February 6, 2014

The Evening Commute at the 168th Street Station, Visions of Dystopia

This post was originally published on February 6, 2014 on the author's blog, 60 Guilders.

At the beginning of rush hour in New York this evening, there was no #1 train service between 168th Street and 242nd Street. Typically, many commuters travel via the 1 train at the 168th Street Station in both directions.


At the 168th Street Station, thousands upon thousands of people, every day, make a connection between the 1 train and the A/C trains. The 1 train travels up the city into Washington Heights, Inwood, and the Bronx, home to many of the city's working classes. This includes jazz musicians, service workers, and professionals for non-profit agencies.
To make the connection at 168, workers must take an elevator.
If the 1 train goes out in both directions, it is a problem.   


Most people take the delays in stride.


Often, one self-selected member of the crowd admonishes the others not to crowd the elevator.


The alternative is to wait for the 1 train service to be restored. While waiting, commuters amuse themselves by enjoying the scenery along the tracks.


At this time of year, everyone is wearing their black winter coat and hat.
Most wait patiently and politely, recognizing the collective nature of the situation.
That said, there will be the occasional pushing and shoving, resulting in colorful language and observations about the recent mayoral election. It's not always a silent movie.
 Film stills above from Fritz Lang's classic silent movie, METROPOLIS (1927).


Waiting for the elevators. Recently discovered footage. February 6, 2014. 5:51 p.m.