Photo by myself on the subway, somewhere below ground.
The lights were out in half of this subway car. Riding in the semi-darkness on the subway with strangers is not for the typical newbie. You have to be pretty comfortable with your surroundings to do this.
I have to admit I wouldn't have been able to sit here during my first year of living here. Back then, I was super-vigilant to what everyone around me was doing, convinced that certain danger was lurking just around the corner.
The city was different, back then. Cell phones hadn't been invented, the memories of crime-ridden decades were still fresh, and like most New Yorkers, I didn't know any of my neighbors. It felt as if anything could happen and no one would know about it, and that was not too settling.
Not to fear, the city is currently very, very safe.
Related posts: Quiet on the Set!, The Trains are Hopping, and The Space of Chance Encounters.