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View Full Version : Subway Stare?



Toonami
July 12th, 2005, 06:26 PM
Ok, so in Toronto we have what's known as the Subway Stare. What you do is when on the Subway, to avoid being attacked, you stare at the floor or the ceiling intensely but unfocusedly, and basically it tells anyone to stay away from you or you'll cut them. Does NYC have this, or do people practice anything else like this for a defense mechanism on the subway?

Schadenfrau
July 12th, 2005, 06:35 PM
I prefer to employ the old "I'm reading a newspaper" trick as opposed to the "I'm going to cut you" tactic.

ryan
July 12th, 2005, 06:42 PM
I stare at the dr. zizmor ads, but more in a futile attempt to avoid bordom rather than a sincere attempt to avoid being attacked. Maybe all those people cutting their fingernails on the train are just keeping their weapon of choice at the ready?

Ninjahedge
July 13th, 2005, 08:25 AM
Disclaimer to CMA:

UNLESS you decide to ride the subway, at 3AM in one of the outer boroughs, on the platform by yourself, and are wearing an "I >luv< IOWA" T-shirt.


The easiest way not to get attacked is to not look like fresh meat. People will be more likely to stop to ask YOU directions rather than to "cut you".

macreator
July 13th, 2005, 08:36 AM
The only subway stare I know of is the one that every New Yorker does on the subway to not catch anyone's eye contact. It's less of being "afraid" or anything and more like trying to not be rude.

I have never been nervous on the subways.

BrooklynRider
July 13th, 2005, 10:09 AM
I'm a New Yorker that looks everyone in the eye and acknowledges them with a smile. You'd be surprised how disarming kindness and courtesy can be. That said, I avoid the drunks on subways and the big mouth kids who glamorize ghetto living. More than anything, they just annoy me. Thankfully, I've never felt threatened. I've felt more threatened on Long Island where roaming packs of teen packed into Momm'y's car have no problem harassing you and throwing stuff at you from car windows, knowing they can speed away laughing like a bunch of pussies.

Schadenfrau
July 13th, 2005, 11:45 AM
...while you futilely shake your fist in the direction of the Toyota Camry zipping away.

BrooklynRider
July 13th, 2005, 06:14 PM
...while you futilely shake your fist in the direction of the Toyota Camry zipping away.

Exactly! Screaming, "Cowards!"

ASchwarz
July 13th, 2005, 06:44 PM
Disclaimer to CMA:

UNLESS you decide to ride the subway, at 3AM in one of the outer boroughs, on the platform by yourself, and are wearing an "I >luv< IOWA" T-shirt.


The easiest way not to get attacked is to not look like fresh meat. People will be more likely to stop to ask YOU directions rather than to "cut you".

Ridiculous. The outer boroughs have far less subway crime than Manhattan. Almost all subway crime is conducted during daylight hours. It drives me crazy when people make generalizations about NYC based on movies and pop culture.

BrooklynRider
July 13th, 2005, 08:15 PM
Ridiculous...

Hey Schwarz-

Why is it that you preface almost every post you make with a snide remark of "ridiculous"?

And, you have a really grating tendency of espousing expert declarations without an iota of evidence - let alone credible evidence.

Boy, this last post of yours is just...how shall I put it?....RIDICULOUS!!!

Edward
July 13th, 2005, 08:33 PM
... Also stop quoting the whole posts.
You sound like a moderator material. Keep it up and you will go far...

macreator
July 13th, 2005, 09:21 PM
Most people seem to get their impressions of New York City, and most importantly the subway system, from the movies "The French Connection" and "Coming to America" I've found.

I've seriously had a telephone conversation with a cousin of mine who lives on Long Island who was impressed at how "brave" I was when I told her I took the subway home everyday. It took me about a few months to convince her that Manhattan wasn't a warzone and the subways no longer were covered in graffiti.

I still have my work cut out convincing her that the outer boroughs too are pretty darn safe except for a few spots.

BrooklynRider
July 13th, 2005, 10:11 PM
It is interesting that there are so many people in the suburbs who are scared to death of "the city". It kind of baffles me.

krulltime
July 14th, 2005, 12:51 AM
I dont stare at people too much on the subway... It makes people uncomfortable by staring. I might glance at someone like quick but I don't think that everyone you stare will have a knife ready to cut you. They might say something though.

But I do remember this chilly story I read like a year ago... where this guy was listening to his music (headphones) and was staring at people. This guy he was staring at, ask him 'what he was staring at'. (with an attitude) So this guy couldnt hear him. Then the guy started to call him names like (the bad word for gay) and then he took a knife and stab him.

Well this happen on daylight and in a Queens train (I think it was the J) So other passangers called a police man... and the guy was arrested. The stab guy survive though.

He said he was just staring at people...

ZippyTheChimp
July 14th, 2005, 08:33 AM
Ok, so in Toronto we have what's known as the Subway Stare.
I find it hard to believe that this is the modus operandi for surviving the Toronto subway.

ryan
July 14th, 2005, 10:05 AM
One has to be kinda paranoid to be scared in a Canadian city. Or maybe I'm wildly, blindly optimistic.

NewYorkYankee
July 14th, 2005, 07:25 PM
Ill have to admit. The first time (In April of 04) we came to NY, we too were afraid of the subway. It was dark down there and loud. We stood on the platform watching at least ten trains go by becuase we didnt know what to do. The Booth clerk cofused the hell out of us. Now its our fav mode of NY transportation. I look forward to riding it next week.

Toonami
July 15th, 2005, 04:23 PM
^First of all, Toronto can be dangerous in certain areas at night, like in the ghetto, I believe Toronto is the most dangerous city in Canada, or maybe it's Vancouver. Secondly, Toronto is hardly a "Canadian City" because everything about it is so completely different form the rest of Canada (In fact, many Torontonians I know don't like being called "Canadian")

I just figured the subway in NYC is dangerous at night becasue thats the way Toronto is.


I dont stare at people too much on the subway...
Yeah the whole point of the subway stare is so you NEVER look anyone in the eye, it can be really uncomfortable. I, too, heard the story of the man who was stabbed for staring at people, so to avoid being bothered, you stare at the cieling or floor, but not to actually look at it, but so you don't accidently look anyone in the eye.


I find it hard to believe that this is the modus operandi for surviving the Toronto subway.

Well, not everyone does it, but when I lived there, my whole family and friends did it. I don't know aobut the other people, I didn't look at them...:D

Ninjahedge
July 18th, 2005, 10:01 AM
Ridiculous. The outer boroughs have far less subway crime than Manhattan. Almost all subway crime is conducted during daylight hours. It drives me crazy when people make generalizations about NYC based on movies and pop culture.

Yeah, sure.

Most crime happens where the least ammount of people are.

I have been in run down stations in Brooklyn and Queens at 2AM that I feel less safe in than in Times Square, Chinatown or even the Financial district.


It is not a fear that someone will jump out from behind a column and mug me, but the fact that if someone did, there is NOONE THERE TO HELP.

As for generalizations from movies and pop culture, I guess your friendly attitude is a direct contradiction to the rumor that most NYers are hostile individuals? :p

Ninjahedge
July 18th, 2005, 10:03 AM
It is interesting that there are so many people in the suburbs who are scared to death of "the city". It kind of baffles me.

It is the same way so many people from NY think of the Suburbs and wrinkle their noses.

You don't know how many people in NY that once I tell them I live in NJ I have to try to convince them that it is not a hellhole off an exit on the Turnpike. :p

czsz
July 18th, 2005, 01:34 PM
The city-suburb polarisation is worse in New York than seemingly any other US city. Perhaps it's the island nature of Manhattan, or simply the fact there's no continuous chain of affluence leading from the city core to the wealthiest of suburbs, as exists in Boston, Chicago, and other cities.

ryan
July 18th, 2005, 02:53 PM
The city-suburb polarisation is worse in New York than seemingly any other US city.

I disagree. In NYC even the suburbanites acknowledge that Manhattan is the center of the area - and a place they want or need to go. They shop, they go to shows, they brag about it... and most importantly, many suburbanites work in manhattan. Sure there's some people in the suburbs that never go into manhattan, but they know people who do, and it's conventional to do so.

In smaller cities, the urban center is often irrelevant to the city - suburbanites can live their whole lives without ever going to the city - and lots do. They have an even more heightened, irrational fear of crime in what are often extremely safe cities, and pretend that their suburb is an island unto itself. These are people who would never even ride mass transit to affect some crazy stare...

TonyO
July 18th, 2005, 02:56 PM
I disagree. In NYC even the suburbanites acknowledge that Manhattan is the center of the area - and a place they want or need to go. They shop, they go to shows, they brag about it... and most importantly, many suburbanites work in manhattan. Sure there's some people in the suburbs that never go into manhattan, but they know people who do, and it's conventional to do so.

In smaller cities, the urban center is often irrelevant to the city - suburbanites can live their whole lives without ever going to the city - and lots do. They have an even more heightened, irrational fear of crime in what are often extremely safe cities, and pretend that their suburb is an island unto itself. These are people who would never even ride mass transit to affect some crazy stare...

This is a very good observation and has a lot of truth to it.

Swede
September 1st, 2005, 02:53 PM
The "subway stare" (as in 'staring at nothing/out the window/at the cieling') has grown less common here in Sthlm in the last 10 years since the free newspapers started as everyone now reads and re-reads Metro & Sthlm City.

As for the NYC subway, I found it easy to navigate and totally un-intimidating. Could have something to do with Sthlm's subway being based on the IRT...