Waiting in Line Is the New Black

Sanya Sareen
Saturday Night Live is a common show for NYU students to camp out at for tickets.

NYU students might lead busy lives, but that doesn’t prevent a select few from a few from choosing to spend hours doing something the rest of us try to avoid: standing in line.

Steinhardt freshman Jin­ Park is philosophical about her decision to wait in line at Black Tap, a burger restaurant whose over-the-top milkshakes are an Instagram revelation.

“Living in a city where things become redundant in a matter of weeks and there’s a new obsession every other day, there’s nothing quite as validating as a line to tell you that you’re finally where you need to be at that moment,” Park said.

Park doesn’t see waiting in line as much of a hardship either.

“Sometimes the weather can make things much more frustrating, but it’s not like you have to do much,” Park said. “You just stand and occasionally shuffle along. In fact, I even beat my high score on Dots!”

Smartphones and lines are the perfect marriage, giving people the ideal opportunity to indulge in some guilt-­free scrolling.You can’t be accused of being a smartphone recluse while waiting in line for a real-life event.

The cast of the Broadway musical Hamilton have turned line-waiting into an event. Hundreds of people wait outside the theater each night in the hopes of winning a ticket to the perennially sold-out show. Some get a special performance from the musical’s stars called Ham4Ham, including Tisch freshman Queen­tiye Akamefula.

“We had been standing in the Ham4Ham line for about three hours when suddenly Lin­-Manuel Miranda and Jonathan Groff appeared out of nowhere and thanked everyone for their patience,” she said. “I thought that was really nice in itself, but next thing we know the two of them started rapping!”

But not everyone has been as lucky. Gallatin sophomore Caroline Jackowski braved the weather for the change to get standby tickets for a taping of Saturday Night Live, but never even made it inside the studio.

“I stood on line for Tina Fey’s SNL episode for five hours,” Jackowski said. “Halfway through it started to rain, and right when I could see the door, they stopped all entry.”

For those with more money than time, there’s a simple solution. This is where the Same Ole Line Dudes make their entry. Describing themselves as “New York’s Only Professional Line Sitting Team,” this group originally began as a service for people who didn’t want to wait in line for their iPhone 5’s and soon turned into a full-fledged business. Now they wait with sleeping bags in hand to give some lucky New Yorkers the best of both worlds. But with a college student’s budget and a fully charged phone, it seems more likely that we’re going to be doing our own standing for now.

Email Sanya Sareen at [email protected] 

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