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Kid Rides the NYC Subway Alone

Nine–Year–Old NYC Boy Finds His Way Around the City

Izzy Skenazy begged his mama to let him roam the streets of New York City by himself, but she denied him the privilege repeatedly.

Then, one day she broke and she turned him loose on the subways.

To find out what happened,


In the handbag department of Bloomingdale's in midtown Manhattan, Lenore Skenazy gave her son a $20 bill, MetroCard and a map. And with that, the lad navigated his way home on the underground.

Many criticize the mother for letting her child loose in the concrete jungle of NYC. Others applaud her since it is one of the safest big cities in the world.

Would you let your nine–year–old boy ride the subway alone?


Join The Conversation
rrnrios rrnrios 9 years
lol... kids here in Japan travel alone all the time! On my way to work I always see 5 years old or more alone, getting off the train, buying some food for lunch and going to their here are taught very early to do things by themselves... also Japan is very safe so this is not a big issue here! I would never let my kids travel alone in Paris or NYC though...
kia kia 9 years
No big deal if he has been on the subway a lot before. I'd let my nine-year olds do it if I had nine-year olds and felt they were prepared. I traveled solo on public transpo in another urban center at a young age.
tigerlily10 tigerlily10 9 years
I've lived in NYC for 15 years, and have seen more crazy people in bad situations than I'd like to. After being mugged in Penn Station (with several onlookers who did nothing), I know that I would not let a child ride the subway alone. He would be no match for an adult with an agenda.
LA-Mommy712 LA-Mommy712 9 years
Oooh, I don't know. During my three years in NYC, I volunteered with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. My Little Sister rode the subway by herself to and from school at age 11, and she'd sometimes get really scared because she was harrassed by crazy people, and a lot of times, no one came to her rescue. One time this homeless man snatched the glasses off of her face and ran off the subway before anyone could get them back! I do think kids need to learn independence, but what I probably would have done is followed my child around while he navigated the subway by himself. That way he can do what he wants, but I could still step in if something horrible was about to happen.
juliegal juliegal 9 years
tough call....u want them to learn independence..but it should be something they could have planned out better. not just giving $$ and sending him out.... however...he probably knows where he's going and what's he's doing and now hopefully it's out of his system and puts her mind @ ease that if ever needed...he could go it alone....
Roxymoxi Roxymoxi 9 years
The kid has grown up in NYC all his life. He's taken the subway countless times. I'm assuming he's not mentaly deficiant, so of course I would let him ride home by himself! Although I would be following 100 yards behind him the first three times!
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
As much as it can be annoying to have your child beg you for something over and over, I don't think I could ever give into a request like that. My daughter is 8 we live in a good neighborhood and her school/park is down the street from us. I could yell and call her or jog there within 2 seconds and I STILL don't let her go down to the park unless she is with several friends and I check on her every 15 minutes or so.
HipMom HipMom 9 years
Absolutely not. Maybe if he was a little older.
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 9 years
I live in NY so the subway really isn't that scary of a place. I don't think I would have just tossed him in the street that way but to each their own I suppose.
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