That Moment When NYC Subway Commuters Do Spontaneous Backstreet Boys Singalong

Packed NYC subway car, with passengers singing along to Backstreet Boys classic 6 photos
Photo: Twitter / Joel Wertheimer
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Riding the NYC subway can be a disgusting, dangerous or simply disheartening experience. Last weekend, it turned into a bonding musical experience for a few lucky commuters.

And it was captured on camera. Civil rights attorney Joel Wertheimer was on the train, not really looking forward to the journey in the packed car, since he’d been having a rough week. Then, a shirtless man with a speaker walked in, and the mood suddenly lifted.

He was listening to Backstreet Boys’ ‘90s classic “I Want It That Way” and, to Wertheimer’s surprise, everyone joined in. It was a spontaneous singalong and it helped to bring a genuine smile of happiness on his face. As it will probably do for you: you can see the video at the bottom of the page.

“Had a really tough week and tonight I was the subway and some guy walks between train cars, shirtless, bumping a speaker,”
Wertheimer writes in the caption of the video, which he posted to Twitter. “I wasn't in the mood for Showtime particularly. But sometimes people and life surprise you and a little magic happens.”

Seeing people of various backgrounds and races, perfect strangers come together to sing along to some arguably crappy pop song is truly heart-warming. It’s also what makes NYC so amazing and real, New Yorkers say in the comments to the video. It might not be music that would ever get them the golden ticket on a televised talent competition, but it’s the idea that counts.

In all fairness, this beats witnessing a guy randomly attack an elderly woman and then leaving her bloody and unconscious in the car, as he walks off at the station. It also beats having to look at a big, fat rat trying to climb on the pole near the exit doors, or having to ride the train in a garbage-filled car.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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