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Riding on the Metro with Nadzeya Kolas

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

The New York City subway system is a fascinating and somewhat bizarre experience, with over 472 stations spread across 27 different subway lines. But beneath the surface lies a dark and gritty world, a breeding ground for crime, corruption, and vermin. The rats, big as cats, scurry about the tracks and platforms, feeding on the refuse left by commuters. The stench of urine and stale air lingers in the tunnels, punctuated by the occasional scream or gunshot. The subway's unique characters only add to the uneasy atmosphere; drug dealers, thieves, and vagrants lurk in the shadows, waiting to prey on unsuspecting victims.


But there is a certain romanticism to the subway, too. The fleeting glances exchanged between strangers, the moments of unexpected kindness, the shared experiences of delays and breakdowns - they all serve to create a sense of community amidst the chaos. And as the trains rumble through the tunnels, the faint murmur of conversation and laughter can be heard, like a beacon of hope in the darkness.


Despite the chaos and danger, the subway remains one of the most convenient and affordable ways to get around the city. The trains rattle and screech along the tracks, commuters huddling together, their faces etched with weariness and fear. The sound of footsteps echoing off the tiled walls sends shivers down their spines, as they wonder if the person approaching is friend or foe. Buskers and performers add a touch of macabre entertainment, their music and dance moves a sharp contrast to the grim reality of the subway.


The subway's peculiarities are part of what makes it such an iconic symbol of New York City. And amidst the chaos and danger, there are still those who rely on the subway to get by. The weary faces of working-class New Yorkers, their eyes darkened by the daily grind, tell stories of struggle and perseverance. They brave the darkness and danger, their hands clutching purses and briefcases, their minds focused on the destination ahead.


The subway is a dark and treacherous world, but for those who call this city home, it is also a place of unexpected beauty and camaraderie. As the train pulls into the station and the doors open, the people of Gotham step forward, their hearts full of hope and determination, ready to face whatever lies ahead.



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