Riding the L train is not something one likes to do voluntarily. It is simply the primary means to go to and from different parts of BK and, if you’re extremely unfortunate, Midtown. If you are subjected to it on a daily basis, you will start to notice familiar archetypes. Below are some of the most common.
The couple that makes you want to vomit: This particular stereotype varies between disgusting PDAs, gross pairings (e.g. old man, young woman or, in this case, a crack couple) and comfortableness with talking about extremely intimate details out loud.
The gross MTA worker in between shifts: The overpaid MTA worker riding the train in between shifts is an ever-present source of annoyance, usually acting like he owns the joint (which he kind of does) and feeling completely unconscious about picking his nose in front of whoever.
The “thoughtful” hipster girl: Invariably, whether morning, afternoon or night, you will encounter a “thoughtful” hipster girl either bloviating extensively or listening intently. She is also predisposed to wearing very noticeable glasses.
The guy who has no regard for personal space: More NYC-specifically known as “manspreading,” the L train rider who tends to have no respect for personal space is, in general, a man. He will put his body parts wherever, no matter who is in his way–though, usually, he is the one in everyone else’s way.
The pervert: That weirdo creeper guy with pursed lips, squinted eyes and an expression that says, “I’ma fuck that hole real good. Real good.”
The man who sets up his kitchen on the train: When you’re on the go, having food or sustenance is key to you not becoming enraged with or killing someone else on the train. That’s why some people have no trouble splaying out their own personal kitchen on their laps to quell the hunger.
The beggar: Most of us reach a point in our Bushwick/New York existence wherein we lose all sense of shame, dignity or properness. For some people, this involves presenting a sob story on the L train and begging for money, change or “just a prayer or good thoughts.” But I think we all know they would prefer the cash.
The “crafty” lady: With most Bushwick denizens somehow being involved in “the arts,” it’s no surprise when you see the “crafty” lady on the train. This is the woman who will make a bag out of Metro Cards or, better yet, Pabst Blue Ribbon bottle caps.
The sleeping beauty: As the obvious candidate for most likely to be sexually assaulted in the category of L train riders, it’s easy to marvel at the devil-may-care attitude of the girl who falls asleep without any seeming concern for her physical well-being. But after a long day on your feet working for New York minimum wage, it’s like, at this point, you can fucking pillage/kill me now.
So there you have some of the primary archetypes you’ll tend to see while braving the daily grind on the L train. Honorable mentions include the “showtime” people and the urine-soaked homeless man clearing the entire car you’ve decided to walk into.
Written by Genna Rivieccio, an M train preferrer