I Don’t Want to Live in a New York Without Breakdancers on the Subway


Um, if I have to choose between a crazy lady yelling and kids dancing, I’m going to go with kids dancing. And I’m surprised more of you aren’t with me. Gothamist posted a video today of a woman chastising a group of breakdancers on the A train, getting in their way so they can’t do their crazy flips and whatnot—and the site’s commenters treat her like a local hero. “Give this woman the keys to the city,” writes one. “I want to buy that woman a drink,” writes another. “I just slow clapped and gave her a standing ovation alone in my office,” writes one more. Oh please.

“I don’t want to hear it. That’s my right,” the woman tells one dancer. “I paid a fare to be here, and I don’t want to fucking hear you. That’s it.” First off, that argument’s ridiculous; if some Park Sloper said it about a parade or something, you’d all be rolling your eyes. No one in New York has a right to quiet, especially not on the subway. Secondly, the problem is that she doesn’t want to hear it. I’m not always in the mood for breakdancing teenagers, mariachi bands, or the “Hat in the Cat” guy (oof, that guy). But one of the advantages of living in a vibrant city is that it can surprise you. If you let it. Hooray for people trying to entertain us, either for money or to save our souls. Boo for the people saying sit down and be quiet.

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart

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  1. The noise of breakdancers isn’t what bothers me. The feet flying within inches of my head is a “surprise” that I don’t need to live though, thanks.