We enjoyed reading all the comments about what you love about the subway. It was hard to choose but here are the 5 winners who will receive a free copy of Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure by Nadja Spiegelman and Sergio Gargía Sánchez. Winners, please send us your US mailing address at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get your books out to you!
I am a librarian, so the public transportation is important in getting our patrons here!
I love the maps, station signs, directions like "uptown" and "downtown" that make sense to everyone and cryptic directions such as "N-Seabeach" and "to Newlots Avenue" that hint at history and romance. Reading is the key to independence on the subway, and being a shy person, the subway gives me a real sense of independence. I also think that subway maps and signs were the first words my children could read.
I like many, many things about the NYC subway system.
I am delighted I can travel from Washington Heights to Columbus Circle in about twenty minutes on most days.
I also fondly recall as a child traveling on very hot summer days with my entire family from our uptown home to Rockaway Beach for a day of sun and surf. The ride back home wasn't as quick or pleasant (sunburn, wet sandy shorts) but still well worth the token.
Finally, as an NYC public school teacher I marvel at how my colleagues--and math teachers especially--can not solve this particular riddle:
What is the next number?
4, 14, 34, 42, 59, 125, 145, 168, 175, 181, 190, 200, ____
The answer, of course, as most of my subway-loving 3rd grade students will tell you is: 207, because that is the last stop on the "A" line. These numbers represent all the numbered stops between West 4 and 207. "Too easy!" I'm always reminded. That's the answer; no MetroCard needed.
I love the unexpected on the NYC subway. Buskers of all sorts, from musicians to gymnasts will entertain half-filled cars of people. (I'm not sure that this is legal but it's cool!) People in every kind of dress and make-up ride together. I have a friend who carries small bottles of bubbles on the subway to calm gretzy children. You never know what you will see.
I like catching moments of sweetness between people -- a young brother and sister teasing each other while their dad looks on; two friends catching up with eager smiles on their faces; a couple with their heads together listening to a shared ipod; an old man whispering something to his wife that makes her nod and smile. In subways, many people are at ease with themselves and with their companions, and it's nice to see glimpses of people whom we might never meet in our daily routines but for our morning and evening commutes.
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