Riding In the Past
This past weekend I got to feel what it's like to be a big kid with a train set. Every year the MTA gets out their old subway cars and put them to use again. The difference between a kid's (or adult's, I can't be casting dispersions considering what I do with my free time!) is the size of the trains, obviously. They trains run only on Sunday's on the M line, starting at Houston (that's pronounced House-Ton, for you'se from out of town) and 2nd, and run to Queens Plaza, making a half-dozen or so stops along the way.
It's amazing how much smoke there is around these cars; I assume it's either from dust burning off of the relays, or the power they devoured was really cranking out the ozone. Walking from car to car while the train rattled along was quite the contrast to the modern subways, where moving between cars while the train is in motion can net you a hefty fine. The cars each had a theme decade, adorned with advertisements and service announcements of each era (evidently people bought a lot of candy and spit a lot in Manhattan of old); groups of passengers dressed in period attire added to the lost-in-time experience. I also got a kick out of the train experts that seemed to be in every car and ready to tell you everything you ever wanted to know about each car. The noise and the continuous jumbling of your innards while these old cars roll along is completely different than a modern subway ride. All in all, a lot of fun, I'll do it again next year, but I'm now really thankful for the quiet modern trains I ride every day.