1 When an adorable baby on the train locks eyes with you.
He’s so cute you don’t even care when the train gets stuck in a tunnel for ten minutes. You’re too busy playing peek-a-boo with the one person train who won’t break any laws of common decency if he shit himself on public transportation.
2 When “SHOWTIME” means a Broadway-worthy performance.
The cast of Broadway’s The Lion King performed a song as a flash mob subway car and it’s basically this best thing ever.
3 When some one else on the train is reading the same book you are.
I checked out 1984 from the library on a whim. I’d never read it before, everyone else has, I wanted to join the club. Apparently the New York public school system had the exact same idea at the exact same time as me. I’d get on the subway, pull out my book to read, and notice a high school student across the train doing the exact same thing. That happened, no joke, five times. I thought about talking to each of the 5 teens, but refrained out of respect for “stranger-danger”.
Next time I hope I’m reading the same book as one of these hot dudes.
4 When a bride is on the train.
I got on the D train one Sunday morning and found myself in a train car occupied by a full wedding party. The event photographer snapped pictures of the bride and groom hanging on to poles. I looked on just out of frame, smiling at this random life event I had stumbled into.
5 When it’s that one day in January where everyone takes their pants off.
6 When New Yorkers break out of the stone-faced commuting routine to offer help to a person in need.
I almost fainted on the NYC subway once. It was simultaneously terrifying but also awesome to see how many people saved me from unconsciousness. Stranger-support rather than stranger-danger!
7 When you take the 1 Train during Fashion Week and a dozen gorgeous models get on at Lincoln Center.
It’s better than watching America’s Next Top Model re-runs.
8 When the entire train car is decorated to celebrate Seinfeld.
Subway advertising campaigns can be very elaborate. To the point where you feel like you traveled back in time to ’94 to be one of Jerry’s short-lived girlfriends.
9 When kids turn around on their seats and perch on their knees to watch the strange underground world out the window.
To that kid, that ride is magical. The dark blackness of the tunnel is full of mystery and magic. This isn’t a commute, it’s an adventure. They’re hoping to catch a glimpse of real-life Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
10 When you realize the person sitting across from you is a celebrity.
Sometimes it’s a celebrity who obviously is hoping no one recognizes him.
Sometimes it’s a celebrity who is hoping everyone recognizes her.
11 When the doors of the train open and it’s crush-at-first-sight.
New Yorkers develop fleeting subway crushes all the time. See Craigslist Missed Connections for proof. When you see someone act on their subway crush in the moment, it’s like watching a romantic comedy. We’re all routing for you to fail in a grand and comedic fashion, buddy!
Of course, for each of these nice moments, you could probably come up will 11 subway horror stories. It wouldn’t be NYC if people weren’t bitching about the MTA. But hey, sometimes I like to look on the bright side. That’s how you know I’m a native Californian, not a New Yorker!