Showtime, Ladies And Gentleman, Showtime
In NYC it's always showtime.
Illustration by Alabaster Pizzo
I live in a special place called Upper Manhattan. Everyday I take the A train to and from another special place, called Everything Below 59th Street. Between 125th Street and 59th Street, the A train makes no stops. Much like perfect conditions in topography and atmosphere come together to form rainbows, this huge jump in track distance without interruption works to make magic on the A train—this is the land of Showtime. Showtime is when you’re sitting on the train and as you ponder the question, “What time is it?” a group of young folks with some confident aerobatic skills and a boom box answer, “it’s Showtime!” Showtime is an invisible spotlight and a public prayer. The doors close, the lights go down (in theory), the boom box plays “Smack My Bitch Up.” And the kids begin to dance.
I didn’t know that this week I would give a performer on the train the $20 I had the gift to donate. It just kind of happened.
I believe that Showtime is a New York institutio…
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