Whoosh into the urban void

Decades have passed since I’ve been in any part of New York City. In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, though, most of my buds were from there or nearby, so I wound up staying in all five boroughs. And I was reintroduced in the mid-80s as well.

I became fascinated with the transit rails and even imagined what I cast as Subway Hitchhikers, their psychedelic underground adventures now available in my novel Subway Visions.

Oh, the history! The city has certainly undergone a wild ride in the years since, some of them admittedly terrifying.

As improbable as my hitchhikers seemed at the time, reality has since produced several parallel developments.

The first was the Mole People, the homeless who created villages in the tunnels starting in the Reagan era.

The second was the Subway Surfers, daredevil youths who would ride the tops of the trains or more recently, hang from the sides.

I thought they had faded from the scene, but a spate of recent fatalities is proving otherwise.

As for the adrenaline rush? Or is it testosterone?

Maybe someone will be able to describe it to the rest of us. I’m not sure I’d want to see the movie version, sedate as I’ve become now.


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