Jay-Z was right. New York City is a "concrete jungle where dreams are made of" and "there's nothing you can't do." Until the subway breaks down, which it does on the reg. And then you're pretty much screwed.
That's what happened to Jerich Alcantara, 22, who got stuck underground on the E train and missed his commencement ceremony from Hunter-Bellevue College of Nursing on Tuesday.
"I was on track to be at my commencement at 9:15 a.m., but the delays altogether ended up taking almost three hours," Alcantara told New York Magazine. "After 45 minutes, I knew I was already late, but I kept hoping that I’d at least make it to walking the stage."
Welp, he didn't get to walk the stage. But he DID get a complete "graduation ceremony" on the crowded E train, with the support of his fellow subway riders.
His friend Nadiya Afzal shared footage of the impromptu ceremony on Facebook, where it went viral. For a little reminder that humanity isn't always the worst, you can watch here:
The video has been shared nearly 15,000 times, and inspired a ton of positive comments about NYC and New Yorkers (which we semi-deserve).
And, of course, a lot of negative comments about the New York MTA Subway system (100% deserved).
Of course, someone had to step in to New York-splain the NYC subway system.
But this guy should know that the MTA punishes you even (and especially) when you leave early. Alcantara told CNN that he and his family left their home in Jackson Heights, Queens, at 8 a.m. to leave extra time to arrive for the 10 a.m. commencement in Manhattan. But after only one stop, someone pulled the emergency brake, and it took nearly two hours for a rescue train to eventually arrive and take the riders to their next stop, CNN reports.
"Everyone was really upset," said Alcantara, who was traveling with friends and family who'd come from out of town to see him graduate. So the soon-to-be-grad, who was already wearing his ceremonial robes, announced to the subway car that they would be joining him for his graduation ceremony on the E-train.
"I told them I appreciated them all coming and that it meant so much that they were there," he told CNN. Then his friend played grad tunes from a speaker, like "Good Riddance (Time of your Life)" by Green Day, while another friend showed him a "diploma" on his cell phone, and the whole train car cheered.
As someone pointed out on Twitter, life really DOES imitate art/an episode of Full House.
Alcantara was bummed to miss his graduation. But he says the underground graduation ceremony put everyone on the train "in a brighter mood." Until the party was over and everyone exited the subway car, of course. And then they became New Yorkers again.
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York