Today, Matt Green and Don Badaczewski are attempting to break the record for riding the entire subway system in the least amount of time (the current record is 25 hours, 11 minutes). They are starting this morning at 6AM at Rockaway Park and ending on the 6 to Pelham Bay Park.
How old are you? Where do you live?
Matt is 26. He lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and works in Manhattan as a transportation engineer. He is originally from Ashland, VA. Matt's father grew up in Brooklyn, and he still has some family there.
Don is 24. He is in law school at the University of Michigan. He just finished doing a summer internship at a law firm here in NYC. This is the second summer he has spent in NYC working for a law firm. He is originally from Grosse Pointe, MI.
We both went to University of VA for undergrad, which is where they met, and we were both in the Washington Society, a literature and debate club.
What do you do when you're not plotting to ride the subway?
Don likes to play video games, read online encyclopedia articles, and study tropical weather formations. Matt enjoys poring over maps and satellite images, looking at the moon through his binoculars, and walking around Brooklyn. We both enjoy trivia, particularly trivia related to geography, infrastructure, and sports statistics.
How did you get interested in endurance subway riding?
We've always been interested in horrible feats of endurance. For example, we once participated in a taco-eating contest in which all four participants ate sixteen tacos. To break the tie, we then went outside and had a mile-long race barefoot in the dead of winter, bellies full of tacos. One guy puked in a shed.
Why try to break this record?
This record was a particularly fitting one for us. As mentioned above, we're always on the lookout for meaningless feats of endurance. But the subway is near and dear to both of our hearts. Quite frankly, it's a pillar of our very being. We greatly respect the critical role that it plays in NYC, both today and historically. It has had tremendous impacts on the demographics of NYC. We feel that its influence in shaping the city we know today often goes unnoticed, and we're here to tip our hat to everything it's done for us.
What are your strategies to keep your sanity during the journey? Snacks? Entertainment?
We do not plan on keeping our sanity during the trip. As for snacks, we will be eating and drinking as little as possible to minimize production of waste. We are only going to be eating beef jerky. Our entertainment will largely be our fellow subway riders and, as the ride progresses, ourselves. It will be an interesting psychological experiment to read over our journal after we're done and see how our level of coherence and conscious thought deteriorates as we go.
What's your favorite subway line?
Matt's is the D. It has mad blastin' up Central Park and through Brooklyn skillz. Don's is the 6, because it comes every 14 seconds, is clean, and provides intelligible announcements. Both of us hate the L the most, because it is busted.
What do you think are the best and worst gentrification trends?
The best trend is the transformation of NYC from a nightmare death zone in the 1980s to a livable city today. If the price of this improvement is the Disneyland crapscape of Times Square and the hipsters in Williamsburg, it is well worth it.
What's your favorite place in the city?
Matt's is Sunset Park in Brooklyn. It has an amazing view of Upper New York Bay and Manhattan and is convenient to Brooklyn's Chinatown on 8th Ave and a million delicious taco places on 5th Ave. The neighborhood is very vibrant, and there are always tons of people out in the park, picnicking, playing volleyball, and otherwise enjoying themselves. Don's favorite place is Grand Central Terminal. It navigated the same treacherous path as Times Square, but came out dignified and beautiful, instead of the worst eyesore this side of Los Angeles.
Who has better headlines - the NY Post or Daily News?
Matt and Don do not read the papers. They get all of their knowledge from the Wikipedia. Which reminds us.
More information is available at Matt and Dan's Myspace page. Periodic updates during the ride will be available by calling a voicemail line: (718) 407-4697.