"But down in the underground
You'll find someone true
Down in the underground
A land serene
A crystal moon - David Bowie
In the famous Leonard Bernstein song "New York, New York" -- from the musical ON THE TOWN -- there is a lyric referring to the New York subway.
"The people ride in a hole in the ground."
It doesn't sound too appealing, and truth to tell, the New York subway is hardly anybody's idea of a nice way to get around. It's efficient, it's cheap, and it's ubiquitous. And anyone who has ever ridden it will tell you it's not a whole lot of fun. (Hole lot of fun???)
Underground railway systems have been with us for more than a century and a half, with London's Metropolitan Underground Railway -- The "Tube" -- initiating service in 1863. Given its head start, it's no wonder The Tube is an extensive network, allowing for transportation all around the London metro area. Other than New York's legendary Subway, The Tube is perhaps the most extensive underground network in the world. (I base this solely upon personal experience, so feel free to gently correct my education.)
I have written extensively about airline and automotive travel, and a few sidelines into cruising and above-ground trains, but it occurred to me that -- other than a sideways relation between the Eurostar train's sub-English Channel run and other underground routes -- I have never really mentioned the subway.
|New York subway entrance|
But they ARE, in most cases, part of the feel of a city. Part of its culture and character. The New York subway is as much a part of the experience as is a New York taxi.
I'm not saying you should only use the subway, but try it. See if it isn't a better way to travel.
And even if it isn't, it's still part of the adventure.
|Pigalle station on Paris' Metro|