“I’m glad I was stuck with all you guys.”

A lot of videos people shoot in the New York City subway system are pretty grim.  Riders regularly use their phones to capture fistfights, disgusting displays of personal hygiene management, blatant sexual harassment (I’m not going to link to those nasty dudes), and of course, rats. Lots and lots of rats.

The other day, however, a little miracle happened on an E train that got stuck in the tunnel, and straphanger Greg Wong captured it in a seven-minute video (seen on Gothamist) that just might restore your faith in humanity.

Wong and some 850 fellow commuters were caught in underground limbo for a full two hours as their train was stalled between stations in Manhattan due to a mechanical failure. It was a subway rider’s nightmare come to life. Eventually, they boarded a “rescue train” that took them, slowly, back to Queens, where they’d started.

But as Wong records in the video, the stranded passengers bonded during the ordeal, even sharing that most precious resource—backup battery charges for their phones. “We were grumpy at first, but what can you do?” says one laughing young woman as people eagerly plug into the chargers being passed around.

It all culminates in an epic singalong (starting around minute 3) that moves from the latest hits (“Hotline Bling”) to timeless classics (“One Love”). The musical leader is a cheery, philosophical young man who improvises lyrics to Drake’s “Hold on, We’re Going Home”:

“It’s a stuck train and you know it, I’m about as late as I can be. ’Cause it’s a stuck train and you know it, I think they may fire me.”

By the end, after a round of “Watch me whip, watch me nae nae,” everyone is in high spirits. They have survived together, and they have done it with style and grace. Anyone who has lived in New York and ridden the trains will recognize the hard-won camaraderie they share. It’s a tough city, and sometimes things get crazy, but we’re all in this thing together, and we are going to make it no matter what.

As one of the captive riders says at the video’s end, with a smile, “I’m glad I was stuck with all you guys.”

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo-illustration of several big-box retail stores.
    Equity

    After the Retail Apocalypse, Prepare for the Property Tax Meltdown

    Big-box retailers nationwide are slashing their property taxes through a legal loophole known as "dark store theory." For the towns that rely on that revenue, this could be a disaster.

  2. A photo of a mural in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
    Life

    Stop Complaining About Your Rent and Move to Tulsa, Suggests Tulsa

    In an effort to beef up the city’s tech workforce, the George Kaiser Family Foundation is offering $10,000, free rent, and other perks to remote workers who move to Tulsa for a year.

  3. Design

    Stan Lee’s New York City

    The Marvel Comics maestro gave his superheroes a city that’s colorful, dangerous, rude, quippy, and full of heart. It might be his greatest creation.

  4. A man walks down the Zeedjik.
    Equity

    How a Dutch Housing Agency Rescued an Amsterdam Street From the Drug Trade

    Frustrated by rampant heroin trade, residents of the street Zeedijk forced a public-private real-estate partnership to protect the street while preventing community displacement.

  5. A photo of British Prime Minister Theresa May announcing her government's Brexit deal outside No. 10 Downing Street
    Equity

    Britain Finally Has a Brexit Deal. Everyone Hates It.

    Amid resignations, it's clear the U.K. government massively misjudged how leaving the European Union would play out.