NY - Subway

Here's a moment of my trip about the New York subway.   It was originally going to be part of my book, NY, but I decided to cut it since it didn't really fit the book format.
The book is finished and I've sent for a proof print to make sure its ok, then I'll post more details, photos, etc.

On to the story....

We decide to take the subway and plunge down into the overwhelming, suffocating heat of the underground. We slow down in the flow of people as we try to figure out what to do. As always, in this situation everyone else know exactly where they are going and they stream through the space and away through the turnstiles and into the darkness beyond. The place is made of metal, like a massive machine and the noise is incredible.

The ticket machines are unintelligible so we proceed with caution towards an angry looking man in a tiny metal booth, surrounded by metal bars. Are the bars there to keep us out or him in, I wonder.

'What do you want?' he shouts through the crackly intercom. I ask for tickets then fumble with the money, trying to figure out the dollars and cents. An increasingly irate face peers back through the grating, but finally we get the tickets and we are away. I imagine the man shaking his head behind us.

Going down further into the bowels of the earth, the heat gets more and more overpowering.

On to the train and heading South, underneath the towering skyscrapers somewhere above our heads.  A nervous German family sit further up the train as the brakes screech and the lights flicker.   

Stop after stop we pass, then suddenly the train is above the streets.  Looking out, rain pours down graffiti covered walls on rough looking tenement housing blocks, as the bridge girders fly by and break the view.

We can hear music in the distance over the clatter of the carriage and the screech of the wheels on the track.   A carefree musician, passes through the train playing latin american music on his small guitar.   The subway is his stage.   
The German family stare at the floor and pretend he doesn’t exist, but he doesn’t seem to mind. I take a photo and give him some change.

An almost unintelligible announcement comes from a tannoy muttering something about Brooklyn.   The Germans go into a panic as our destination is changed.   They are lined up at the door of the train waiting to exit as the train goes on and on.   A New Yorker sitting infront of me shakes his head as we pass over the bridge into Brooklyn.   

As the train pulls up to the station, I lean forward and ask the man where we should go.   He offers to take us to the correct station to lower Manhattan as the Germans dart off the train and into the crowd, never to be seen again....