Fellow New Yorker Annie Scott wrote a wonderfully fun article for Gadling travel blog entitled 10 Reason's London's Tube is better than the NYC subway. (See below.) And while I greatly respect Ms. Scott's well articulated opinions, being a fan of the New York City subway system, I feel compelled to respond.
Okay—fair enough. It’s rather nice to know where one is going.
Humph. I do not see rats every day in subway stations. Nearly every day, yes. Every day, no. And besides, rats, graffiti-filled walls, and discarded food on train floors provides lots of urban angst, which fuels artistic creativity. A clean environment leads to banal writing, I say!
I’m wary of cushions and fabric. They harbor bacteria. I like NYC’s plastic subway seats, which can be hosed down with bleach solution. Remember the poor homeless bloke who had his bare, blackened, gangrenous leg elevated on a subway seat? Bleach and plastic are our friends.
Armrests are a good thing?! In my experience, they lead to elbow sparring. New Yorkers have sharp elbows. Not fun.
I’m happy to report that many NYC stations are finally providing screens with train times. (Hallelujah!)
Good points. Can’t argue. I have bad vision and enjoy reading a properly printed, properly displayed sign.
(Please see my “urban angst” commentary in #2.) Can’t hear or understand the names of stations? Nothing creates angst like coming home to Brooklyn in the wee hours of the morning and missing my stop because of a garbled announcement, then spending the next hour backtracking to the correct transfer point. Angst=good fiction writing.
Train announcements should include local attractions and be tourist friendly??! What next? Give tourists free tickets to Broadway plays and vouchers for free lodging at the Waldorf? Jeesh. This coddling would only turn NYC into a veritable “nanny state” for tourists.
Hey, Dr. Zizmore is an NYC icon! I’ve been to his office. He has a picture on his wall of him posing with Queen Elizabeth. ‘Nuff said, right?
But know what? . . . I still ♥ the London Tube. :-)