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NYC subway field trip
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Jeffrey Zeldman

Field trips on the subway are a hellish experience

This is what’s driving us bonkers in NYC right now and making us (almost) want to move

By Alyson Penn
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When you ride the subway, you have to dodge clumsy, break-dancing buskers, the effluvium of a sneeze wafting through the MTA ether and the ever-execrable pole-leaners every day. But one of the subway’s worst horrors is undodgeable: dozens of kids in matching T-shirts, streaming into your car like a colony of ants escaping their anthill.

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Normally, children are fine. They can even be cute once in a while. But these are field-trip children. Remember when you went on field trips? They were the best friggin’ days of the year. These young learners are only thinking about how, on this special day, they don’t have to master long division. The children on the subway know “field trip” is code for “day off” and bounce around the car like it’s five minutes before nap time. They pour in, take every empty seat, and scream, wriggle and fight until their exasperated chaperones shuffle them off at the Museum of Natural History stop.

But what really grinds our gears is the joy. We just want to drink our iced coffee and scroll through social media with the other misérables, not stare down all this bright-eyed potential on our way to packed elevators and morning meetings. So, please, take that hopeful, squirming future somewhere else—we’ll stick to our resigned despair, thank you very much.

Not all of NYC is annoying

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