On Sunday, 80-some lindy hoppers gathered for a "lindy bomb" of the Nostalgia Subway Train that runs during the holidays on the F Train line. It was an incredible day of dancing, great music, and random New York weirdness.
At about 12:30, a bunch of us lindy hoppers were gathered at the 2nd Avenue Subway Stop, awaiting the arrival of the Nostalgia Train. As we waited, the Grand Street Stompers began playing on the platform, so of course we started dancing. LensJockey perfectly captured in the picture above the joy of dancing on the subway as a crowd quickly gathered. That's the lovely Elaine and Voon in the foreground.
Then about 1pm, we piled onto the vintage F Train, stuffing one subway car with dancers and musicians. The Grand Street Stompers crammed themselves and their instruments onto a bench and continued jamming as the train pulled away from the station toward Queens.
There's really nothing like swing dancing to live music on a packed vintage subway car as the train rocks from side to side, rumbles into a station, stops briefly, and then rumbles out again. It's a strange game to dance with your partner, avoid slamming into the people around you, keep your balance as the train pitches and lurches in various directions, and hear the music over the clatter of the tracks. It was reckless, hysterical fun.
I love watching the random commuters wander onto the train, off to who knows where. They see the vintage subway cars and wonder what the heck is going on. Then they catch sight of all of us in vintage attire and they start smiling. Then they get on, pull out their cameras and start snapping away. It's awesome.
This being New York, you also get a lot of attitude and random weirdness. One group of big dudes in puffy jackets kept yelling out on the Queens platform "DX! DX!" for no apparent reason. Another guy on the train saw us dancing and said, "Hey if there's gonna be dancing, I wanna see some strippers!"
The oddest character was this quite heavy lady who was intent on walking up and down the train cars as the Nostalgia Train went between Manhattan and Queens. Every time she came into our car, which was of course crammed with people, she started yelling angrily at us. "You can't eat the whole car!" she screamed. "You can't eat the whole damn car!"
Clearly the sight of a hundred people in a train car enjoying music and dancing was too much for her. I sent a blessing her way, because obviously she was just an angry person who wanted people to be as pissed off as she was. That's no way to live.
Most of us went on two trips on the Nostalgia Train, from Manhattan to Queens and back. It was a lot of fun, but also really tiring being in a hot subway car, dancing, in the deafening tunnels, with no food or water. At around 4pm, we piled out of the Nostalgia Train, kissed our goodbyes to each other, and headed off back to 2010.
Thanks to Atalanta and Fifty Nights for putting together this amazing lindy flashmob.
Here's some links to more pics, videos and articles about the day:
- Eileen's Flickr Set
- Opening Mind's Flickr Set
- LensJockey's Flickr Set
- Article in Tree Hugger (of all places)
- Jaunted Magazine
- Jane Kratchovil's gallery
- Grand Street Stompers "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" (video)
- Grand Street Stompers "Aint Misbehavin" (video)
- Grand Street Stompers "Back Home Again in Indiana" (video)
- Grand Street Stompers "It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas" (video)
- Dancing on the Subway Platform (video)
[Images courtesy of LensJockey. Hire this awesome photographer!]