The Train that Sang, What You See is What You Say, and Subway Gymnastics
I haven’t written about the subways for a while. My commute changed somewhat and after years and years of seeing the peeling paint at the 47-50th street station, I am now instead being watched by the mosaic eyes of the Chambers Street station.
Those remind me of Sauron, his eyes and his “chambers of doom” (I think I encountered that particular expression in LOTR somewhere). By the way, MTA’s “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign has a new poster, that claims that last year 1,944 new yorkers saw something and said something. As my former co-worker Gur rightfully noted, this is a rather crappy PR move (and Gur knows a thing or two about PR). 1,944 does not seem like such a great turnout, especially considering that trains and bus stations were plastered with the ads imploring to IYSSSS. If I understand it correctly, those 1,944 people saying something did not foil 1,944 terrorist acts. If they did, it’s not very clear from the ad.
Besides the eye mosaics, my new subway station has another interesting feature. Some of the trains arriving and departing make a very strange, I would even say haunting sound. I’ll try to record it somehow and post it then. My guess is that the “singing” trains are the R142 on the IRT 2 line – they have induction motors that are said to produce a weird sound when accelerating and decelerating.
NYC Subway is a stage to many performers of various level of annoyance. I’ve seen many hip-hop acrobats and gymnasts who dance, and jump around to the headache aggravating boombox. The kids I recently encountered demonstrated a very interesting move. After an impressive, but not uncommon gymnastic routine in a semi-crowded train, one kid announced – “ladies and gentlemen, please do not try this at home.” The other kid took a running start, somersaulted, and then vaulted off the third team member into the air. He positioned himself parallel to the floor and reached the ceiling of the train car, slamming into it with a loud bang, then proceeded down for a controlled landing. I wish I recorded that on my Treo camera.