The express train to the Bronx
It is sunday and I’ve just finished a job one hour out of NY. My train pulls into Grand Central Station. I am exhausted, it has been a long day. Grand Central is a hive of activity, there are tunnels everywhere. I have no clue. I think I have figured it out but I ask a local for confirmation. I am wrong. She points me in the right direction and I am on my way.
The appropriate numbers flash past 59, 73…at 162 we abruptly stop due to maintenance on the track. The train is terminated and we are told we should connect to the ‘d’ train. I follow the masses like a sheep. A very white sheep amongst a flock of black sheep. I board the train and look around. The only other white guy I can see is a dude with a tattoo that covers his entire head. I have boarded the express train to the Bronx. In one corner there is a guy rapping, in the other, a woman preaching. As they fight for their audience and the volume increases, it occurs to me this might be my initiation. A religious passage to New York street culture.
The train slows. The doors open. I clutch my photography equipment to my chest and depart. I jump into the nearest taxi and point him in the right direction. I tip generously. I have arrived in every sense of the word.