We got on the F train in Brooklyn at Fort Hamilton and headed for the Modern in Manhattan. We were sitting at the front of the first car. This line brings you above ground for a few stops before going down under the East River. A very short man with a camouflaged hat got on and started singing a beautiful folk song in Spanish. I gave him a dollar. At the next stop a guy in a trench coat got on with a styrofoam cup that he was rattling. I tried not to look at him.
A women burst through the door right behind him and loudly addressed the passengers, “OK people. I will try to be brief. My husband has abused me, humiliated me. . . etc.” She kept walking to the other end of the car and we tried to tune her out but she worked her way back to us with her hand out, repeating, “Anybody have a kind heart? Anybody have a kind heart?” She said this like it didn’t have a question mark. Next on was a woman with missing front teeth. She was dragging a big black trash bag. She leaned against the pole in front of us and began singing, “I believe the children are the future”.
The distance between stops as the train goes under the river is longer than that between most stops so this train is a magnet for buskers. Duane, our NYC friend and guide, told us he has seen guys bring a whole drum set in, set it up and bang out a hip hop tune. They get of on the other side, cross over and ride back all day long.