The Paris Review

Here for the Ride: Andre D. Wagner’s Subway Photographs

All photos: © Andre D. Wagner

I spent my first twenty-three years on this planet living in the same apartment building in the Bronx. I felt ownership over those gum-stained concrete blocks. I dreamed of scattering my ashes on them when I died, like Miguel Piñero scattered his around the Lower East Side. (I still might.)

Then, two years ago, when I was twenty-five, I left New York. I left because I was tired. I started working at thirteen to contribute to my household. I busted my ass in public schools, got a scholarship to a Catholic high school, and graduated college with an Ivy League degree. Despite all this, I lived check to check, just like everyone else I knew. I wanted to do the things my single mom had never had the chance to, like own property or save for retirement. But I saw the money flowing into

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