Winter is here and so are the homeless.

Well, winter is here in NYC even if it is not officially winter. I was waiting on the platform for the “E” train at Chambers Street when the “E” pulls into the station and I see in the second car from the rear a homeless man smoking a cigarette. Obviously, not a car to sit in. The next car up also had a homeless person in it as did the next. I finally settled in the fifth car from the rear – no homeless person.

Winter in NYC can be quite nasty and as a result, the homeless begin to take refuge and shelter in train stations, platform benches, and especially on train cars.

Most homeless people tend to keep to themselves and do not bother the general commuting public. However, there is always the occassional disgruntle homeless person who goes about harassing commuters, or doing things they shouldn’t be doing like smoking on train cars.

This is a problem for commuters because most homeless people smell awful; to the point of nauseating. Who wants to be stuck on a train, underground for at least 10 minutes until the next station with a homeless person who smells like a sack of fermemted human waste?!

Surprisingly, I have witnessed a few passengers sharing a train car with homeless people. They didn’t smell as bad as what I just described but they still smelled of feces. Some passengers who are desparate for a seat will even sit beside a homeless person.

In fact, there will be times when passengers will tolerate the funky shit smell of a homeless person and from my experience it has been during morning rush hour. I have stepped onto trains and as soon as I was hit with that undeniably sweet pungent odor of rotting human waste, I back off onto the platform and wait for the next train. Other passengers will board the already filled train and not be fazed by the smell.

Sometimes I will board a crowded train and won’t realize it smelled until it was too late. I’m packed inside and there was no way I was gettng off so I’ll try to breathe in from my hands, arms, jacket, coat, or scarf – whatever that will help to filter out that noxious smell of human waste.

The Farmer’s Almanac foretells a her cold winter this year…


~ by thedailycommuter on Monday, November 17, 2008.

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