Tag Archives: subway


Using my brand new Reduced Fare Subway Card, I boarded the 1 Train at South Ferry.

Three stops later, a group of children participating in a summer enrichment program entered the car I was riding. Young adult chaperones boarded with them. The volume in the car increased dramatically.

At the next couple stops, I noticed some of the older folks slipping off the train. Had it reached their stop? Or were they retreating from the chaos and noise?

At the third stop (sixth total), the process repeated. Another group of children participating in the same summer enrichment program entered, along with some young adult chaperones. Older folks left.

By the time we reached my stop, there were probably 50 children, 12 young adult chaperones, and maybe 3 of us who were not part of the group.

On my way out I said in a loud voice (I may be old but I’ve still got it) that brought silence to the car: “Children, you are wonderful. Thank you for allowing me to share your ride.”

After a beat I said, “You young adults who are working with the children, thank you for the work you are doing.”

Many little hands waved at me as the train pulled past me.


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Why I like New York 42: Pride month


Work remains to do,
work always remains,
but New York celebrates Pride well –
even the MTA.
14 June 2019

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Surprises 3


There was a meeting today at the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx to discuss a teen forum for young men. I boarded the 2 train and headed uptown. Surprises followed.

Surprise 1. The train ran slowly. Very slowly. All right, that is not necessarily a huge surprise. But it led to …

Surpise 2. At the 3rd Avenue – 139th Street Station, the announcement was made that the train would next stop at E. 180th Street. Two stops beyond 174th Street where I wanted to get off. I decided I would go ahead and ride to E. 180th and then catch a downtown train. I am glad I did because it led to …

Surprise 3. The mosaic seen above. Amazing work.

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Purple, not flowers, section of a faceted glass mural


A section of
A Trip Up the Bronx River
by Daniel Del Valle
174th Street 2/5 Station
Bronx, New York
6 December 2018

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Wednesday morning subway ride

the child’s sobs
rip through me,
shredding my heart,
each anguished cry
a reminder of
past failings.

4 June 2015
The Shire
Manhattan, New York

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Why I like New York 39: that subway moment

Has it happened to every resident of New York?

Or every visitor?


Certainly almost all of us know the moment

of panic,




when we realize

we are on the wrong train.


See you along the Trail.



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Why I like New York 37: courage

The pipes.

Some people hate them. Some people love them.

The pipes.

Even those of us who love them concede that some songs sound good on them. Some do not.

The pipes.

Scotland the Brave sounds good on them. Stairway to Heaven does not.

The pipes.

Some hymns work on them. Some do not.

The pipes.

Amazing Grace sounds good on them. How Great Thou Art does not.

But the lone piper of the Grand Central 7 train subway chose that hymn.

As poised as the lone piper who closes the tattoo, he played. How Great Thou Art.

I put two dollars in his cup.

To honor his courage.

See you along the Trail.


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Why I like New York 36: Subway

I am a committed Subway rider. I go out of my way to avoid buses. I acknowledge it is not perfect. Friday’s ride to work felt like a rugby scrum. Without rules.

A recent post on Buzzfeed rated the various Subway lines. There is truth to the observations and critiques, at least about the lines I ride. Trains are loud, slow, dirty, crowded, and more. They make frequent stops and useless stops. Unexpected delays and breakdowns occur.

But, at the end of the day, each Subway line gets people where we want to go, or at least near where we want to go.

Plus, the ride often reminds me of traveling through the mines of Moria. Gotta love those Tolkienesque experiences.


See you along the Trail.

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Subway wind

Weary, drained,
I stand on the platform
and wait for the train.

I know there is no
signal, yet still
I check my phone.

I step to the edge
and marvel at the
debris between the rails.

The air begins to stir;
then picks up force;
wind surges down the tunnel.

Displaced by the arriving train,
the wind whistles through the station,
and the wind whispers “home.”

And it revives me.

Shire on the Hudson
31 October 2013

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Why I like New York 34: languages

The bus to which the tweet refers is the bus with the group of young people from the Presbytery of New York City who attended the 2013 Presbyterian Youth Triennium.

On the streets, in the subway, and even when we travel, languages mark New York.

See you along the Trail.

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