There were more than just ads on the walls of a Manhattan subway corridor on Wednesday — as a Brooklyn man invited New Yorkers to share their sometimes sad thoughts on the 2016 election. Transit Reporter Jose Martinez has that story.
It's not therapy on a couch — but in a subway station.
"Everyone can learn from each other."
And on Wednesday, with many straphangers stinging from the election of Donald Trump, Matthew Chavez turned their commutes into a counseling session that he calls 'Subway Therapy.'
"I thought it was going to be a really stressful couple of days," Chavez said. "It has been and it's probably going to keep being stressful and I want to make people smile and laugh and feel less stressed."
Hundreds of riders wrote notes that were then posted on the walls of the corridor linking the 14th Street stations of the Sixth and Seventh Avenue lines.
There were notes about unity and there were others that weren't so kind toward President-elect Trump.
"I wrote, 'embrace diversity,'" said straphanger Chris Mayer. "I feel like the president-elect has run on a campaign of division and I think unity is important and diversity is what makes this country great."
"I just thought that it was beautiful and in a way therapeutic," said Gabriella Peguero." It was really inspiring to see the unity of New Yorkers."
The corridor between the 14th street stations has been similarly used on past Valentines Days and after 9/11.
"I think a lot of people have just been walking by today and just didn't really know who to talk to or how to express how they were feeling so I think maybe this gave people an outlet to do that," Chavez said.
Chavez had been doing subway therapy for about six months in stations throughout the city. But until Wednesday, he hadn't broken out the Post-It notes.
"Usually, I just sit down and talk to people individually," Chaves said. "But today, I brought a bunch of Post-Its out because I wanted to reach more people."
While many riders kept walking, others slowed down long enough to let their feelings out.
"The quiet times, just passing through transit, it shows me that people care enough to say how they feel emotionally," said Sandra Rivera.
The Post-It notes won't be sticking around, Chavez said, because he doesn't want to hassle subway station cleaners. But he says riders shouldn't be surprised to see him take Subway Therapy elsewhere.
"Thank you man. It's going to be ok!"