Summer in New York means tourist season. Well, actually, it's always tourist season here, but it is high tourist season in the summer. People come from all over the world just to ride our subways. Right? That's why they come. Many of these people don't know how to ride the subway, and are cruisin' for a bruisin' if they keep up this behavior, so I offer my advice.
This may also be used as a refresher for New Yorkers who have forgotten how it's done.
I'm not going to go over the very basics; you should know to give your seat up to a pregnant woman, an elderly person, or someone who needs it more than you. New Yorkers have a big problem doing this. Just do it, you lazy so-and-so. Come on. Another basic: don't hold the doors. People have places to be that are not on this train. You know this too. So let's move on, and start at the beginning.
ENTER THE TRAIN
Go ahead and walk all the way into the train. Do not stop in the doorway. Get right in there and make a space for yourself where you can hold onto a bar. Don't worry about when it's time to get off the train - even in a crowded train, people will move aside to let you off. And if they don't? Well, this is NYC, you can do some gentle nudging through the crowds. That is a-ok. The most important thing is that you enter the train and let other people also enter the train.
NEXT, HOLD ON
This part is fun, because it means the train is moving. Hold on. What, you don't want to hold on? You will fall into someone, and that someone is going to be annoyed, if not angry. Hold the bar. WITH YOUR HAND.
DO NOT hold the bar with your butt-cheeks. DO NOT lean against the bar. Just hold the bar with your hands and your fingers.
LET'S TALK ABOUT PERSONAL SPACE
Living in NYC means giving up on having a lot of space. Few have yards, few have big apartments. That little tiny bit of space we can manage is very valuable. So, don't touch me. Don't let your stuff touch me. Take off your backpack. Huge purse? Hold it in your hand, not on your shoulder. But most importantly: do not sit so close to me.
|This is good spacing technique.|
Some trains have defined seats. You can tell that three people, or two people, can sit there. But some trains have benches, and you may not be sure how many people can sit in that space, so let me tell you: THREE. Three people can sit in that space. You may see a little room, you may think a fourth person can get in there. And maybe they can, but ONLY if you know both people on either side of you and they don't mind touching you. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you squish yourself between strangers. You are touching them. There is a no touching rule on subways!
Obviously, you can talk. You can chat. Don't yell, use your inside voice. Don't get too excited and start hollering. Some of us are reading, or sleeping, or preparing ourselves for work, or recovering from work, and we don't want to hear it.
OK, that's all. Sorry for the all-caps and the snark. Here's a picture of my cat so you know there's no hard feelings.