Many of us have our slightly offbeat likes and dislikes. Some people like chutney or bourekas or shmaltz, some people have no preference and others cannot stand these foods. Some people enjoy reading Yiddish poetry, others prefer Hebrew or Ladino or French. Some people like old trains... and then there's everyone else.

Actually, quite a few New Yorkers must like old subway trains because the MTA, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, maintains several vintage trains in its collection. Some of these trains are from the 1910s and 1920s, and a few times each year the MTA will bring them out for pleasure rides and photo ops. These events will garner a good deal of press and media airtime.

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For instance, when the local sports teams have been in playoff game series, the MTA will offer rides to particular games on decorated old trains. It brings out the rah-rah energy for many. The Transit Museum, located in downtown Brooklyn, has a collection of old trains in its lower level (the museum is located in a now-unused train station) and gives tours of other unused stations, sometimes ferrying participants around on vintage trains.

And one weekend each June, for the past several years, the MTA offers rides back and forth from one southern Brooklyn train station to another, from Brighton Beach to Kings Highway (my local train station). When our daughters were quite small, my husband took them and one of their buddies on the old trains one day and the kids loved it, and we did too! It is a fun experience, checking out the old accoutrements and even the old advertising cards displayed in the train cars. Some people even dressed up in old fashioned clothing for the day!

So this past Sunday, when the MTA was having their annual Brighton train run, I wanted to participate. But I knew I had a time constraint because we were heading out to Queens, to see the Mets baseball team play versus the Washington Nationals. I wondered how I could swing it time-wise.

But when I got to the Kings Highway train station I realized I could just watch the vintage trains arrive and depart, and still have a chance to see them  and snap photos of them. About a dozen other people had this same idea in mind. But I was the only woman cheering for the old trains.

This was not the first time I noticed this; for whatever reasons, guys seem more out about being "train nerds," or "train buffs." Do other women just not care? Are they too busy for this nonsense? (hey, these are mini-lessons in history and technology!) Or do some women feel embarrassed about giving into their inner "train nerd" selves?

I was a bit like a kid, watching two of the old trains arrive and depart, admiring their old-school horns (more "toot toot" than obnoxious modern blast) and taking picture and videos. When the second one left I saw a woman, around my age, who rolled her eyes at people taking pictures. I said to her "You don't think this is cool? When else do you get to see this?" She rolled her eyes more dramatically.

Listen, I know not everyone is a train nerd. But you should appreciate the unusual, the atypical, the historical, when it passes right by you. You just might learn something.

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