Home View from Underground Video: The N train as a sleeper car

Video: The N train as a sleeper car

by Benjamin Kabak

From the folks who bring us the annual No-Pants Subway Ride comes “The Sleeper Car.” Improve Everywhere, as part of an exhibit sponsored by the Guggenheim Museum, recently took over one car on the N train and turned into, well, not quite a classic sleeper car. The group explains:

For our latest mission we converted a New York City subway car into a “sleeper car,” giving New Yorkers the chance to rest their heads during a late night commute. We set up three beds, each outfitted with a comforter, pillow, and sheets. Pajamas, sleep masks, and earplugs were also provided as part of this unauthorized free service. The project took place on the above-ground N train in Astoria, Queens around midnight on a Sunday evening.

With the overly bright lighting and often-deafening volume of the pre-recorded announcements, sleeping on the R160s can be a bit of a challenge, but with the help of some sleep masks and beds, a few intrepid commuters managed to pull it off here. While I’ve pooh-poohed the No-Pants ride lately, I’m entertained by this one.

For more on this mission, produced as a part of the stillspotting nyc exhibit, check out Improv Everwhere’s blog post. They say they believe it isn’t against NYC Transit Rules of Conduct to bring a seat (or bed) on the subway, but I’m a bit skeptical of that claim.

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8 comments

Wayne's World March 20, 2012 - 4:52 pm

I have two words for everyone who went after the first: “bed bugs.”

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John-2 March 20, 2012 - 4:58 pm

If they still had R-46s on the N, laying out on the seats would have been a bit of a problem for all but the most extremely vertically challenged (and it really would have been an ordeal if somehow, instead of an R-160 N for them to get on, a train of R-16s had lumbered into the station).

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John Q User March 20, 2012 - 5:10 pm

I don’t like sharing a train car with these people let alone share a bed with them. If, however, in the next car you have showers and a rack of new clothes, I might consider it.

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Jerrold March 20, 2012 - 5:23 pm

Since when is there something NEW about people sleeping on the subway? The only difference here is that those must be the first presumably midddle-class people to do it.

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Jerrold March 20, 2012 - 5:26 pm

At this moment, I’m LOL over my own typo. I can’t believe that it happened right in the middle of “middle”.

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Alek March 20, 2012 - 8:22 pm

It would be nice if they tried on the 42nd street shuttle see how many times they slept through back and forth

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Chet March 20, 2012 - 9:14 pm

All I could think of, through my laughter, is this is the kind of thing that makes NYC the greatest place in the world.

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pete March 21, 2012 - 10:58 am

Why wasnt a swat team sent to round them all up?

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