Urban stories

Pizza Rat Cleaning The Subway

By Andrej Mrevlje |
Photo Andrej Mrevlje

A little pizza rat had her few moments of glory as the star of a New York Times story on the conditions of the city subway system. New Yorkers almost started to love her. But a rat is a rat, and almost every New Yorker has some horror story about a rat encounter. There are many, largely thanks to the state of the subway platforms and rail tracks, which are dirty and full of food leftovers. The issues with grime and litter are perfectly illustrated in the dance between the big slice of pizza and the courageous rat who was caught on video. The MTA is trying to clean the miles and miles of subway, which may be old and dirty, but is fundamental for the city’s transport. In addition to cleaning, the MTA is also trying to prevent people from littering in the subway by moving trash cans away from platforms in hopes that passengers will drop their waste into cans outside the subway. If you travel on the subway, you know that New Yorkers will eat anything – anywhere and anytime. About a year ago, I was standing in the car next to an elderly lady, who was, while on a moving train, trying to eat a fried egg that she had brought with her. Has somebody ever thought of putting a ban on public eating in places like the subway? Putting the rats on diet, perhaps?

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