Let me hear your stories of interactions on the NYC Subway!

A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat.” -Old New York Proverb

I commute, a lot. First it was the F train to the A, then the Q to the 4, and now the D and the Times Square shuttle. All those hours on the train means hours of observation of human behavior and interaction. Though I am hardly the first to observe and collect information (see links below) anyone can start noticing patterns of behaviors and interactions. You even start to see the same cast of characters over and over. Being New York, one also sees people mistake the subway for a toilet, a nail salon, Scores and McDonalds. I see a fascinating ecosystem that begs observation, analysis and a good dose of humor.

I am collecting stories for a booklet project. They should be totally anonymous. Tell me your anecdote! What patterns have you noticed? 

 

Things I am observing:

What causes people to choose a certain seat, change seats, decide on personal space, conversation topics and bag (or shelf, see below) allocation. Filter analysis by personalities (AKA Cast of Characters), train volume, type and time. 

 

Refer to sketches for inspiration.

 

Observation Example: The 3 Seat Scenario

Seats 1, 2 and 3 are empty. Train is half full. Seats 1 and 3 always get occupied first. Seat 2 gets occupied only once train is very full.

IF train is again half empty and seat 3 now is now empty, it is expected that occupant 2 immediately move to seat 3. 

IF occupant 2 remains in seat, he enters the “Axis of Creepiness” regardless of time of day or character type.

REAL SUBWAY RULES:

 

http://lanamaniac.posterous.com/the-real-subway-rules

 

 

Photo Inspiration: 

Some shots from the subway:

Media_httpimg158yfrogcomimg1588706subwaypeoplebybylovjpg_cwhodnaltqadexh

photo by A. Bylov

http://img159.yfrog.com/i/58601023274195306415045.jpg/

photo by Deja

Media_httpimg160yfrogcomimg16057041216091906jpg_iblffxeltgzfwco

photo by me

photo by Claudy R.

My NYC Subway photography:

http://lanamaniac.posterous.com/life-with-the-mta

The NYC Subway group on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/nycsubway/

 

Link Inspiration:

Slate – What They Learned

http://www.slate.com/id/2235474/pagenum/all/

 

Bobulate – No Justification Condition

http://bobulate.com/post/250351998/subway-psychology-and-the-no-justification-condition

 

Mindhacks – Going Underground

http://www.mindhacks.com/blog/2009/11/going_underground.html

 

gothamist – Subway Studies

http://gothamist.com/2009/11/28/subway_studies.php


NYC subway in popular culture

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_Subway_in_popular_culture



Just for LOLs

Hamster on the subway:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/hamster_edie_train_ride_AzzcyebLlNSK3xuX9t7GIN

 

Dude visits ALL subway stations:

http://gothamist.com/2009/06/19/arun_wilta_subway_project_1.php


Overheard in NY:

http://www.overheardinnewyork.com/archives/001912.html

 

Random photos of subway & NY via iPhone: 

http://iphoneographynyc.tumblr.com/

 

How kids see the subway: http://kottke.org/09/10/a-three-year-olds-view-of-the-nyc-subway

 

The Boys and the Subway http://niemann.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/01/the-boys-and-the-subway/


MTA graphic design: 

Media_httpgraphics8nytimescomimages20090904nyregiondoors480jpg_akegiijhxojanep

Craziness:

Teen hides on subway for 11 days…

Gawker rules…and some laws too…

umm…

Subway_1_v2Subway_v2

 

 

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Digital nerd. Photo taker. Pinterest addict. Coffee chugger. Dog owner. Mirror wireframer. Glasses wearer. Life observer. Grad student. New Yorker.

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One comment on “Let me hear your stories of interactions on the NYC Subway!
  1. Lana says:

    lol, your note to fix my typo had a typo in it; )

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