1). The Tourist Family
You know they are close before you even lay eyes on their fanny packs, dad jeans, and white wine mother because you can hear their unruly children. “A weekend in New York with our public schooled, ADD filled, and uncontrollable children sound amazing,” said no parents ever. But they have to do it. Right?! The mom and dad are mapping out what “trendy” restaurants still allow children while the kids are kicking the sh!t out of grandma’s seat, playing video games with the sound on, and singing some God awful children’s song. You stare, with contempt, and then you say nothing. Because you either were that kid, or are going to be those parents. #Karma
2). The Way Too Perfect Couple
You already saw them at Union Station; you loved her Carolina Herrera bag or his new Gucci loafers, their perfectly tailored clothes, those blinding white teeth, their tan (vacation tan, not fake tan) skin, and their incredibly light luggage. You secretly want to be them, or at least be best friends with them, so now you hate them, and you hate yourself for clearly being envious. “I bet they have a place in the City,” and “Clearly she doesn’t eat because that waist doesn’t match that chest,” are things that come into your mind. They board first because even in the First Class Silent Car they want people to know they had their seats first. Ugh, even her sneeze is cute, and OMFG of course he has a handkerchief ready!!!
3). The “First Time” (aka very confused) Amtrak Traveler
This person is so confused. They have a carry on duffel and a larger rolling bag which you notice as they continuously ask every attendant “Where can I check my bag?” After they order a large black coffee from Starbucks they go stand immediately in front of the doors, because, you know, the security line. The perplexed look when they are walking to the train without going through security intensifies when they realize the cars, and seats, aren’t numbered. Once on board, they ask you if there is going to be drink and food service, then recoil in the horror of the phrase “dinning car.”
4). The Regular
This train traveling genius knows more about rail than Joe Biden. Typically one who lives in either NY or DC but works during the week in the other, or has a significant other in NY. Comfortable yet stylish clothes, a perfectly sized duffel bag/rolling bag whose contents are packed knowing exactly what is in store for their train ride. Casually sitting close, but not too close to the doors in the Station, they know their car, say hello to Frank on the way in, and settle down. Once seated, duffel in the chair beside them because they don’t want that nervous typical plane traveling schmuck talking to them, the ritual begins. Tray down, laptop out (prepared to use the free WiFi obviously), bottle of liquor or wine and travel cup ready, magazines for when too buzzed to keep working, and a Xanax. This person is straight winning this train ride. Take notes.
5). The Runaway
Is this person okay? Should someone call their parents? Wait…maybe they’re homeless? Are they homeless? No way: clothes are normal, clearly they have money for that latte, but why are they looking all shifty? Hhhmmmm…not really your concern. Move along.
6). The Businessman/woman
Pressed suit, polished shoes, tie still knotted at the top, blazer buttoned, perfect accessories, jewelry and cufflinks included, yeah…they’ve done this before. Alone, quiet, solitary. No talking, no looking, all business, just waiting to get home. WSJ and Financial Times folded under their arm, coffee, black, which will then be filled with hard liquor. Don’t get in their way, don’t stare (for too long), just admire. Quietly from a distance that is.
7). The fake hipster teenager you want to punch
“Going to New York for the weekend brah to see The Flaming Monkey Punchers and stay with Steve, my sister’s ex-boyfriend who has a sweet place in Williamsburg man,” they yell into their phone as you stare, roll your eyes, and make note to never reproduce. Skin tight jeans, some stupid shoes, and a tight flannel shirt with some ironic Che or PBR tee shirt underneath. A ton of bracelets; sure bud, I bet you did get that in Tibet and not Topman, whatever you say. Some neon calculator or Star Wars watch. Wait! They’re traveling with a Swaine Adeney Brigg’s Windsor handmade leather luggage set, and that’s when you notice their class ring from The Madeira School in McClean, VA. Now you really hate them.
Thank you seven wonders of the Amtrak DC-NYC world.