Thursday, April 10, 2008

I don't miss this

An item in today's WSJ has this photo. The item is unimportant; the photo is important, as it reminds me of my subway days. Now that I'm working in the 'burbs I don't need the subway; thank goodness! I don't miss the bus either.

This looks, to me, to be a normal work day. Might be the IND lines station. The diversity of the people testifies to NYC's makeup. But the crowding is horrendous. People are stacked up like sardines in a can, in a narrow platform (barely twenty, or so, feet wide). During my commuting days I was in many such crowds. Standing at the edge of the platform could become terrifying, for the swell of the crowd at times felt as if it could toss me on the tracks. It could also feel as if I had no room to breathe; in this picture people are not wearing coats, so I can surmise it is spring or summer. As the temperature rose, such stations as this one became stiflingly hot. This is civilized society? Nah. Not for me. I came to detest it, loathe it, and to feel unwilling, and even unable, to handle it any longer.

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