Tourists in NYC Are Amazed by a Cleaner, Less Crowded Subway


Richard McKee latest New York subway, John F. Kennedy was at the White House. Now retired and vaccinated, he flew here from Northern California in June and went underground with a camera around his neck to photograph murals and installations in subway stations.

I felt different than I did in 1962, when Mr. McKee was last here. “For once,” he said, “the subway is cleaner; quieter.”

McKee is one of the many tourists I met on the subway this year who took advantage of the newly opened New York. For now, at least, travel and hotel costs are still relatively low, encouraging young people, retirees and families to travel.

While most of Broadway will remain dark through September, museums and restaurants have opened, and the summer weather allows visitors to pass the new Little Island park, channel Allen Ginsberg in Washington Square, and dine on a dollar-a-pizza slice late at night on a sidewalk. gives. perch.

JD Batth, 21, traveled with 12 friends from Leesburg, Va., at the end of May. The group of students from George Mason University decided to go on a trip after they were vaccinated.

“One standout moment for me was finding a place to eat pizza,” Batth said, “because we walked for about 30 minutes. So after we found it and ate a slice, we knew the walk was worth it because you can’t get pizza this good anywhere in Virginia.”

In April, 24-year-old Mishka Antonov and 23-year-old Madi Octavia made their first trip from Seattle since the start of the pandemic. Ms Octavia said they were tattoo artists who decided to visit New York to get tattooed by “some of their heroes”. “Hopefully we plan to come back soon to get a tattoo there!”

Others come to celebrate special occasions. Natasha Vertti and Khiari Bakar boarded the train from Philadelphia in early June to celebrate Ms. Vertti’s 24th birthday.

“He had never experienced the New York nightlife before,” said Mr Bakar, 26. “I’ve been in love with New York for years and thought it would be a great place to escape to on her birthday.”

Mr. Bakar noted that the feeling of normalcy in the trains is good and that “the spirit of the city is back”.

Cori Crawford, who just turned 5, was also in town to celebrate her birthday. Together with her parents, Laura and Kyle, and her 7-year-old sister, Zoe, they took a ride on the subway, visiting some of New York’s best-known landmarks, including Ellis Island, One World Trade Center, and the Museum of Natural History.

Traveling from Bogota, Colombia, to New York in June, the Ortega family also reached some highlights, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. They had planned to make this trip since before the pandemic for Sara Sofia Ortega’s quinceañera.

Edgar Ortega, Sara Sofia’s father, who had been to New York before, said they enjoyed taking the subway, which was cleaner and less busy than on previous visits.

In mid-June, Matthew Gerson traveled from Washington DC to visit his girlfriend, who is on summer vacation from law school and lives in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.

“It was great to ride the subway in New York,” said 25-year-old Mr Gerson. “There was a strong reassurance that life was slowly returning to normal. It’s like waking up from a long, bad dream.”


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