Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Subway - Your Friend and Enemy

The time has come. It is time to finally dedicate a blog post to New York’s best friend and enemy: the subway.

On the one hand, New York’s subway can jangle your nerves. It is old and loud. It is never on time, but comes whenever it wants. Either too early. Or too late. Without any system. It is just luck if you catch it.
It is slow. And why is there no fast-train-stop at Columbia? It is confusing – every of your guest will at least once make you wait, because he or she went to Brooklyn. By accident. It is super crowded, allowing you only to board backwards pushing – it is always interesting to realize how different the feeling of necessary distance can be. The train always gets stuck – track fires, construction or whatever reason there might be. The stations are too warm, too dirty, too…whatever – add what you like. I hate the subway.
On the one hand, I don’t want to miss it. It is part of my life, an everyday partner, bringing you everywhere for little money in a quick manner. It is not old, but retro and stylish. Fast-trains are fast. In the early morning it can be pleasant to ride. Lots of great and entertaining trips downtown will always be remembered in red line 1. Neither will be forgotten the awkward moments of life, you can only experience in New York’s subways: for instance the astonishment when I boarded still semi-somnolent at 5:30 in the morning the first wagon uptown to go to Columbia Master’s swim and found three guys sleeping in an otherwise empty wagon.

Or the more, less brilliant speeches on world problems you have never have heard about and never have wanted to hear about. Or the friendly, but crazy guy asking the passengers riddles, and promising to kiss the guy with grey jacket and the laptop (…me writing a post…) if somebody knows the answer (fortunately, the passengers were so kind not to know the solution…). Definitely, the subway brings you to get to know New York and to not loose touch with the world outside the ivory tower at Columbia. (Maybe that explains Columbia’s location up-north – only educational purposes…). Thinking of education, the subway gives you the great alternative to seriously discuss all-you-can-think-of religions and beliefs with qualified people. The subway stations are nice, cozy and warm. Who needs Broadway, the Met, or Carnegie Hall, if you can have brilliant concerts on the way to these places – a brass band, singers, violinists, drummers – whatever you wish? What can be better than a cheerful performance of Joplin’s “Entertainer”, when you are on your way to work? The subway stations are sometimes decorated with great details. And you have free WIFI. Sometimes.

To use our new world language: @subway: <3

P.S. As you may realize, today (another blizzard, shutting down entire New York – yes, the subway was also affected) I did not take the subway…


This blog is featured on LLM GUIDE, a global, online community for prospective LL.M. students, and a directory of programs offered worldwide.