Metro North Diaries

Learning about life from the daily train commute


Idle Movement


I sat next to this old man yesterday. He just sat there on the train and did absolutely nothing for an hour. He didn’t sleep, read, or squirm; he just breathed and blinked about…


Tunnel Vision


Losing cell reception in the Grand Central tunnel is liberating. One can dive into their own thoughts for about seven minutes without being interrupted by a push messages, SMS, or…


The Journey Is Better Than the End


Riding the train is the ultimate test of consistency and durability. You accept it, as a means to get up and get active in a world that demands your best…


Being First


Competition results from a combination of getting ahead and the fear of missing out.

As soon as one person gets ready to depart the train, they all do. No one…


Train Watching


“There are few places more sedentary than a train car; there are also few better ways to see the world.” - Ben Crair

The Ebb and Flow of Train Chatter


If you take a snapshot of train chatter you’d see that it gradually rises from the morning on, peaking in the evening. Even the uptick in sound between 7…


Stuck in the Bathroom 


Stuck in the bathroom is one thing; stuck in a train bathroom is hell.

Imagine the world moving outside while you painfully suffer in immobility…


Unnecessary Urgency


We all want to get ahead, be first. But with more speed comes more stress. This mentality can even turn friends into antagonists.


Short on Cars


Riding a train short in cars turns everyone into a sardine. People are forced to squeeze together, touching elbows and pant legs, holding bags on their lap.


One Foot In, One Foot Out


There’s always one person who sticks their foot inside the train doors as soon as they open.


Borrow my phone, borrow my life


People break their phones, lose their phones, and run out of power. It happens to everybody at least once.


Drained


The last people to get off the train in the morning are the ones that really don’t want to go to work.

They cling on to their seats, looking for every excuse to keep…


Turn the dark ON


Sometimes you’ll walk into Grand Central when it’s still light outside and shoot out of the exit tunnel into complete darkness.


Passing Trains


Sometimes the adjacent trains zoom by so fast you can still see the other side, uninterrupted, just through two additional windows instead of one.


Taking the Local Versus the Express Train


The main differences between the local and express trains are the number of stops and speed.


The Bar Car


The bar car is no different than any other standalone bar. The people that tend to sit there want to drink and socialize. The people that pass by the bar car wonder what life is…


The Quiet Car


“We’d like to maintain a library like atmosphere,” announces the conductor on the Quiet Car.

The Quiet Car is the first car of the train where no talking nor…


Free Eavesdropping


It’s impossible to ignore train conversations. Even the softest discussions can be heard just a few seats away.


Tech Training


If you want to see the rate of technological adoption and get a sneak preview of the next big popular device or app to emerge, just ride the train.


Head Starts


There are two sides to a train. You’d think both side doors of the train would open at the same time but they frequently don’t. Some passengers get on before you and get seats.


The Loudspeaker


People only listen to the conductor over the loudspeaker when they’re seeking helpful information, half-listening to general announcements.


On the train, you got to fight every day


One of the things I like most about riding the train is the fact that you have to fight to get a seat every day. There are no guarantees.

Metro North Diaries
Metro North Diaries

Learning about life from the daily train commute

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