Subway spaghetti video sparks transportation etiquette debate
Subway spaghetti video: A video taken of a fight in a New York City subway car started with a woman eating spaghetti, but led to a wider discussion about what is fair to put other riders of public transportation through during busy city commutes, and where to draw the line.
(Page 2 of 2)
MTA board member Andrew Albert said such a rule would cut into food sales at newsstands, which pay rent to the agency. But another board member, Doreen Frasca, suggested the MTA should impose the rule on the Manhattan Second Avenue line, which is under construction, as a pilot program.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Subway stories
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Some riders recently have taken enforcing subway etiquette into their own hands. Last year, artist Jason Shelowitz posted dozens of official-looking signs in stations warning commuters not to clip their nails on the subway.
"The sound is incredibly annoying and the nail bits go flying all over the place," the signs said.
"Also, keep your finger out of your nose," another sign said.
A Brooklyn graphic designer, Elizabeth Carey Smith, kept track of how many times fellow commuters offered her a seat on eight subway lines while she was pregnant. She posted a series of pie charts with the results online earlier this month. The G train, which connects Brooklyn and Queens, was the worst; the 1 and 6, linking Manhattan and the Bronx, and the A, running through Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, were the best.
Some riders say the underground dining is just part of New York, where a dose of weirdness comes free with every $2.50 subway fare.
During a 15-minute ride on the 6 train this week, a passenger could see: a man descending a stairway while baaing like a sheep, a pair of old men belting out "Papa was a Rolling Stone" at triple its normal speed and a woman in a huge, fur-lined parka hissing at two large rats on a platform.
Until smartphones invaded New York, such sights could only be enjoyed by locals or in the Metropolitan Diary feature in Monday's New York Times, where readers send in anecdotes about the city. But now the oddness is online for all to see.
In recent months, amateur videographers have recorded a rat scampering up the leg of a sleeping passenger, a shoving match between a passenger and a belligerent saxophonist and a commuter train barreling along an elevated track in Harlem with one of its doors stuck open.
Some riders wondered if the spaghetti scuffle was staged. Most have seen much worse violators of etiquette than the noodle-nosher in the video, said subway rider Shash Lachhman.
"I once saw somebody eating barbecued chicken with no napkins," Lachhman said. "But I still don't think you need a rule against it."