Someone Made an Ode to the F Train


Is the F train your train? Do you hate it, or love it, or love to hate it? This “love/hate ode to the F train” from Matthew Wollin, 24, attempts to capture the mix of emotions, from appreciation to confusion to horror, that we associate with our twice-plus daily ride on the train of our choice (or not our choice, as the case may be).

Wollin, who works in film and lives in Carroll Gardens, explains, “The genesis for the video — other than a considerable portion of my life spent on and waiting for the subway — was trying to get back home with a friend late one night, and there being an absurd number of route alterations, special announcements, and the like. At a certain point, the subway system begins to seem like a totally self-sufficient world where all the normal rules are off, and you are totally at the whim of unseen authorities who control the trains. I wanted to communicate something of the joy and awfulness of that situation, as well as how things that are genuinely weird begin to seem mundane after spending a long time underground. And particularly the way that everyone (myself included) tries to act superlatively unflappable and disinterested on the subway, even when you know that no one really knows what the hell is going on. For some reason, it seems very important to maintain that veneer of competence.

“I live off the F train, so I generally chart the city’s geography in terms of which F stop is the closest. I feel like I have a very personal, and perhaps unhealthy relationship with the F: No matter what it does to me, I keep going back to it, giving it money, and relying on it almost exclusively. But I really love public transportation, and I can’t help but feel affectionate towards it. It always shows up in the end.”