Gothamist, under the apt headline “Worst Idea Ever,” today reports on a “subway surfer” who sustained critical injuries when he was thrown from the roof of an A train.
I remember that a number of years ago the Village Voice ran a cover story on the subway-surfing phenomenon in which they profiled several roof-riders, half-heartedly trying to spin the whole thing like it was a daring anti-establishment gesture by disaffected youth, akin to graffiti-writing. When one of their friends was killed while riding a subway roof, the rest of the gang quit for a while, but then decided to start up again so that their comrade’s death wouldn’t be meaningless. Go figure.
I also recall that in the aftermath of the article, which caused a stir, Mayor Giuliani was asked whether the NYPD or the MTA would be doing anything to protect subway surfers. Giuliani had a tendency to be hard-hearted, but in this case I think he hit the right note when he declared that anyone who rides the subway on the roof is pretty obviously misusing city property, and they’re on their own with the consequences.