Posted by: daveed | November 17, 2011

Underground New York moment

New Yorkers can make subway commuting utter hell, but on those rare occasions when a spark of a New Yorker’s true character comes out to wake us from our blank faced torpor, it can be an amazingly affirming experience why this is the greatest city in the world.

Yesterday, two OWSers, young white dudes, boarded my subway car. Immediately one start his shpiel at an unpleasantly loud volume. If you’ve heard the beggars and the bible freaks on the subway, you’ll know the tone. I don’t want to hear this shit on my way home. No one does, but especially from a yahoo like this guy.

Anyway, he goes on about how OWS got forcibly ejected from Zuccotti the other day, 200 people were arrested, including a “NY Councilman, a Mr. Jimenez who represents… I don’t know… somewhere where they speak Spanish.”

Somewhere where they speak Spanish” Huh??? This asshat just glibly dismissed oh, around 30% of the city’s population. Not to mention made the racist assumption that because Jimenez is a Hispanic name, he must of course represent a Spanish-speaking constituency.

I wanted to call this little shit out on this, but figured he’d turn it into some race-baiting argument. Turns out I didn’t have to, a black man on the car starts telling him that his comment was rude and offensive. “How can you say that?” he says. A older Hispanic woman next to him is smiling and nodding in agreement.

I turn and to hear more protests from others on the car. A young woman in that richly expressive Hispano-urban accent saying something about him not “knowing shit about New York.” A few Spanish curses from somewhere.

Meanwhile, instead of retreating to another car, our genius is getting irritatingly defensive: “Offended? Who’s offended? Raise your hands if you were offended.” This just irked more of the passengers. One woman, bless her heart, pointed right at the fool, looked him in the eye and said, “He is a City Councilman. You should have KNOWN where he’s from!” I started clapping. More cheers.

The subway arrived at my stop and unfortunately had to go. I would have loved to find out what transpired. On my way out the door, clapping as I go, I heard more applause behind me.

I fell in love with my fellow New Yorkers once again. I loved how they called this useful idiot out on his ignorance, refusing to tolerate his self-righteous tone. New York City may not be the freest city on the planet, but certainly the proudest. Here’s to you, fellow 7th Ave subway riders.


  1. This is a great story! I think most people can smell BS from a mile away. I think unfortunately a lot of these protestors are otherwise ignorant uninformed young punks who don’t really understand what they’re trying to accomplish but they know they want to rail against people that have more than them. I think that’s really what it comes down to. They don’t like people that have more than them and want their “share” without working for it.

  2. Thanks Dave for your comments.

    I’ve stopped by Zuccotti twice, and work across the street from the park on Canal where OWS briefly relocated earlier this week. While I don’t doubt their anger and frustration, and somewhat agree with the cause of their ire, the whole OWS thing to me is just so much play acting. It’s political theater for young people not yet economically literate.

  3. […] From David Augustyn – Underground New York Moment […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: