I’m of two minds here- on one hand I miss the decreasing grittiness of New York City and increasing nanny-statism that seems to be gripping it, but on the other, eating on the subway pretty much deserves crotch punching if you are over the age of two.
It’s a common sight, particularly- it would seem- in the neighborhoods that produce foods likely to be extremely offensive in an olfactory sense. If you regularly ride the New York City subways, chances are you regularly spot someone eating stewed cabbage and eggs and durian out of a tupperware, which is mind-boggling on so many levels. The ubiquity of street food in Manhattan and the Boroughs doesn’t help the situation, and it’s so horrifically offensive to be on a crowded express train next to someone who apparently hasn’t eaten for days and is tearing into a nostril-assaulting container of soup. (And who are these people who can comfortably eat on the subway? Do they dine from troughs at home?)
Now that smoking on the streets is outlawed- a circumstance I personally seem to only remember exists now when I pass a cop and I’m halfway through a cigarette- lawmakers have turned their attention to eating on the subway and banning it to increase the quality of life for millions of straphangers in the city. Of course, you can’t really make a good case for regulation based on “because I don’t like the food they eat in Flushing,” so Senator Bill Perkins has wrapped the initiative in some fancy scarelore:
“Those rats feed off of what we eat or discard in the system. You feed them, you breed them. Not only are they on the tracks, they’re on the seats. Sometimes they even come off out of the subway.”
Rats outside the subway system? Madness! Perkins is proposing a $250 fine for subway eating, which could greatly reduce your exposure to F train falafel binges. Do you support a ban on subway eating? Have you seen the infamous clip below, where a fight broke out because a woman was eating spaghetti on the subway?