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Underground Barometer

A survey of defiant subway riders, taken during rush hour last Friday morning—the day after the new “bombs in strollers” terror alert.

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Mike Walsh
54, attorney
Did you think about not taking the subway?
I really had no option. My wife told me to give her a call as soon as I got into the office.
Do you think they should have warned the public?
Definitely.
What’s the worst experience you’ve ever had on the subway?
There was a guy with a box full of live pigeons and one got out.

Karen Oh
36, mother
Did you leave your stroller at home?
Yes.
Worst subway experience?
Nasty, mean people, especially when I’m pushing my baby in the baby carriage. People are just bitchy, no help getting the stroller over the gap—and they try to get ahead of me.
What’s in your bag?
A sour-cream apple walnut pie.

Mark Greenfield
42, artistic director of the nonprofit theater Faux-Real
Did you think about not taking the subway?
No, though I worry much more about terrorists now that I have a kid.
Is the city doing enough to keep the subway safe?
I’m more concerned with the ports.
Worst subway experience?
I’ve done performance there, and some guy looked like he was going to kill me.

Jessica Coleman
22, Parsons student
Did you think about not taking the subway?
Yeah, I just moved here from Cleveland. The threat may have come from Iraq.
Does that change your view of the war?
I’ve changed. I was in the military, and now I’m not, so I’m kind of against the war.
What’s in your bag ?
Nothing illegal.

Deborah Seidenberg
43, attorney
On a day like today, who do you wish was president?
I hate to admit that I don’t hate Bush. I can’t say he makes me feel safe, but I don’t think there’s a magical person who can accomplish that.
Have you had your bag searched?
Of course not.
What’s in it?
A bomb. No, just kidding. Too much makeup.

Liz Wallace
In her thirties, catalogue writer
Did you think about not taking the subway this morning?
I live in Brooklyn. Taking a cab’s too expensive. But it’s not right that all the poor people have to take the subway.
Worst subway experience?
A possibly homeless man spit on me. In my hair.
What’s in your bag?
A pair of heels for my corporate meeting later.


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