It’s astounding the ways in which our daily lives are facilitated by incredible feats of engineering – feats we sometimes never give more than a second thought to. Every single day, an average of 5.7 million rides are taken on the NYC subway system. Countless masses are delivered from point A to point B all over this sprawling metropolis via this insanely intricate system of rail cars. Many people give no thought to the remarkable transportation system as they go about their lives, but some of us do. Some of us love the subway. In fact, some people love it enough to get New York City subway tattoos.
The NYC subway opened all the way back in 1904. Since then, decades of hard work and masterful engineering have resulted in the largest rapid transit system in the world. As of now there are 472 stations in operation, serviced by 850 miles of tracks.
But aside from being one of the most impressive pieces of civil engineering to ever exist, the NYC subway system is also amazing for people watching. All sorts of characters ride the subway. Some of them have sad stories they want to tell you (for money), while others just want to entertain you (for money.) But most riders are happy to just shut the fuck up and stare at their phones, which is nice.
We really wish we could have seen the days when riding the subway was super dangerous. In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, New York was a much different place. Riding the subway back then was a real crap shoot, with nearly 250 felonies committed daily on the subway by the end of 1979. Things got so bad that a group of volunteer crime-prevention vigilantes was formed.
But these days the commute is a lot more pleasant. Sure, you may end up with some unfortunate victim of mental health issues screaming at you about what a sellout Denzel Washington is, as happened to me last week, but chances are your subway ride is going to be smooth and you’re going to get to where you’re going a hell of a lot faster than any other option. In honor of this modern marvel of human accomplishment, we’ve gathered up some really cool tattoos inspired by the New York City subway.
Normally at the end of something like this we’d say, “Don’t these tattoos just make you want to go out and ride the subway?” But you probably already have to, so that seems cruel. Or maybe you don’t even live in the New York City area, which also seems cruel in a way.