Laura’s Team Pick:
Subway tokens? Check. Headphones? Check. Book? Check. Sunglasses? Check. As a frequent user of public transportation, I know the best way to ride the train is in full-on isolation gear. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m one of those stoic people who never smiles on the train; being a Friendly and Kind Commuter can put you at risk for harassment, a stolen dead dog or, at the very least, set you up for disappointment when everyone else is flustered and rude.
London-based artist Michael Landy’s new art project aims to explore the world of the subway-rider by looking at instances that bring people out of their bubbles of isolation. His project, Acts of Kindness, will appear all over stations and trains in the tube’s Central Line. He invites passengers to submit stories of acts of kindness they’ve witnessed while riding the train. Think of it as a combination between those gold stars you got in kindergarden and an advertisement for friendly people in London (ha!) (jk people in London are nice!). Naturally, I’m in love with this idea.
Running down the stairs to catch the train that had just pulled in, I hadn’t noticed my iPod falling out of my pocket until I was inside the carriage, watching a stranger pick it up off the wet platform floor. He looked up at me through the closing doors (while I had already assumed that I probably wouldn’t be seeing it again) and mouthed the words ‘I’ll wait here!’ through the glass. And he did.
If you live in or are planning a trip to London anytime soon, I’d suggest carrying extra water with you as an alarmingly large number of these stories end with very cheered-up people receiving bottled water from strangers. Who knew all it took to be someone else’s guardian angel was some Dasani?