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My Fisher Internship
People of the Subway… aka New York’s Finest

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** In order to take these pictures, I had to stay extremely incognito, stealthy, and inconspicuous. Enjoy **

As summer flies by and people try to fit in as many summer trips and vacations as possible, the car starts to rack up miles and over-priced gas takes its toll on the bank account.  I, on the other hand, haven’t driven a car in over 2 months. The good ol’ red Corolla (some say it looks pink, but I tend to avoid that description) is just sitting on the side of the road in sleepy Englewood, OH.  So if I haven’t been driving, how have I been getting from point A to point B??

 I’ll tell you how… my new best friend, the subway! It is my ticket to the treasures of Manhattan, and when I say treasures, that is a great way to describe the people that are riding it with me.

Main Observations:

Spanish advertisements litter the subways

  1. Everybody is sleepy…  They say it’s the city that never sleeps.  Yea, well they lied. People sleep on the subway trains.
  2. If an instrument is involved, a tip is immediately expected.  Be ready to deal with the dirty look if a crisp green back doesn’t fall out of your wallet and into their hat/box/can/sock/pocket/etc.
  3. It’s a great place to work on your foreign language skills.  Spanish is extremely prevalent, followed by every other language you can imagine; however, talk at your own risk.  People will either: a) ignore you, b) speak to you as if you are fluent in the language, or c) give some sort of a condescending look for being a dumb American that knows very little about any other languages/cultures in the world.

Extreme Sleep Deprivation

Subway Gallery:

Our first specimen (right) entails an extremely bad case of sleepiness.  What the picture fails to reveal is the crinkled wad of money in his left hand (approx. a $10 bill and 3 or 4 $1 bills).  Additionally, I got off at the last stop for this train and he continued to stay in a deep slumber.  I wonder where he ended up?

Quite the surprise when she just started singing

This what I like to call a subway guitarist, naturally (left). This young lady hopped on at Grand Central Station, yelled out something that I couldn’t decipher, and proceeded to entertain me for 45 seconds. When all was said and done, she passed out flyers to promote her performance that coming Saturday night. Unfortunately, I didn’t to make it to her variety show. She seemed like a nice girl, though.

New York version of Oscar Wu

One of Fisher’s finest happened to be on the subway one night (right).  Somehow Oscar Wu made his way all the way from Houston to New York City and was so worn out that he just decided to snooze for a while on the 6 train.  First of all, thank you for visiting. But secondly, and more importantly, this teaches us a valuable lesson.  Keep your eyes peeled at all times because you never know when you will come across the New York version of a friend from home.  Much love, Oscar Wu.  And yes, I am fully anticipating the retaliation that is coming my way!

Don Quijote on the train

I can assure you that you are seeing exactly what you think you’re seeing (left). Equipped with his leather cowboy hat and an accordion, we have a legitimate member of a Mariachi band.  To be honest, I’m kind of diggin’ his shirt.  After much provocation from the train riders, he proceeded to belt out a couple tunes for the crowd. As I stated above, there is always a next step to this music filled adventure on the train… His lady friend proceeded to canter up and down the train like she was doing a collection for the church.

Yes, another sleepy man

May as well just stick with the theme and feature another sleepy man (right). You may be asking, what is the reason for this strange, sleepy phenomenon?  Honestly, I don’t know!  The train seats are stiff and uncomfortable, the stops are abrupt and frequent, and it’s so much fun to people watch, that I don’t have a clue how anyone could fall asleep.  But hey, who am I to judge.  This guy is clearly in a peaceful slumber, while I continue to be the creepy out-of-towner that snaps candid shots of sleepy subway people!

As is evident from this post, I have too much time on my hands and I’ve become too obsessed with New York’s public transportation. With that being said, this post is simply a way for others to get a sense of how different it is outside of Columbus, OH.  I could easily walk around Times Square in a cut-off t-shirt, swim trunks, sandals, and a cowboy hat, and not turn too many heads.  Manhattan is comprised of a unique mix of the most diverse people in the world, which are all squeezed together on a small island.  This immense concentration can only lead to one thing: shock and awe of different individuals.

** Take away: Be prepared to see all sorts of different individuals in life, but at the same time, keep an open mind.   You never know when you may come across the most unusual individual that can actually teach you something inspiring or lead you in the right direction. **

Thank you for reading!

- Seth

6 Responses to People of the Subway… aka New York’s Finest

  1. Mark Wilson says:

    I love the subway too! So much I wish Columbus had one. Great post!

  2. Oscar Wu says:

    Nice to know you haven’t forgotten about me, just trying to catch up sleep from the cohort midland trip.

    yes, there shall be retaliation

  3. Sara Weil says:

    I’m pretty sure you could get away with a cut-off t-shirt, swim trunks, sandals, and a cowboy hat on campus too….

  4. Paul Sobecki says:

    Yes, Sarah…if you would like to be featured in UWeekly

  5. Paul Sobecki says:

    I’m sorry, Sara

  6. Linda Kuhlman says:

    I really enjoyed reading the details of your photographic “search on the subway”. However, that previous blog about what you do at work…….uh……I’m not sharp enough to follow all that……..I prefer the photo essays, and I’m all about people watching skills……:-)

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