207th street

At this point in my life, I was carrying around both an iPod and a phone. I’m grateful for this in retrospect because the entire chorus came in one ridiculous rush, as I listened to the music on a loop on a crowded A train to a friend’s birthday party in Williamsburg.

I lived at the top of the A train at the time, so that meant taking the A from 207th street to 14th street, then the L into Brooklyn. I don’t know how to describe the feeling. It did not exist one moment and then there it was, coursing through my head: “Death doesn’t discriminate …”

I got out of the train in Williamsburg and began singing into the voice memo function in my iPod from the loop I was listening to in my phone. (This is why I was glad I had them both.) I said hi to my friend, wished him a happy birthday, had exactly half a beer, and turned around for another hour-and-a-half train ride home, during which I worked out the other verse variations. 

Music doesn’t discriminate when it arrives either. It’ll get you on the A train if you’re open to it.

-Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton: The Revolution

Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz A light snowfall dusts the rail yards of the New York City subway system on the north end of Manhattan, near 207th Street. The yellow cars are utility wagons, for moving freight and trash around the city while most people are sleeping. From the book New York Air, coming out fall 2015. @newyorkairbook @thephotosociety #notadrone #NewYorkCity #NYC by natgeo