By Johna Till Johnson
I love subways. I’m not sure why.
It’s not just how functional they are, how efficiently they take you in minutes to places that would otherwise require hours of travel through traffic-choked streets.
It’s partly—even mostly— because of the way they instantly, magically adjust your experience. You go down a staircase and in a moment find yourself safely (or swelteringly) out of the elements.
Perhaps there’s music, anything from a violin to a jazz band, interrupted by the blare of announcements and the scream of trains. Regardless of whether it was day or night outside, cloudy or clear, the light has changed to a steady, unflattering overhead glow.
Shadows seem deeper, edges sharper. Platforms roll off to the side, hiding themselves behind square pillars. And there are people all around, almost all intent on ignoring you.
It’s an alternate reality, a step out of space and time. And when you emerge at the far end, you’re never quite the same person who first entered…