where There's Always an (un)Willing Audience

Fun facts time! The New York City MTA includes:
  • 468 Stations
  • 21 Subway Lines + 3 Shuttle Trains
  • 6,311 Individual Subway Cars (the number per subway train varies depending on the line)
As I'm sure you all are eager for more fascinating subway facts, have fun clicking HERE!

Any New Yorker can attest that the MTA is an integral part of our lives - I personally spend at least two hours a day riding the subway. And that's if I don't have any scheduled mold jobs. This  leads us to today's blog post which is dedicated to #3 on Buzzfeed's most recent NYC-themed viral article, "23 Signs You've Been Living in New York City Too Long": the subway performers. 

Thank god there is an unwritten rule for subway performers, "performers", peddlers, and beggars to lay off the harassment during the daily rush hour commute (it's way too crowded for that shit anyway). Non-rush hour daytime and evening trips are a whole other story. You are guaranteed at least one interruption per ride, usually more. Mind you, this is in addition to all of the performers in the subway stations themselves. Union Square for example is consistently host to at least three separate but simultaneous shows. 468 stations, 21 subway lines, and 6,311 cars certainly provide ample opportunity for hustling the masses. 

I've cried on the subway and I've vomited (twice) on the subway. I've also witnessed pretty much anything and everything on the subway - banjo, rap, cello, saw, bucket, magic, recorder, and Motown a capella performances to name a few - ranging from horrible to incredible. After recent events, I can now add to my list that I've been kissed by a (possibly homeless) stranger on the subway.

Last week, while riding the 2 train downtown from Harlem, a man seated on an amp graced my subway car with an extra long performance (its duration was approximately six stops) on his electric guitar. He was a rather lively man, receiving more than the standard amount of attention from an unusually receptive crowd. After several songs, the singer specifically singled me out and dedicated his own modified version of The Temptations' "My Girl" to "white girl in the grey coat". Lyrics went a little something like this:
I've got sunshine on the 2 train.
When it's cold outside I've got the month of May.
I guess you'd say
What can make me feel this way?
My white girl (white girl, white girl)
Talkin' 'bout my college educated white girl with the grey coat and pony tail...
Then he added in a bit of free style about me. I randomly remember something involving Jamaicans... Anyway, his next song was prefaced with, "If anybody can guess who sings this song, I'mma gonna kiss that white girl over there". Guess what, somebody correctly named the song's artist. And guess what else, he was not kidding. I quickly slapped my hands over my face as the man approached. I was shaking my head and saying no, no, that's okay, you really don't have to do this... Butttt, he did. Thankfully it was just the quickest and lightest of pecks on the back of my hand. Fortunately he seemed relatively clean and un-diseased, but regardless, I took a long, steaming shower the second I got home. 
I've just got all the luck
I will now leave you with another Buzzfeed article that is equally true of la vie quotidienne in this one of a kind crazy city, "48 Things You'll Only See in New York City". 

Photo credits: Pokemon

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