I’m on vacation for the next week, but since New York’s subways never shut down, neither will Second Ave. Sagas. I’ve enlisted the help of a few bloggers to help keep things fresh around here. Today’s guest post comes to us from Rebecca Aronauer, keeper of the Raronauer’ed blog.
Perhaps the greatest fantasy for any New Yorker is to fall in love on the subway. Who hasn’t checked out someone across the aisle, espied them reading your favorite book and have your heart skip a beat? To think: To have a train line and Philip Roth in common. This must be the real thing.
But like rent control, this New York dream is just that, a dream. What if a stranger actually approached you on the subway? It would be kind of weird. And even when strangers do find each other on the subway—with some help from the internet — true love takes more than a meet-cute.
But if there’s any romance to be had on the subway, it’s falling in love with yourself. Between work, family and friends, the subway is the true New Yorker’s chance to be alone. We’re hurried people, and it’s fitting that we find downtime traveling. That’s why tourists and packs of teenagers traveling together are so annoying: They’re violating the first rule of subway etiquette, which is to entertain yourself quietly.
Of course this statue is only in effect on weekdays. On the weekends, it’s perfectly acceptable to travel in groups, or late at night, in pairs. On the way back home, perhaps too inebriated from the night out to do anything but people watch, who hasn’t felt a little sadness when seeing couples share the ride home together? Like our small apartments, riding the subway alone is a reality New Yorkers must accept. And we can only make the best of it with iPod solitaire, romance novels and daydreaming about the person who just got on.