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July 2, 2008 9:52 AM   Subscribe

The Boys and the Subway A father's artistic account of his sons' love of the NYC subway system.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero (35 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

That is adorable.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:02 AM on July 2, 2008

Very sweet and funny!
posted by peep at 10:02 AM on July 2, 2008

That's wonderful. Love it!
posted by dersins at 10:03 AM on July 2, 2008

Hey, I know that family!
posted by not_on_display at 10:09 AM on July 2, 2008 [4 favorites]

I love it.

posted by defenestration at 10:11 AM on July 2, 2008

And very true. As a young kid in New York, I saw the subway as a kind of magic cave. My favorite experience was standing in the front car and staring out the window as the tunnel rushed at me (new trains don't give one the same view, alas). Darkness, mystery, danger, machines - it was great fun for a boy.
posted by QuietDesperation at 10:14 AM on July 2, 2008

That is freaking precious.
posted by spec80 at 10:15 AM on July 2, 2008

That's pretty damn cool. I'm very jealous of kids that grew up with NY subway system. As a kid growing up in the Chicago suburbs there weren't many options other than where my parents would drive. I'm amazed when I hear from friends that grew up in NYC (or even Chicago) and they talk about being pretty young and knowing how to get anywhere in the city. I was in my mid 30's when I first went to NY and rode the subways and I was excited, I couldn't imagine how cool it have been as a boy.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:19 AM on July 2, 2008

That is awesome. My kids love the subway too, but not that much.
posted by DU at 10:19 AM on July 2, 2008

Such is the magic of 5-year-old boys.
Excellent find!
posted by Dizzy at 10:20 AM on July 2, 2008

I wish everyone really did love trains this much. Maybe if gas prices hit $6 a gallon and airlines start charging you fees for your pocket contents we'll get some movement on high-speed rail networks in this country.

posted by silby at 10:21 AM on July 2, 2008 [2 favorites]

Excellent. This would have been me, had I grown up in NYC.

My sister enjoys pointing and laughing at me for my mild preoccupation with airport codes.
posted by everichon at 10:35 AM on July 2, 2008

Great post.
I felt this way about the Moscow subway system when I was a kid.
posted by nasreddin at 10:43 AM on July 2, 2008

You got your heartwarming in my MetaFilter! It feels weird.

But seriously, having grown up in a small city at least an hour from the nearest major metropolitan area, the bus system was my favorite playground. I can only imagine how amazing having access to a subway system would've been.
posted by kittyprecious at 10:43 AM on July 2, 2008

The A train pulled in, and Gustav (who had been hoping for the C) started throwing a fit. However, the other passengers in the car gave me warm smiles. I guess they hadn’t seen that many 3-year-olds sobbing, “Local…I want the local.”

What's funny about that story is that I seem to recall a very similar story being sent into OverheardInNewYork. Trying to find it, but having little luck. Wonder if it was them.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:48 AM on July 2, 2008 [2 favorites]

Unbelievably great; I hope he has those pictures framed and hung somewhere. Being in LA, my kids do love the subway, but there's nothing much of interest going on there and we rarely ride it; it's significantly less magical.

but I let my not-quite-three-year-olds try Sonic the Hedgehog last night, and within fifteen minutes my son could get all the way through the first level without help except for the loop-de-loop parts. again, significantly less magical. i don't think the NYT wants to hear about that.
posted by davejay at 10:55 AM on July 2, 2008

Awesome. Thanks for posting this. My favorite part:

The A train pulled in, and Gustav (who had been hoping for the C) started throwing a fit. However, the other passengers in the car gave me warm smiles. I guess they hadn’t seen that many 3-year-olds sobbing, “Local…I want the local.”
posted by oneirodynia at 10:56 AM on July 2, 2008

Oh, and when we visit New York, they're enthralled by everything. There's just something about it that kids love.
posted by davejay at 10:56 AM on July 2, 2008

Awesome post!
posted by Kwine at 11:02 AM on July 2, 2008

Hopefully not like this guy.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:02 AM on July 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Back before the days of security, my Dad used to take toddler-me to the airport to watch planes taking off and landing, which was better to me than any tv show.
posted by rmless at 11:13 AM on July 2, 2008

(or this guy)
posted by decagon at 11:14 AM on July 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

A chaperone on one of Arthur’s school trips told me something he overheard when all the kids were neatly lined up in rows of two. The girl holding Arthur’s hand asked him, “Have you heard of Peter Pan?” “No,” he replied, “have you heard of Metro North?”

Laugh now, but I can honestly say that line will work for him some day.
posted by Spatch at 12:06 PM on July 2, 2008

This is wonderful.

I have a NYC subway map hanging over my monitor right now, and DC metro one above that (my family lives in DC). This reminds me how badly I want to live in NYC.
posted by phrontist at 1:16 PM on July 2, 2008

posted by caddis at 1:18 PM on July 2, 2008

Hopefully not like this guy

I'm guessing I meant that from his family's perspective. He's livin' the dream,.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:51 PM on July 2, 2008

TPS: There is this.
posted by mattbucher at 2:04 PM on July 2, 2008

"We often go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. They have a little children’s garden that the boys love. Arthur and Gustav’s favorite spot is a little gap between some bushes, from which you can see the Franklin Avenue shuttle train go by."

That one is precious.
posted by suelange at 2:05 PM on July 2, 2008

That was wonderful! "local ... i want the local." Priceless!
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:10 PM on July 2, 2008

I loved this so much. The kids' love of the metro was great, but the dad's obvious joy was lovely too. The illustrations were so perfect, a child's perspective so wonderfully illustrated in a primitive yet sophisticated way, incorporating the signage graphic context.

And, Fritz!
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 3:49 PM on July 2, 2008

A conductor once let me blast the horn as we went over a bridge. It was great. I love this post.
posted by painquale at 4:08 PM on July 2, 2008

When my son was a toddler, he had a Sesame Street radio that played "Frere Jacques" strapped to his stroller. We were on the 1 headed downtown one evening, and at 103rd (near the AYH hostel) about 40 French tourists got in our car. When my boy hit the button on his toy to play "Frere Jacques," the whole car started singing along in French. Then they all continued to sing French songs that I couldn't recognize for the next several stops. When the train reached 66th, these dozens of rollicking French tourists emptied out, still singing, leaving a handful of dumbfounded New Yorkers.

My boy's thing was the buses. "Dad, Dad, the M60!" "Dad, Dad, NOT IN SERVICE!!!!"
posted by stargell at 7:37 PM on July 2, 2008 [6 favorites]

Great link TPS, thanks.
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:45 AM on July 3, 2008

TPS, I also found this.
posted by ocha-no-mizu at 1:54 PM on July 3, 2008

The comments are almost the best part, especially from the older folk:

Oh yes. . . it was the late 30’s . . . can’t believe it . . . and I was a child on the subway with my Mom. The trip was total adventure from Lafayette and Clinton to 34th Street - down the stairs, under the turnstyle, watching the people, feeling the scratchy woven seats, whoshing through the underground tunnels, the long ride up the escalator and my small self with tiny white gloves and patent leather shoes and “Don’t put your hands on your mouth.” It was a monthly trip to Altman’s or Best’s with lunch at Schrafft’s and vanilla ice cream with butterscotch sauce. But the underground ride on the subway . . . the best - combining the bright outer world of city streets and the dark, creepy world beneath. It was everything a child could want; it still replays in memory.

and this one is a man after my own heart:

Do your sons know about 18th St. and 91st St. and the other Ghost Stations?
Those stations are where the ghosts, who work at Horn & Hardart, B. Altmans, Dubrow’s Cafeteria, and other places, commute to & from.

posted by CunningLinguist at 11:06 PM on July 3, 2008

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