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Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Michael Tapp

15 types of commuters you'll encounter in New York

By Time Out New York contributors

Every morning is an adventure for New Yorkers riding the subway. With the overwhelming amount of thoughts that plague the ride, tweets sent during the precious moments of working wifi, and all that effort spent trying to be an upstanding, good commuter, it's sometimes hard to take notice of our fellow straphangers. Yet, these fellow travelers make their presence KNOWN. From the Subway Casanovas to the particularly annoying tourists, here are some of the passengers you're bound to share a pole with. 

1. The effortlessly chic straphanger
It’s 100 degrees outside, the humidity is insane, this subway car is packed with people and she still looks relaxed and put together.

2. The can’t-bear-to-be-apart-for-one-second commuters
There’s plenty of room, and both of them could easily grab on to the pole—but why do that when you can grab onto EACH OTHER? When the train lurches and you both kind of fall, EVEN BETTER, because they you can giggle about it and whisper things into each other’s ear, blissfully unaware that everybody around you is giving you death stares.

3. The person who treats the subway as her personal bathroom
In 30 minutes, she'll put on a full face of makeup, clip her toenails and brush her hair. Stay very far away.

4. The napper
They will sleep all the way from the Rockaways (sometimes on your shoulder) and miraculously wake up right at their stop.

5. The convenient sleeper
More insidious than the napper, this young, able-bodied dude was awake and alert until the moment an elderly person or a parent with a young child entered the crowded train then suddenly he was snoring. 

6. The unwilling-to-give-up-the-door space jerks
See this spot by the door? That guy EARNED it. Nay, he was BORN there. And come hell, high water and hordes of people trying their damnedest to squeeze onto the train and actually get to work on time, he WILL. NOT. MOVE. (Intentionally bumping into this guy and not apologizing is a totally acceptable reaction.)

7. The Infinite Jest reader
He will actually carry this 6-pound book daily for a year.

8. The free serenade guy
Boomboxes may be a thing of the past, but that doesn’t stop the dude using his speaker to blast some tunes for the whole car.

9. Portable office guy
He’s got a coffee in one hand, his laptop out and a pile of papers on the seat next to him. He’s basically brought his entire office with him on the train.

10. The dining car guy
Any car can be someone’s personal dining car! Just ask the dude scarfing a giant pile of something that smells like an armpit. (Or even worse-delicious smelling fries when you’re hungry.)

11. The backpacker
He's carrying a whole New York studio apartment on his back and with every jerk or stop of the train all 50 pounds of it will come slamming into your arm that's holding the pole.

12. Commuters wearing bathing suits who may not actually be going to the beach
Maybe they just like nylon.

13. The germaphobe
She has a handkerchief for holding the pole and a face mask firmly planted over her mouth and nose. If someone on the opposite end of the car sneezes her hand sanitizer is out in less than five seconds.

14. The Young Professional pretending he has service underground
We know you’re not checking your email right now. Still, we’re impressed.

15. The “I don’t need to take a cab to the airport!” lady 
Why yes, she can lug all those designer suitcases in her vicinity during rush hour. Come on, at least shell out money for the super shuttle.  

Edited by Tolly Wright. 


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