What to Expect When Riding the New York City Subway

From impromptu haircuts to mounds of poop, there’s a lot to watch out for.

Traveling to New York for the first time? If so, welcome! (And yes, it always smells like this.) There are plenty of guidebooks that will tell you which pizza places to go to, but few prepare you for your first experience with the city’s subway system.

Luckily for you, Abbi and Ilana’s journey through a train constitutes a primer on what to expect so you can be ready for anything the city throws at you.

Look, a trip to the salon or barbershop can be expensive in New York. To save a few bucks, some parents take matters into their own hands, snipping their kids’ hair off on the way to school. It’s kind of endearing, if you think about it. And messy — real messy.

Because of the bumpy ride, some commuters will be forced to hold on to the overhead bars, exposing you to the smell of their putrid, dripping armpits. If you find yourself face to face with a stranger’s pit, do not breathe in. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

Oh, yeah — there’s poop sometimes. People poop on the trains. No one knows why. Best not to think too much about this one.

For the voyeurs out there — we’re looking at you, Ilana — this might be a perk. For everyone else, though, it’s best to pretend that subway lovebirds are cannibals eating each other’s faces. That might make it easier to stomach.


There’s a chance that this only happens to Abbi, but who knows? There’s a far greater chance that something way worse will be shouted at you, so take what you can get.