Posted by: Sarah | March 9, 2009

a tale of two subway passengers…

Scene: NY subway.  1 local train, heading uptown on a Sunday morning.  Not overly crowded, the usual assortment of characters that you see in the metro on a daily basis.  

Not far from me is an older woman, whom most would presume to be homeless, or nearly.  Her mismatched, ragged clothing was pieced together, a shopping cart packed with large black garbage bags was leaned against her leg, and she was leaned over, taking up two seats, appearing to have been passed out there for quite some time. 

Another presumably homeless, or less-fortunate at the very least, musician boarded the train at one stop, sang a couple mariachi style songs and proceeded to make the rounds of the car, begging for spare change from the other passengers, most of whom tried to appear indifferent, as one often does in these situations.

About the same time, the older woman woke and began to shout some kind of nonsense, decidedly directly at the musician, seemingly in Spanish, though I could only make out a few words.  It didn’t exactly sound pleasant.  As he approached our end of the train car, however, she reached under one of the many tattered layers of makeshift clothing, pulled out a single dollar bill, and placed it into the cup that he was holding out.  He nodded his thanks, departed at the next stop, and she proceeded to fall back asleep on the subway seat.

People surprise you.



  1. saw the same thing in ecuador with a guy selling those weird lotto tickets and a deformed guy with no legs begging for money. it warmed and broke my heart at the same time.

  2. I love that this happened – and that you saw it – and that you shared it 🙂

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