I love the subway...there I've said it and am sticking to it. Sure it is dirty, there are vermin, it is crowded, smell funky and a multitude of other dismissive complaints. I am not blind to any of these things but I still love the subway.
I love it for the way I can get to almost any destination in NYC and (because even w/price increases) it still is a relatively cheap way to do it. However, it is not these things that led me to my long affair with the various letters and numbers of trains I have taken. It is the people. John Rocker's infamous quote "I'd retire first. It's the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the 7 Train to the ballpark looking like you're riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It's depressing... The biggest thing I don't like about New York are the foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country? "- the very reasons I love the train and New York. I believe the best world is based on diversity and that the subway is the best proof we have that we can coexist. John Rocker of note Koreans, Vietnamese, Indians are Asian (dumbass) and this immigrant speaks better English, along with a few other languages, than you do!
I watch as people with disparate looks and of different beliefs sit together in this hurtling steel device and are willing to be nice to one another. In times of crisis there is no where that handles it with more humanity and grace than New York. Yes, there is shoving and sometimes rudeness but the reaction of New Yorkers (real ones who live in the outer boroughs -sorry Manhattanites who rarely are raised there) to these outbursts is scorn not acceptance. New York and the subway bind strangers together because they are not easy places to be, uniting their inhabitants by equal opportunity and equal aggravation. To all the John Rockers of the world you are missing out with your bland dismissal view of a world without color, diversity and the occasional "stand clear of the closing doors".