5 New York Subway Pick-Up Tips That Will Never Work on SEPTA

Brian Johnson's book on meeting women on mass transit will need some revisions for a Philly edition.


I can’t imagine what drove Brian Robinson to look for dates on the subway. In the age of Tinder and Match.com — when anything from a hook-up to a minivan is a click away — he prefers to meet women on New York’s subway.

In an aggressively weird profile in the New York Post, Robinson claims to have gone out with “about 500” women thanks to his “smooth” pick-up lines (which, in reality, seem to be plucked from Saved by the Bell drafts). He’s writing an advice book, How to Meet Women on the Subway, despite the fact that most reactions The Post witnessed during a ride-along were somewhere between almost pleasant and politely annoyed — although he did walk away with at least one business card.

Salon is not amused, and neither is Hollaback!, a nonprofit that works to end street harassment. I can see why, as Robinson — who mostly seems like a harmless nerd — comes off a little predatory when he says things like, “There’s always beautiful women down there — tons.”

But I live in Philadelphia, where I don’t have the luxury of being outraged by the Brian Robinsons of the world.

So you prepared some not overtly gross chitchat? And you promise to not touch me and/or yourself for the duration of the ride? Whatever, Bri — have a seat, and hook a girl up with that Metro while you’re at it.  (I will not, however, extend the same courtesy to The Post’s Gary Buiso, who dubs Robinson a “subterranean seducer” and leads with this gem: “If you see some pretty young thing, say something.” Dude, that falls on the wrong side of this blurred line.)

Robinson’s book is, according to The Post, coming out this week (although some version of it is already getting suspicious Amazon reviews). But no matter how desperate you are, if you’re in Philly, you’ll want to skip it. While Robinson’s advice might work in New York, these tactics — which he so generously shared with The Post — won’t fly on SEPTA.

“Don’t ever try during rush hour.”

Mistake, Bri. This is SEPTA, where we have it on good authority that at least two people poo per year. There are, on any given day, maybe four dateable people riding, and they are all commuting during peak hours. This is not New York — past 6:15 p.m., those cute Eagles fans you’re chatting up on the Broad Street Line just stole a disabled veteran’s prosthetic leg. Can I call you a cab, kiddo?

“Always carry a loaded MetroCard; pay for her ride if she’s fumbling at the turnstile.”

This MetroCard you speak of sounds extremely convenient and streamlined — so no, we don’t have them. Now, is a conversation with this woman worth one of the precious tokens you hunted down under a full moon in the sign of Aquarius? Didn’t think so. Chivalry is understandably dead when it requires exact change.

“Always wear a suit and carry a briefcase — it communicates strength and security, even if you live with your mom.”

If you’re wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase on the El, I assume you’re selling bootleg DVDs — and I already bought 22 Jump Street, thank you.

“Limit the chitchat — once she’s engaged and you’ve developed some dialogue (1 to 2 minutes), say, ‘I’d love to visit with you longer … but my stop is approaching … do you have e-mail?’ Once you get the number or e-mail, get off, even if it’s not your stop. Leave her wanting more.”

If you’re at Second and Market, sure — go ahead, get off, and maybe try to get the “e-mail address” of an Old City hostess. But don’t even think about pulling this at the Girard stop: Fishtown, despite its progressive tipping policies and bougie coffee, will still happily eat you and your briefcase alive, sir.

“Ask where she’s from; if she’s from NYC or somewhere local, just say, ‘I thought you were French.’”

Listen buddy, I’m from the Northeast — we’re all from the Northeast. And yet … did you say French? Really? OK, this one might work on me.

Follow @IProposeToast on Twitter.