MTA brings out the worst (and best) of humanity.

We’ve all been there—or I’d at least like to think so. Using New York’s beloved-yet-hated MTA system, one among many in a sea of other New Yorkers just trying to get where they need to go. And in that subway car full of people you’ll most likely never see again let alone remember, common social etiquette breaks. You cross that line from being just another body into a deviant spectacle, and maybe the story someone tells a friend later. In the absolute chaos that is living in this city, no one escapes the vulnerable subway moment, not even Bwog.

MTA Meet-Cute?

I was in a subway car so crowded I had to put my hands against the wall to make sure I wouldn’t fall over. Consequently, I ended up basically straddling a guy for about 25 minutes. We made eye contact and acknowledged the unfortunate situation we were in and then just were like that in silence for the rest of the ride.

The Fashion-Forward Follower

Some guy came up to me and said, “Hi, I was not listening to your conversation, but where’d you get your jacket?” (LA Goodwill, $8) “Cool. It’s big.” Then he followed us on the platform and asked for my Instagram. His handshake was very limp.

An Uninvited Encounter

One time I saw someone from my high school and told my friends in the loudest whisper. When I realized he had heard, I basically fell to the floor and stayed like that until he got off the subway. (Bigger context: he had asked me out during the pandemic and I said no pretty harshly…)

Celebrity Sightings Gone Awry

I sat across from a TikTok-famous guy and tried to point him out to my friends but they didn’t know him, so I was desperately trying to describe him to them without him overhearing, but he did a little, so I had to pretend I was talking about someone else and then he got off at the same stop and I didn’t realize because he was behind us and I pulled up his TikTok and was talking about him and blasting his videos. He just brushed past us.

Saw Jamie Lee Curtis at the 72nd Street Station and made direct eye contact with her because I was staring.

A Humbled Homophobe

Had a guy ask “who’s the pitcher and who’s the catcher” when I was with my girlfriend, called me “the tall one,” continue to theorize out loud, then very loudly said, “what the fuck is wrong with me.”

Tech In The Tunnel

Was really absorbed in my phone and wasn’t holding onto anything, having a little iPad kid moment. Proceeded to eat shit.

The Subway Sniffer

A man came up to me and SNIFFED MY NECK. I literally ran up and hid behind a nicer-looking guy. Like literally ran up to this random man and stood behind him because he seemed like at the very least he wouldn’t sniff my neck. 

A Terrible Tirade

Every time I need to take a bus to go climb, I have to take the subway with all of my climbing gear, which functionally means I take up three people worth of space. One time, someone next to me loudly started complaining about how much space some people take up and proceeded to do this for 60 blocks.

A Tender Moment on the Tracks

Had to ask a stranger if I could use her portable charger because my phone was dead. I had just had a major medical crisis and was more than an hour from campus. She ended up chatting with me a little and realized things were not going so hot for me right then (and that due to the said medical crisis I was not fully with it), so she rode with me until my stop and made sure I was handed off to my friends safely.

Honorable Mention: every time we’ve ever cried in the subway (countless)

Subway Illustration via Bwog Staff