I’ve been in New York for nearly two months, which by my amateur calculations means I’ve spent the equivalent of a long weekend on the subway.
After my office, and then my apartment (which is not mine at all, but a sublet), the parts of New York I am most familiar with are the J train from Gates Avenue to Canal Street, and the 6 train from Canal to 23rd Street, respectively.
Saying “familiar” is still a stretch. I am habitually late, which is rarely because a train is running late, and usually because a train isn’t running at all — or has decided to run right past my stop. I’ve observed that the subway signs are more like suggestions of what could happen, instead of what will. (The 6 local train is supposed to stop at Canal Street, but as I’m riding, it goes straight from Bleeker Street to Brooklyn Bridge. The 4 isn’t running at 33rd Street today, but as I grumble about my latest mistake and make my way back to the turnstiles, it shows up anyway.)
Maybe these inconsistencies are announced somewhere — but through a broken speaker, or a sign without enough tape.