Figueroa-Levin: Break it up, subway-break dancers
I'm not a big fan of subway panhandling. It's illegal, and chances are the teenager claiming to be a Vietnam veteran with four kids to feed isn't legit. If you really want to help someone, donate to an actual charity.
When I ride the subway I like to sit in relative silence and avoid eye contact with people by either fiddling with my phone or reading this lovely newspaper. Usually it works. I do, however, buy fruit snacks from the 30-year-old-looking self-proclaimed middle school student trying to stay out of trouble by breaking the law and selling food on the subway -- but that's it. I realize that might make me a hypocrite, but I really like fruit snacks.
What I really hate is being forced to look up and pay attention to someone's panhandling efforts.
Enter the break-dancers.
They come on the subway shouting, play loud music from a boom box placed on the subway car floor and proceed to perform high school gymnastics team stunts without any regard to the other passengers.
I can't look away. Not because they're all that good, but because these idiots are one sudden stop or lurch away from kicking me in the face. It's not safe.
I actually love break-dancing. I'd stand watching the guys near Battery Park do it for hours if I could. I even give money to the guys doing it in the subway station -- because they aren't ruining my commute. Their feet aren't coming within 5 inches of my face.
The subway car isn't a dance club. It's not a performance space. The only thing I should be worrying about in the subway is whether my train is going to suddenly start running on the F line before I reach my stop. I don't want some nudnik who was trying to swing around a pole to end up sitting on my lap while I'm eating my fruit snacks.
Break-dancers: You are obnoxious, dangerous and, quite frankly, not talented enough to safely do subway stunts. You're going to hurt yourself, or worse, me. Do us all a favor and dance somewhere else. On solid ground. Away from my face.
I'm not going to give you money (unless you have fruit snacks).
Rachel Figueroa-Levin tweets as @Jewyorican, @EveryGentrifier and @ElBloombito.