the smallest subway buffs

Sorry, but I seem to have gotten to the site too late to be able to link to the story with photos of these kids. But the story more than stands up by itself.

I grew up crazy about cars, but now as I approach adulthood I find my enthusiam more than tempered by the magic carpet of the subway. In truth, it seems that you don't really have to be crazy about cars to be an American kid - as long as there's an underground railway you can fall in love with.

They are the smallest subway buffs. Still almost short enough to sprint under a turnstile without bumping their heads, they can tell you more about the subway than most MetroCard-carrying adults have forgotten. In other cities, children with such an aptitude for geography and transportation might be able to identify different types of S.U.V.'s or navigate the megamall. In New York, subway whiz kids are much more helpful: they can tell you how to get from Middle Village, Queens, to Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, with only two transfers.

And this knowledge does not come without hard work. It involves hours of late-night reading. At 3 years old, in the same way some kids take teddy bears to bed, he was taking the subway map to bed and studying it," said Sandeep Puri, Alexander's father, watching his son the other day as he sat in rapt concentration in the middle of an oversized map spread out in the entryway.

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Published on May 29, 2003 11:24 PM.

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