subway tokens


I have a long commute. I work and go to school in Boston, and neighboring Cambridge, Massachusetts. But I live out in the boonies. I’ve been dealing with this commute since I started grad school. Until fairly recently, I would pretty much always take public transportation. I would drive to the nearest train station, take the commuter rail into Boston, and then ride the T, Boston’s combined subway and above-ground transit system. The whole commute would take about 2 to 2 and half hours from door to door. Each way. I’d only do this about 2 or 3 times a week, piling up my Boston/Cambridge commitments into crazy-long days. I’d usually be gone from home between 12 and 15 hours on one of my commute days.

Sometime last year, say around February, I stopped commuting so often. I’ve been largely busy with another project, and have been working from home, telecommuting, etc. And days when I’ve gone into work for meetings, I’ve driven. While it has plenty of downsides (traffic delays, parking hassles and environmental impact), driving is also usually a bit faster: 2 to 3 hours total. Plus with more flexible times. So, in order to be able to have that extra time with the other project, I’ve been driving a lot more. But I decided to start taking the train in again, at least some days.

So here I am, taking public transportation again. (And today I got my first Charlie Card. I guess I’ll write about that later.) Sitting on the train and the subway, I have time to sit and think. So I’ve been thinking about subways, and subway scenes.

Subway scenes seem quite popular in movies and TV shows, especially in the action genre. There’s something compelling about the seedy, dark atmosphere of a subway station for a fight scene, with the tension of possible oncoming trains. Or about slipping into a subway car as the doors shut in a chase scene. And let’s not forget the claustrophobic fight scenes inside a subway car.

Subway Scenes

  • Buffy, season 5 “Fool for Love
    This is the episode where Spike tells how he killed 2 slayers back in the day. The second one involved a fight scene in a New York subway car.
  • The Fugitive (1993)
    This one has an L train (elevated train) rather than a subway. Harrison Ford has a fight scene with the one-armed man in a train car.
  • Daredevil (2003)
    There’s that vengence fight scene in the subway station at the beginning with Ben Affleck, followed by that whole flaming “DD” insignia on the platform in the scene with Joe Pantoliano.
  • The Matrix (1999)
    Keanu (dude) Reeves has a big showdown with Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) in a subway station.
  • V for Vendetta (2005)
    V (Hugo Weaving, again), with some help from Evey (Natalie Portman), uses a subway train to deliver a message. (“Boom.”)
  • Run Lola Run/Lola rennt (1998)
    Lola’s run started because her boyfriend left a bag of money on the subway.
  • Strange Days (1995)
    The movie starts off with a chase scene where a woman (Brigitte Bako) escapes by running into a subway car just as the doors close.
  • Sliding Doors (1998)
    This movie’s alternate outcomes hinge upon whether or not Gwyneth Paltrow makes it onto a subway car before the door slides shut.
  • Crocodile Dundee (1986)
    End of movie. Declarations of love shouted across a crowded subway station.
  • Hellboy (2004)
    Hellboy (Ron Perlman) chases down demons in the subway tunnels, gets hits in the head with a train. (Don’t worry, he’s fine.)
  • The Italian Job (2003)
    Minis get driven down into a subway station, and race down the subway tunnels.
  • 5 responses to “subway tokens

    1. There’a also “Next Stop Wonderland” :http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119778/
      This is a fantastic love story about set in the Boston area. key ending scence takes place on subway as well as a few others. anyway, I really like this movie. written and directed by Brad Anderson- yes, brother to Wes Anderson who did Royal Tennenbaums, Rushmore, etc…

    2. most of the action in underworld takes place on the subway… there seems to be a trend of filming in budapest’s subways. there’s also kontroll, which i enjoyed immensely.

    3. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Got your google searches.

      Ingenious.

    4. ericalee-
      I’ll have to check out “Next Stop Wonderland.” I haven’t seen many movies set in the Boston area, so I’m curious about that, too.

      jenny-
      Good point abou Underworld. I have trouble remembering the details of that movie. And I haven’t heard of kontroll. I wonder if Budapest has particularly eery subway tunnels…

      KC-
      Glad you got them. What I found remarkable was the number of other websites that would come up even for something like “latebreaking study on squirrel pee benefits.” Oh, the wild and wacky world wide web…

    5. Pingback: all part of the process (writing about my writing) | collecting tokens

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