Home Pop Culture Observations on the L train. NYC.

Observations on the L train. NYC.


When one boards the train on the 8th avenue Manhattan side they will immediately spot a preponderance of young 20 something individuals. Most of them have the patina of hope, elan and mock satisfaction that somehow they are living the dream. Whatever dreams are meant to be. Unlike many other lines in the NYC subway system the passengers one comes across are not urban professionals/workers of the outer boroughs, or the Upper East side prep set (although a few have fled their parents Park avenue homes to settle for the bobo life anyway) or the Eurotrash that one finds trolling the meatpacking district, although to be honest I have noticed a plethora of European types who sometimes like to make the weekend trek to Brooklyn in their efforts to mix with locals. Some of them even having traded in their Tribeca lofts for the make shift factory lofts that stretch Bedford avenue and Morgan avenue (the unofficial last stop on the line of cool before the L train descends into a zone that only braver and poorer souls inhabit as well as their Hispanic counterparts). 

One recent Halloween passengers were seen cramming into the 8th avenue stop, the end of festive reveling, now making their way back home. As we stood there huddled into each other in our makeshift masks, tequila jack fisted elbows smearing our collective vision, one individual, if I remember correctly dressed like Johnny Depp‘s pirate of the Caribean’s Jack Sparrow (down to the eyeliner) began hurling the contents of his evening onto fellow passengers. One could only brace themselves and hope none of the Jack Daniel dim sums landed on them. Yet to be perfectly candid – if one had allowed themselves to be anointed by said fellow, one could have honestly spent the rest of eternity claiming that they had been officially baptized by the denizens of NY’s finest. Baptized without a hint of irony. A feat that one could proudly sew onto their lapel every time they turned the turnstile to enter the L train.

With most instances of unexpected torpor most individuals are quick to dispense with their weathered veneer and are prone to resort to primal sensibilities, and that evening was certainly no exception. One young woman horrified by what she had just witnessed begun to wail and curse that the vomit juices now running along the floor had irrevocably destroyed her Jimmy Choos. Another individual who it seems was most offended began to sneer audibly ‘Fuckin’ hipster,’ while another gingerly began to scrape the remnants off his designer jeans, each swipe loaded with deep woe and a desire to suddenly have remained in Wisconsin where he probably had just arrived from 17 minutes ago. Most passengers, including myself just stood there, barely flinching, casually stepping 7 yards to the left while the individual in question suddenly looked up with a broad smile on his face. It was Halloween after all…