West Side Rag »Are New Yorkers ‘Subway Scared’ or Spaced Out? An UWS Photographer Descended to Document the Mood

Posted on January 26, 2022 at 4:03 pm by West Side Rag

Photographs by Peggy Taylor.

By Peggy Taylor

Do New Yorkers feel safe in the subway? Newspapers and TV channels have deployed battalions of reporters and camerapeople underground to find out.

On the nightly news, one reporter warns straphangers to “stay away from the platform edge.” Another finds a steel column, presses his back to it, and advises riders this is where they should stand. Another takes you to the blue-lit Help Point intercom kiosk, and points out the red emergency button. He also notes the green information button connecting you to the station’s token booth clerk. (Yes, there are still some.)

But are New Yorkers listening? Are they heeding all this advice?

I took the subway the other day and was stunned to see the number of straphangers lost in Cyberspace, completely absorbed in their iPhones. What, I ask, were they thinking?

But then, I, too, ignored the advice. I reached into my fanny pack, took out my iPhone, and got these shots.

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