hen you live in New York City and depend on the subway for all of your travel needs, you are invariably forced to deal with a whole lot of ignorance. Don’t get me wrong, compared to most places in the States, the Big Apple is MENSA-ville. It’s our manners that could use a bit of work. We’ve got all sorts of obnoxious characters to contend with…especially on the subway.

1 – The lollygaggers — they’re the immovable muldoons who refuse to step out on the platform to let everyone out.

2 – The Urban Hikers – the dillweeds with the unwieldly backpacks that take up the space of a well-fed Hobbit.

3 – The Droolers – The late night drunks/narcoleptics who take pass out and drool on your shoulder.

4 – The Thigh Masters – The thoughtless mamaloochas that spread their legs as if anticipating a major sesh of cunnilingus.

You get the picture.

On my morning commute, I depend on my music to help get me to my modeling gig without killing anybody. I’m sort of OCD, so it’s usually just one song I’ll listen to on repeat from the second I lock my apartment door to the moment I have to get it together before my pose.

This morning’s tune was “Feeling That Way” by Journey, off their classic album Infinity – released January of 1978!

I must’ve listened to this song about 30 times in a row today…it’s always been one of my favorites. Still, those lyrics…wow – they make Lenny Kravitz sound like Dylan.

“When the summer’s gone / She’ll be there standing by the light / Once she’s been to where she’s gone to / She should know wrong from right / Is she feeling?”

Shakespeare it ain’t.

What does it matter though – lyrics, I mean. It’s the memories you attach to the music you love that matters. And I have very strong memories associated with this poetic abortion. I was in 8th grade and just had the most colossal time singing this at the top of my lungs while I rode my green metal flake 10-Speed bike to the pool every day.

Today, I kept myself occupied with that delightful remembrance of things past, while I ignored the Droolers, Thigh Masters, Urban Hikers, and Lollygaggers. All I felt was the sun on my face…glitter in my hair…my supple 13 year old bones speeding down avenues, cross streets and back alleys. And the glorious smells….yes… I’ve arrived at the local pool – the welcoming scent of chlorine, Kool cigarettes and afro sheen. I had a beautiful subway ride back in time.

Thanks to Journey.

About Author

Crystal C Durant

Crystal is today's black Renaissance woman. She lives in Harlem, is always up for a new experience, is a magnet for all kinds of crazy, and smells like fresh flowers.


  1. I moved to NYC in 1962 and the it turned out subway was every reason I came. I could get around, by myself, no vehicle, cheaply and efficiently. And everybody was there! Nobody was there to judge me and I wasn’t there to judge anybody else. Even at its most unreliable, it was always there. It was all business. It could be a hassle, a pain in the ass, even a little bit worrisome. But I never really felt unsafe there. I was with my peeps, whoever they were! I used the subway from then until I moved away in 1999. It still epitomizes NYC to me, in many good ways.

  2. Dave Arbiter on

    Nice piece. Crystal. They should bring back the old Miss Subway, you’d be a certain finalist.

  3. I know the feeling… it’s funny how how music puts you in a time and place. I listen to classic rock songs today that my much older brother played on the family HiFi that I was forced to listen to. I hated that music growing up, now it’s all I seem to listen to.

  4. Brought me right back to the old hood… and I KNOW you know the suburb hood I’m talking about!

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