A guide to the ten types of subway pole grips (slide show)

Whether you're guilty of the Captain Hook or the dreaded Leaner (the worst!), find out what your train-riding style says about you.

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  • The Tea Drinker

    Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

    The aspirational type, you’re only riding the subway until the day you can afford to cab it everywhere.

    The Tea Drinker
  • The O.J.

    Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

    You live your life germ-free, and that carries over to wearing gloves on the subway year-round.

    The O.J.
  • The Captain Hook

    Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

    You’ve just moved to the city and don’t quite know how to ride yet; don’t fall down, okay?

    The Captain Hook
  • The Pincher

    Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

    Financially well-off, you only take the subway under duress.

    The Pincher
  • The All-In

    Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

    You’re either terrified and holding on for dear life, or you just can’t be bothered about not getting diseases.

    The All-In
  • The Two-Toed Sloth

    Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

    You’re not in any particular hurry, and you like to lean out into the aisle as you ride.

    The Two-Toed Sloth
  • The Leaner

    Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

    Having ridden the rails for years, you feel that you’ve earned the right to claim a pole of your own.

    The Leaner
  • The Hugger

    Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

    You’re either a tourist, reading a book that’s too large for you to hold with one hand or a close personal friend of the pole.

    The Hugger
  • The Knuckleball

    Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

    You talk a big game aboveground, but when push comes to (subway) shove, you avoid palm contact.

    The Knuckleball
  • The Surfer

    Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

    Master of your domain, you’re in full control. But remember—stumbling and then catching yourself is cheating.

    The Surfer

The Tea Drinker

Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

The aspirational type, you’re only riding the subway until the day you can afford to cab it everywhere.


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