The one thing on a subway that will always get my attention is a lost soul. I mean literally lost. Like the guy has no idea where he is going. This happens a lot on the A Train, because it runs express and pretty quickly takes a rube out of the comfort of Manhattan proper and deposits him at 125th St before he can even figure out what happened.
Being lost can be no big deal if you are one of those self-assured types who feel like they can warp reality to their own will. But it can also make you feel helpless – especially if you’re working against the clock and have bitten off more than you can chew.
Last night, a late teen, early twenties type, looking like a savvy city-chick, turned to her neighbor at 125th st and asked if the train was going to Roosevelt Island. That grabbed me right in the gut. Roosevelt Island? That’s not even close. Her neighbor didn’t speak English, so I pointed her to the map behind her and explained she was about to stop at 145th St.
A glazed look of confusion engulfed her. Another rider quickly noted that she could make it Roosevelt Island fairly easily if she hopped out at 145th, took a downtown B or D to Roc Center and then transferred to the F Train. She staggered off at 145th and the other rider and I both watched her turn in awkward circles on the platform. We made eye contact and we both knew the timely advice hadn’t made a dent.
[Photo Credit: Clara]