Guerrilla Subway Etiquette

photo from animalnewyork.com

There are few New York institutions that are more well known and frequently used than the subway. The best thing about the subway is that it will always get you home, no matter what time it is or how drunk you are. But a lot of people seem to forget the laws of common sense and courtesy as soon as they step inside the car. It’s one thing to plop your bag down on a seat when the train is empty, but it’s inexcusable during rush hour. Lately my biggest subway pet peeve is dudes who spread their legs apart so wide that they take up the space of two people on the bench. I get it, your balls need room to breath. But my ass needs a place to sit when I’m not completely awake. If the train’s crowded, close your legs, just a little bit.

Admittedly, dudes sitting spread eagle is far less obnoxious than people who clip their nails, play video games with the sound on, or jump onto the train before people exit. Jay Shells is an artist who polled about 100 subway riders about their pet peeves in other subway passengers. Then he made posters that look exactly like the MTA’s service alerts to call people out for eating, groping, littering and several other train faux pas. He put up the posters starting at the 8th Avenue L station. I haven’t seen any yet, but keep your eyes open. And hope they actually get through to the people who litter and touch the pole after coughing into their hands.

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About the author

Kiley E - Ragamuffin Researcher

After years of denial, Kiley has finally admitted to baring a striking resemblance to Velma from Scooby Doo. Instead of traveling in a van hunting ghosts, she prefers wandering on foot in search of tacos, cheap beer, and fake birds. Growing up in Portland, Kiley enjoyed the balance of urban and green spaces. Then she spent her four years at Ithaca College, and found herself craving more sprawling asphalt in her life. So she moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where most of the buildings look like they're about to collapse. Kiley's favorite activities include: getting lost, crafting, sewing, biking, and geeking out at museums. Her love of taxidermy probably makes her a terrible vegetarian, but she doesn't care.