New York

Happy 106th Birthday, New York City Subway


Yesterday, we turned 55. (Yes, yes, thank you, we know we look amazing for our age…but this isn’t about us.) Today, our dear old New York City transportation system, the one we love to hate, hate to love, and sometimes really do just love, has reached the ripe old age of 106. Meaning we’d so be its trophy wife, if only it would stop increasing fares and getting on our nerves.

In fairness, the subway itself isn’t responsible for increased fares, nor do we even know how it feels about the MTA, which took over its life in 1968. Probably sort of like we do.

In honor of this special birthday — because once you turn 100, every birthday’s special — the New York Times has compiled a slideshow of scenes in the subway’s life.

And here’s a bit of New York City history for you:

At 2:35 on the afternoon of October 27, 1904, New York City Mayor George McClellan takes the controls on the inaugural run of the city’s innovative new rapid transit system: the subway.

At 7 p.m. that evening, the subway opened to the general public, and more than 100,000 people paid a nickel each to take their first ride under Manhattan.

As for us, here are some of our favorite subway moments.

1. The time we cried on the subway, thereby becoming “a real New Yorker.”

2. When that man sat on right on top of that woman on the 6 train, but it turned out he knew her and they were friends! And everyone laughed.

3. Our first express train from 96th Street to 72nd Street, when a ranting homeless lady (who felt very strongly that the movie White Chicks included secret information as to the 9/11 attacks) got into a screaming fight with a besuited man reading the Wall Street Journal who “simply wanted peace and quiet” and had clearly crossed that fine line New Yorkers walk every day and plummeted into the great abyss of crazy.

4. The brilliant butt-subway pole Photoshop:

5. How we used to get on the V train at Second Avenue (where it would wait for its conductor to board) and lazily await departure on the most uncrowded train ever, just chillaxin’ and listening to our iPod. RIP, V.

6. The story of that dude who moved by using the subway exclusively and quite possibly lost all his friends.

7. The F train rider with the mole with the two-foot hair growing out of it, circa 2005.

8. That sigh of collective relief and community when the lights come back on and the train starts moving again.

9.Our eyes meeting Dr. Zizmor for the very first time:

10. The moment we realized that we don’t actually, er, have to take the subway (much) these days. Unless we really want to.

Happy birthday, big guy!

Favorite subway moments? Please share. After all, we’re New Yorkers. It’s just what we do.

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