‘Columbia Spectator’: Commuting Sucks, Subway Riders Mean

The Columbia Spectator, the student paper showcasing the finest young minds in journalism, has a unique payment policy for writers: The Ivy League rag pays by cliche.

At least that’s one might deduce after reading Zahra Khimji’s “A Peek Into the Life of a Commuter” story. It follows the sad, lonely life of a student named Amanda James who commutes on the 1 train from Columbia’s campus up in Morningside Heights all the way down to Union Square–a distance of about 100 blocks.

Let us count the tired cheapshots Khimji takes at subway commuting:

* “A young face squeezes onto a packed 1 train among a crowd of gray-haired commuters in suits.” (C’mon, when was the last time you saw a crowd of ‘gray-haired commuters in suits’ on the subway? What is, this, DC?)

* “As the train arrives at 42nd Street, crowds of people make their way in opposite directions.” (Yup, lot of people in Times Square at rush hour.)

* “…the underground maze that Times Square hides beneath it.” (Uh, OK.)

* “She steps onto the N train, dodging brusque subway riders…”

*  “James squeezes her way through large crowds of people and carefully but swiftly swings through the exit.”

Khimji also mentions how it takes James an hour to arrive home at Union Square. Does it really take that long? I remember taking the 4/5 from 125th to Union Square after softball on Randalls–granted, not during rush hour–and that thing took like 15 minutes–granted, we’d had a few Bud cans during the game. Still, I seriously doubt that ride could last an hour; heck, I used to take the 1/9 from the West Village to 242nd Street, and that only took 45 minutes.

For her part, student Amanda James isn’t a big fan of the subway either.

“There are angry people on the subway all the time,” she tells Khimji. “It’s very annoying. I don’t like the vibe I get from so many people.”

This entry was posted in Union Square. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to ‘Columbia Spectator’: Commuting Sucks, Subway Riders Mean

  1. Fred Green says:

    Boo Freaking Hoo, sweetheart.

    Haven’t you heard the ancient cliches about New York? It’s tough! Life is hard out there! The urban jungle! Make it there and you can make it anywhere!

    Okay, those are outdated stereotypes, but aren’t you a walking stereotype yourself, Miss James (if that is your real name)? The delicate hothouse flower who nearly faints at the merest lack of decorum? Geez, why don’t you go put on your Scarlett O’Hara hoop skirt gown and fan yourself while pretending to shrivel and collapse under the weight of THE INDIGNITY OF IT ALL. The rest of us will be waiting for you here in 2008 when you get back.

    And buck up, sweetheart.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s