I was just trying to explain to Nick why I usually ride the subway. It’s economical, yes, that’s a big part of it. He asked, ‘The community?‘ and yes, but really no. It’s not as if people socialize down there. It is the people though, the great Walt Whitman celebration of the democratic city (‘Leaning back in their open barouches, bare-headed, impassive, Ride to-day through Manhattan.’). It’s also the freedom, different than a car but empowering also, that puts me within walking distance of somewhere else entirely, somewhere fantastic, all for pocket change, all without a license or equipment and only a glance at the map.
Update: T., whose site is in a perpetual pre-launch state, is so right: ‘I feel like I can let my mind wander and daydream when I take the subway. Maybe because I’ve taken it so often I can go on auto-pilot. However, if I take a taxi, I don’t feel more relaxed at all. In fact I feel a bit more stressed because I have to pay attention to what is going on.‘
Paul, however, reveals the limits of the subway experience.