Earlier this week, census data confirmed what we all suspected to be true: New Yorkers tend to have longer commutes than almost anyone else in the country. Terrible.
But also, not insurmountable? Your commute may be long, boring, and full of jerks, but it can also be a time of enrichment, maybe even fulfilling interaction with your fellow human beings! Alright, so that may be ambitious, but the point is, sometimes you're too tired (or too cool) to fall back on reading. Here are some other options.
I mean gross, don't make out in front of a bunch of people. But if you're single, imagine yourself on a date with every single person in your car. Where would you go? What would you eat? What kind of small talk do they make? If you're not on the prowl, then mentally pair them off with each other. The weirder the better.
Ok, fine, so you don't like the concept of picturing dumb subway strangers in a context that could be construed as sexual. I get it. Instead, imagine their daily routine, what they did before getting on the train this morning, who their friends are, where they work. More importantly, play the "what stop are they getting off at" guessing game with yourself. This works particularly well on the L.
See a full-body pole leaner? Say "excuse me" and cram your hand in between the pole and their stupid, space-wasting body. Somebody taking up a perfectly good extra seat with their bag? Ask to sit in it even if the entire rest of the train is empty, just on principle. If not you, then who?
By using good posture and not using the pole to prop yourself up or whatever. I don't actually know if I'm that into this, but I've seen it on a million vague lists of health tips, so do with it what you will.
It should be pretty safe. Our own Kristin Iversen claims that local stops are never more than 2 minutes in between, which may or may not actually be true. The point is, doing this makes every step of your progress so much more exciting. Because breathing is nice.
Listen to Music
But god, NOT TOO LOUDLY. Really, this is just on the list as a reminder not to listen to your music so loudly, because like breathing, hearing is nice.
Be alone with your thoughts. For once in your life, have a moment of quiet reflection. Geez. But also, eavesdrop on strangers. As a rule, they say ridiculous shit, constantly. Think of it like taxi TV, but cheaper, and creepier, and on the subway. Perfect.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.