Tag Archives: train

Why It’s So Freaking Hot in the Subway

If I were an investigative reporter, or if I had the mental energy right now to do some actual research, I’d look for some articles on air circulation in city undergroud rail systems.  However, I do not want to become an investigative reporter, nor do I have the energy to do some actual research on air circulation in city underground rail systems.  So I’ll just complain.


Actually, it’s not some much complaining as an observation, because I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t complain (which makes me a hypocrite because I know full well I’m complaning).

The subway, year-round, but particularly the summer months, have the habit of being just nasty.  It’s warm (like, very warm), humid (like, very humid), and it’s probably just as clean as a keyboard (which is just as dirty as it is boring).

A few hotspots:

  • The 4-5-6 Canal Street Stop
  • The E-M 53rd & 5th Stop
  • That God-forsaken tunnel between the N-Q-R 42nd Street Times Square Stop and Port Authority

That last one is pokes itself it the butt sometimes (I think I just made that euphamism up; I’m going for a makes-fun-of-itself type figure of speech).  Once you start the journey through that tunnel and realize it’s particularly dank in there, you have two options: 1) turn around and get onto the street, or 2) continue on in the hopes that Good Lord will have mercy on you today and make the experience a shorter one.

Now I read somewhere this past week that the London Underground was designed so tightly that there was no room to install air conditioning when the technology became available in the second half of the 20th century, which means that commuters have to endure scorching internal temperatures day in and out.  Upon reading such truthfact, I felt ashamed for being so whiny about my own Subway, which at least has beautiful AC within the cars themselves. Then I remembered going to London last year for a family visit, during one of London’s “heat waves”. UMM, NO. During that heat wave temperatures “soared” to like, 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I feel no sympathy.

Most people (all people) have no choice but to just get on with it.  And these people are my heroes. And since I am one of those people, I am my own hero. #selfesteem

All this gets me thinking. AND SO. From the depths of the broiling New York Subway, a list of personal heroes:

  • MTA Information booth workers
  • Homeless People
  • Crazy people with homes but choose to prophesy in the Subway anyway
  • Musical performers for tips
  • People who miss their train and have to wait 20 min for the next one
  • People who can’t fit in a crowded train and have to wait for the next one
  • Classy ladies who insist on wearing cardigans
  • Suits
  • People who run the platform magazine stands
  • Workers who remove and replace the posters on the wall
  • That one guy with the old broom who picks up pieces of paper
  • That Chinese lady who sells baby turtles
  • Metrocard machine repairpersons
  • Christian Fundamentalists preaching against the walls

Here’s to you.