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Train Smiles

March 22, 2016

 

In his own words, Josh Rothberg is “that short, sharp, sometimes funny, real estate agent.” In my words, I’ll add that Josh is “that kind, super talented, witty, gentle soul that is so refreshing to see in New York City.” Josh currently works as a real estate agent, while also actively pursuing stage, theater, and film roles. His signature grin is very inviting and I was very happy to learn his eagerness to share it with this blog. Here is Josh’s #SmileStory:

 

Dear NYC Smile 4 Me,

 

I wanted to share with you an Unexpected #SmileStory.

 

A few years ago I was in the midst of a lot of soul searching; I was trying to find a clear meaning for my life and what I should be doing with it. I had been mulling over a lot of big life changes and they were all swirling in my brain one morning while riding the uptown A train to 145th St.

I was on the stretch between 59th and 125th (you know, where all the “show time” kids put on their performances…) when suddenly a woman started screaming about 6 feet away from me. “HELP ME!!!! My boyfriend’s having a seizure!!! HELLPPP!”  I froze and felt a cold wave of fear flying through my body. What do I do? Do I help? Do I stay here? All the time knowing I didn’t know anything about seizures.

 

As the girlfriend went to the ground with her boyfriend, 3 men (all who happened to be perfectly positioned around her) went down to the subway floor as well. One man said, “Turn him on his side and make sure he doesn’t swallow his tongue.” Another, “Start to rub him to calm him down.” It was like angels had descended upon the situation. All that came out of my mouth was, “Should we pull the emergency brake?” Most of the car yelled, “NO, DON’T! IT WILL STOP THE TRAIN!” I thought to myself, “Well that’s clear; lets not do that!” Unfortunately, another woman did not share in my inner thought process and pulled the lever. We were stuck

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As we waited, now stranded somewhere beneath the busy city of Manhattan inside a dark tunnel that seemed to go on for miles, these men helped to revive the gentleman on the floor. By the time a paramedic got to us, the man was back up in his seat drinking a juice box, Juicy Juice to be exact. The subway car eventually started moving again and within seconds landed at 125th Street. (We were probably 10 feet away when the brakes were engaged.) After refusing to go to the hospital for medical treatment, the dazed (but alert) man walked away with his girlfriend.

 

It was quite the experience. While I was glazed in a haze of self-turmoil, three men came to a complete stranger’s rescue without a moment’s hesitation. It was at this time I realized the silliness of worrying too much over the things I have no control over. I left that dark, underground subway tunnel that day only to re-enter the streets of New York City with a new found appreciation of life and the blessings I have in mine.

 

Selflessness in the face of tragedy is what makes a human being unique and was the cause for me to smile that day. New York may sometimes get a “bad rap” but in a time of crisis, there are no better people to have around you than New Yorkers.