Have you seen this video of the subway rat carrying the crab?

When Hurricane Ida hit New York City last month, an incredible and terrifying scene occurred in the 28th and Seventh Avenue subway stati...


When Hurricane Ida hit New York City last month, an incredible and terrifying scene occurred in the 28th and Seventh Avenue subway stations in Midtown Manhattan. Water began to gush out from under the platform in a violent, scorching geyser, turning the subway into a universal merry-go-round.

A biker captured the moment on a smartphone and, within an hour, the video was posted to Instagram Account MetroCreatures, where he has accumulated hundreds of thousands of views. TV stations around the world picked up the 20-second clip, which has become a defining image of the deadly storm, if not the precariousness of city life in a warming world.

That the clip first appeared on SubwayCreatures was appropriate. The account, which has been around since 2013, aims to provide a voyeuristic look at New York City’s transit system, but it has also become a clearinghouse for breaking news and viral videos.

Like any reality show, SubwayCreatures focuses on the weird, the sensational, the comedic, and occasionally and for good measure, the surprisingly poignant. He’s not interested in your mundane daily commutes, but rather the crazy incident that pulls you out of your blind gaze. It uses the Great Equalizer – the facet of city life that every New Yorker, but the wealthiest, must engage with – to channel and disseminate our collective identity.

Recent posts include a video of a rat on the runways pull a crab; a photo of a man sitting casually looking at his phone squeezing inflatable sex doll; and a guy wearing face paint like the Joker, villain of “Batman” and juggling with a butterfly knife.

Daring rescues of passengers on the tracks sometimes offer high-stakes drama. Buskers appear regularly. Animals too, whether it’s a raft of ducks or a man in a jumpsuit with a fabric plumage.

“Whenever you think you’ve seen the craziest thing on this page, there’s always something the next day that makes you forget,” Shannan Ferry said, a presenter and reporter for NY1 which is one of the account’s 2.4 million followers. “The New York subway is the gift that keeps on giving.”

SubwayCreatures gets almost all of its content from other bikers, who see something striking, pull out their smartphones (quietly, hopefully), and send the photo or video to the account creator, listed as @ rickmcguire13.

It won’t shock anyone to learn that @ rickmcguire13, real name Rick McGuire, is a veteran television producer who lives in Hell’s Kitchen and specializes in viral videos. He previously worked on a music video show called “truTV Presents: World’s Dumbest… ”and spent several years as a freelance for MTV and other networks.

SubwayCreatures started as a hobby site, with Mr. McGuire posting videos he took and aggregating weird images he browsed the web. But the Instagram account has since grown so popular – and lucrative – that it has become her full-time job.

Mr. McGuire makes money by licensing the videos to media and music video shows such as MTV’s “Ridiculousness.” He also publishes sponsored posts: recent examples include a video of the Irish singer-songwriter Hozier performing in the subway for Columbia Records, and videos people moving large and strange objects in the metro paid by Openigloo, an owner review site.

Mr. McGuire, who receives dozens of submissions daily for SubwayCreatures and two other Instagram accounts he manages, What is NewYork and WhatNewYorkEat, said his main challenge is to see human comedy with new eyes.

“There’s a part of me that’s completely desensitized,” said McGuire, recently sitting in Union Square Park, where he enjoys people-watching. “You really see the worst of New Yorkers. I have to think, ‘What’s a Ordinary does anyone think about that? ‘”

The rat and the crab, however, was a given. “People are eating these videos,” McGuire said. “It was a Finding Nemo situation – the beginning or the end of a Disney movie.”

Mr McGuire, who is 37, said he avoids posting conflicts – the camera always turns on in the middle of the argument, making it difficult to judge what happened. He also stays away from politics.

What about nudity and other obscene behavior?

“I get this at least once a day,” Mr. McGuire said. Earlier today, in fact, he had posted a video of a woman rubbing a man’s nipple on a crowded train car. “I was afraid” it would go too far, he said. “But I thought it was so out and about and wild.”

When people submit videos at SubwayCreatures, they must agree to waive their copyright. If Mr. McGuire allows someone’s video, however, he cuts them off in the deal. “It makes people keep sending videos,” he said.

On the day Ida struck, Mr. McGuire predicted a busy night and set up a command center in his apartment, where he monitored several weather-tracking apps. He said to his girlfriend, “You just have to let me go.”

Mr McGuire received more than 800 videos, he said, and was responding to inquiries from television producers in Japan, Switzerland and Germany. “I was until 3 or 4 in the morning,” he said. “In my world you have to be the first. You don’t want to be the second to post a video.

Mr. McGuire has come to think of himself “almost like a media reporter,” especially during events that affect the subway such as storms.

Still, he said, his favorite videos are less dramatic, what he called “New York moments.” Like when someone’s luggage wheel got stuck into the closing doors, and the other passengers all stood up to help, mostly to get the train going.

Mr. McGuire also enjoys posting real acts of kindness, but rarely receives them. “Nobody registers for the right things,” he said.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Have you seen this video of the subway rat carrying the crab?
Have you seen this video of the subway rat carrying the crab?
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