Yeah, there are rats, service disruptions, drunken old men, drunken young women, and the pungent odor of pee, but dammit, the New York City subway runs 24/7. And I mean the whole system, not just a couple of train lines here or there. In the city that never sleeps (an oft-quoted untruth), the 24-hour bars and 24-hour diners and 24-hour pharmacies and 24-hour gyms and 24-hour Apple Store remain connected by underground rail. The late night trains that stop at each station don’t convey the same warp-speed urgency of the express trains that race underneath the grid of Manhattan at ten blocks a minute, but the lower number of riders means available seats and fewer obstacles when rushing through the maze-like transfer stations.
There’s also the loopier entertainment; at midnight, you not only get the drummers and the guitarists and accordion players, you get to see punchy folks getting jiggy like this in the subway: