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View Diary: MassTransit and Limousine Liberals (139 comments)

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  •  You get to know people on the subway? (0+ / 0-)

    That's really strange.  I was always taught "for God's sake, never make eye contact with anyone on the subway, ever." You can glance, sure, and see if it's someone you know.  That's how I realized I was on the same train with my great aunt, several stops in. But if you're female riding the subway in New York, you do not make the chitty-chatty with strangers.

    •  It depends (0+ / 0-)

      First of all, you see people who know each other interacting and you overhear conversations, so as long as you don't stare at people you actually can observe quite a lot. Second, there are actually many situations where people end up talking to each other: when someone asks directions, when a passenger drops something, when something funny happens or there are cute kids or dogs, and when the train stops in the tunnel long enough for riders to share complaints. But even without verbal communication, there is something communal, leveling and mutually informative when you get a typical mix of New Yorkers sharing the space - lawyers in suits with briefcases, workmen with tools and paint-spattered clothes, elderly folks and pregnant women who are offered seats, people reading the Wall Street Journal and people playing hand-held games, teachers grading papers, actors studying scripts, students who are reading and students who are boisterous, homeless people, and tourists and New Yorkers of every ethnicity. It's a fascinating microcosm and it's ok to enjoy it as long as you don't keep your eyes in one place too long.

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