Only in New York: Unusual Big Apple Moments That Perfectly Capture Why We All Love NYC

Sun Dec 08 2019

You can be sure that weird things happen all the time in the city that never sleeps. Luckily for us, some of those moments have been captured by locals and tourists alike. Take a look at some of the funny and unique occurrences that take place in the Big City. One thing’s for sure – expect the unexpected.

Whether you’ve only encountered New York through Film and TV or you’re a neighborhood local, these instances are sure to leave you scratching your head. But that’s all part of the charm behind the Big Apple. Feel the spirit of NYC and find out what makes this place so one of a kind.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

NYC City enforced a new rule in 2016 banning dogs on the subway that are not “enclosed in a container.” Naturally, New Yorkers have found a way to please both sides. Nothing was specified about the size or shape of the container, so “bag dogs” have become the latest trend to grace the subway.

Here’s an example of what you’re likely to find during a big apple commute. Whether the IKEA bag is holding the dog or the dog is wearing the statement bag – it’s not for us to say. The only thing we can be sure of is that this is a unique phenomenon to come out of New York, resulting in some special snapshots.

In a Time of Crisis, Everyone Pulls Together

This is one for the books. A construction worker helps a young woman paint her nails. Unfortunately, the person who caught this tender moment is just as confused as we are. “Wish I had time to ask them their story!” she explains, before asking what we’re all thinking as we look at this.

“Do they know each other? Is she relying on the kindness of a stranger? What was the nail polish emergency? Who says New Yorkers aren’t friendly and helpful!!” She has a point, as we can’t imagine many places in the world where something like this might happen. But since its NYC, expect the unexpected.

Who Needs Rent

When you need a shape up, you need a shape up. There’s no time to wait. But it can be hard to find someone who is willing to get out the barber chair and start cleaning up your fade. Luckily for this New Yorker, there was one gentleman who had the tools and skills and got to work right beside a pedestrian crossing.

In all honesty, hats off to this barber who’s busy giving his customer a fresh trim while advertising his services without an additional fee. It’s definitely eye-grabbing, as we can see from the young man who has paused mid-crossing to check what he’s seeing is real. It’s New York, so anythings possible.

Jesus, Take the Wheel

We’re not quite sure if this young man was making a religious declaration or just finished listening to Kanye’s new album, but either way, he’s treating New York to an unusual sight. He rides aboard an electric one wheel self-balancing scooter – a skill in its own right – all the while holding up a huge wooden crucifix. Not to mention the fact that he’s got long, Jesus-like hair…

Was he on his way to a theatre group? Has he just had a realization? Will we ever know why he was speeding down the middle of the road like this in New York City? Probably not, but we’re happy to see the big city living up to its reputation for being wonderfully unexpected.

If He Takes out a Neuralyzer, Run

Here comes the man in black. This gentleman has done the utmost for his Men in Black get up. We’re not sure if he’s trying to be Agent K, Will Smith’s character, or maybe a new Agent of his own. Either way, it’s pretty recognizable to anyone who’s come across the franchise.

Truthfully, we’re most impressed with the weapon. He could have opted for one of the smaller handhelds featured in the film but instead went for the most cumbersome one there was. It looks like he went to a great effort with cardboard and spray paint. Still, if you catch sight of him on the train and he reaches into his pocket, just run. You can never be too sure.

Out of Context

Street performance is practiced all over the world, with a history that dates back to antiquity. That being said, it’s only in New York that you might find one of the mysterious entertainers riding the tube with the rest of the daily commuters. He’s got to get to work just like everybody else!

Behind the smoke and mirrors, the silver street performer is just another man with a job to do. You might expect that with a uniform like this, he’d wait to put it change once he got there. But no – he proudly dons his monochromatic ensemble and clutches on to the handrail.

A New York Trinity

There are a few things to enjoy here. On the one hand, we have someone wearing a giant crying baby mask – a sure-fire way to distract every commuter. On a 90 degree angle, we have an older, stately-looking gentleman looking down the camera lens completely unamused.

But our favorite person is the young woman sat in between both of them, cowering into the corner. She turns away, awkwardly, clearly wanting nothing to do with this situation. The juxtaposition of these three different characters having to sit beside each other when they travel is just another reason why we love New York.

The Future of Busking?

Spotted at 7th Ave station, this guy is apparently a repeat offender when it comes to setting up his office on the subway platform. He’s gone to the trouble of bringing a chair, a fold-out desk, as well as every possible mini electronic device you might need.

We’re not sure if he’s selling something, looking for a place to work, or sampling some music. Perhaps, this image tells us something about the future of busking. Gone are the days of strumming a guitar, we’re now in an age where people bring their DJing decks.

Well, They’re Not Tadpoles

This is quite a statement outfit. We’re not sure what the statement he’s making is, but we’re sure there is meaning to be found. The trousers alone would be one thing, but the equally plush “teddy” jacket has an interesting print. At least the black and white color palette helps to tone down the… erm… unique pattern.

To be honest, we’re really curious about where he got both the items. He is walking around head-to-toe in fleece from what we assume was bought at the same store. Hopefully, he doesn’t draw too much attention to himself from passing drivers…We wouldn’t want an accident.

A Passive-Aggressive Reminder

Seeing disregarded food packaging or empty tin cans in bicycle baskets is, unfortunately, a familiar sight in big cities. Maybe you, the reader, are even guilty of contributing to the problem. But probably only in New York City would you get such a passive-aggressive message as left by this disgruntled cyclist.

They attached a note on to their bike, with the words “Trash Cans Are On The Corner THIS IS A BIKE” written across it. If this picture is anything to go by, it appears their sign is working. After all, it takes a pretty angry New Yorker to go to the trouble of laminating a notice!

Mind Your Business

We know it can be a struggle to get a seat on the subway. That’s why this young woman has taken matters into her own hands and brought her own chair. It’s not just any chair of course – it’s a full-sized antique style armchair and she couldn’t care less what anyone thinks about it.

After all, if you’re going to go to the trouble of making sure you can sit down on your commute, you might as well opt for maximum comfort. And something tells us that if she sees a pregnant woman board their carriage, she isn’t going anywhere.

Metro of Matrimony

These two blushing brides aren’t starring in some theatre production – they’re actually on the way to their wedding! One of them posted this photo on Instagram alongside lyrics to the Dixie Cups song “Chapel Of Love.” She wrote: “Goin’ to the chapel and we’re gonna get ma-a-a-ried. Goin’ to the chapel of love… on the downtown C local.”

These brides both opted for a form-fitting white lacy dress, with long sleeves and long skirt lengths. They even both wore their hair down in loose, natural curls that perfectly compliment the feminine dresses. These two New Yorkers had no reservations about taking the fastest and easiest mode of transport to their nuptials.

To Hell With Road Safety

These daredevils appear to give no regard to road safety, even in a fast-paced city like New York. In what can only be described as one of the most bizarre modes of transport we’ve probably ever seen, these guys are sitting in – and selling – their unique “electric go-cart for today’s generation.”

Honestly, we didn’t even know there was a market for these things. And there might not be – but you never know until you try! At least to save money on advertising they took the streets, or more accurately the roads, themselves to get their product out there.

Thank You for Your Service

If this guy is on his way to a costume party, we hope he won the contest. The wannabe-ghostbuster has got it all and has even gone to the trouble of strapping a hoover to his back. No wonder he’s not sitting down – with the time it probably took him to get into the costume we doubt it’s worth the risk of resting your legs.

Of course, maybe he wasn’t on his way anywhere. Perhaps the trains are your best bet for ghost-busting action. But from the looks of this commute, there’s not an awful lot of action to be had. Hopefully, he’ll have better luck in the adjacent carriage.

Get Me to the Church on Time

Luckily, we can see the groom in the background of this photo, or else we’d be worried this was a Runaway Bride situation. This fiance gallops up the steps and out of the subway as elegantly as possible in the given circumstances. But the site of the beautiful white dress grazing the underground walls is making us squirm.

We wonder if this was their plan all along, to take a tube to the wedding, or if their organized transportation buckled. Another possibility is that this couple wanted to take a few wedding photos in the iconic New York City location. But commuter Greg might know a thing or two more than we do, as he captioned this image, “when your limo gets stuck in traffic…”

Surprise Thanksgiving Dinner Aboard an L Train

New Yorker comedian Jodell Lewis looked for a way to spread Thanksgiving cheer and managed to find a unique way to go about it. With his friends, he arranged for Thanksgiving dinner on the train. And we’re not just talking hot pockets and soda cans – he went all out with a full table spread!

It was a plan that took months for him and his friends to implement properly. They cleverly opted for the Brooklyn-bound L train on Sunday as long delays were expected, which gave them more time to feed the commuters. And they included all the trimmings, serving: collard greens, candied yams, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes with gravy, macaroni pie, stuffing, and of course turkey.

The Future of Garbage Disposal?

New York is well-established as a forward-thinking city. That’s why this image of a man wearing plastic bags of garbage is making us stop and think. Before we jump to assumptions about the sanity of this person, perhaps they are simply part of an initiative to start something new in the way of waste disposal and recycling?

On his back he wears a poster that says “Reimagine, Recreate.” Perhaps this gentleman is making some sort of a statement on consumerist culture. Or he’s simply had enough of all the recyclable materials that are casually tossed in the trash. Regardless of his intentions, he’s making us feel firmly in the mix of New York City.

The Client With Far Too Much Faith

Fashion designer turned hairstylist Tess Cheríe started something different by offering haircuts on the platform edge of New York’s subways. She calls her service “underground haircutting” and assures her Instagram followers that she doesn’t leave behind a mess: “Don’t worry, we cleaned up the hair before we left!”

What might seem bizarre to us, could just be another day in the life of a New Yorker. She even managed to give the customer Katie a razor cut. We’re not sure how she was able to stay so concentrated as a roaring train sped past but hey, we’re not the professional at work!

Bad Santas

Only in a major city like New York will you find a crowd of Santa’s running through the streets for Christmas time’s Santacon. These revelers have run into Tompkins Square Park to participate in the event that sees them drinking themselves into a stupor.

It’s gotten so big that some community groups in New York have even established “Santa Free” zones, encouraging bars to refuse serving alcohol to people participating in the annual event. This is mainly due to the high number of public indecency incidents that occur.

A Cat Person Takes It Too Far

“It was a story that could only happen in New York City,” said Jeremy Saland, the criminal defense attorney who prosecuted Antoine Yates. Yates had kept a 500-pound Siberian-Bengal Tiger in his fifth-floor apartment in Harlem. He first aroused suspicion with the local authorities when he admitted himself into hospital in 2003 with large arm and leg bites.

He had told doctors that his pit bull had bitten him but the doctors were suspicious of the large jaw marks. The police were tipped off to the inconsistencies and went to investigate his apartment. Upon arrival, they were met with growling noises, so they had to be creative in approaching the animal. Once caught, the tiger was taken to a zoo to be professionally cared for. Let’s just say, we get why the attorney called it a story that could only happen in NYC.

You Saw Nothing

We’re not sure if she’s trying to be sneaky or trying to reveal her hidden weapon. Either way, we’re pretty amused. upon first glance its a pretty unfriendly stare but after further inspection, we see she is concealing a tiny little kitten in the breast of her trench coat.

We have a lot of questions about what exactly was going on here. Why was she hiding the kitten? Why does she look so mad? Did she steal it from somewhere? Unfortunately, we’re not going to find out exactly what was going on here. We can only stare at her cold, hard stare and wonder what secrets lie behind them.

Sticks and Stones…

There’s nothing like a little passive aggression to start your morning off right. That’s why we love Lizzy, the lady who wore this bright yellow maxi-length cardigan with the words “Your opinion will never cut me a check,” written in bold across the back. In keeping with her defensive image, her Instagram biography reads, “May my enemies work unknowingly in MY favor. It is written!”

In all seriousness, we love the attitude she’s serving the people of New York. She is boldly asserting that what anyone thinks of her is not relevant to her life and doesn’t take won’t impact her in any meaningful way. It’s a great reminder to mind your own business and to stay focused on yourself!

Soldiers Were Wed on the Q Train

It might only be in New York that you find two people who want to marry on a moving train that runs through Brooklyn. Having met while serving in Afghanistan as soldiers, Francis Denmark and Robert Musso opted to tie the knot as they passed over the Manhattan Bridge.

“I was mesmerized,” Francis insisted. “Speechless as I walked on… While I was saying my vows, behind him was the bridge and the water.” They wanted something unique for their special day, boarding a train full of strangers at the Barclays Center and Dekalb station. Aside from the photographer, they had a party of 10 joining them for their moving wedding.

Headphones to Drown out the Haters

This individual has no hesitations walking in the streets of the East Village in Manhattan, not even while wearing this. We’re not sure if he’s going for an a-typical ballet tutu look or albino ostrich chic, but we’re feeling this energy. Don’t miss the silver Cuban heels on him, too!

To set off this monochromatic look, he has his hair colored a fiesta red that adds just the right amount of warmth to the outfit. After all, this guy is Payton Holbrook, a trendy local Manhattan-based hairstylist. He needs to look the part if he’s going to keep working that poncho.