If you’ve ever ridden San Francisco’s meager but clean and efficient version of the subway the BART, you would think those Bay-Area-ians (Bay-guls?) have some sort of sixth sense when it comes to pre-walking to where the subway doors open, as they all form an orderly line on the exact right spot. Then you realize the damn floor is marked for the doors, which is cheating. We have no such thing in New York though, where everything is chaotic and unpredictable and dangerous! Or is it? There’s an easy subway hack hidden in this New Yorker story about the Norwegian architecture firm redesigning Times Square that lets you know exactly where the doors are going to open. The secret? Gum.
The story quotes Craig Dykers, a principal in the New York office of Snøhetta, which is the Oslo-based firm contracted to redesign Times Square, and not, sadly, the name of my new black metal band.
[H]e said that in most stations, you can anticipate where the doors of the next train will open by looking for concentrations of chewing gum splats near the edges of the platforms. (Subway riders apparently tend to spit out gum either just before entering or just after exiting a train.)
Have you tried this? Does it work? Will anonymous launch a campaign to spit gum willy-nilly all over the subway platforms just to fuck with your sheep-brain mentality?