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With One Photo, The Average Commute Becomes Super Special
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With One Photo, The Average Commute Becomes Super Special

U.S. Commutes: The Way We Get To Work

With One Photo, The Average Commute Becomes Super Special
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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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And we've been asking you to share your commuting pictures and stories with us, and then we've been posting them online to a special NPR commuting project. One of those pictures led to this story.


Amateur street photographer Jabali Sawicki of Brooklyn, New York likes to spend his commute taking pictures of who and what he sees around him.

MONTAGNE: He tagged a photo on Instagram of a mother and son on a subway. The two appear to be in their own world, reading a book together, the little boy's hand resting on his mother's shoulder as she tenderly bends over him. Here's Sawicki's caption.

JABALI SAWICKI: 5:15 p.m. on the C train, 34th Street, Penn Station, back home to Fort Greene, Brooklyn: giving the gift of reading, a magical moment between mother and son. It may seem like just another subway ride, but with a book an imagination, the adventures are limitless.

INSKEEP: He did not know the mother son, but he was about to meet them, thanks to his photo.

MONTAGNE: That's because she was checking in on the online NPR commuting project, and she saw someone had posted the C train commute.

MEGAN FREUND: I was reading the news online, and I saw that the story had been posted, and I was very disappointed, because I had wanted to take a picture of our commute. And so I was scrolling through the photos, and I saw myself. And it was just sort of - it was surreal to see myself and my son sitting there on the train reading, and that somebody had noticed that moment.

MONTAGNE: That's Megan Freund. She commutes three hours a day with her three-and-a-half-year-old son, Eli. They've been doing it since he was a baby.

FREUND: You know, I started crying, just because I was so overwhelmed. It felt really incredible. Obviously, we ride the train a lot. And, you know, sometimes the commute, while it's lovely and we get to spend lots and lots of time together, sometimes it's just work, you know, if he's in a bad mood, or I'm tired. But somebody noticed that there was something really important going on between us. It felt incredible.

INSKEEP: So, having discovered this photo online, Freund reached out to Sawicki online, and asked for a copy. The two quickly realized they have more in common: they are both educators, both parents, and they share part of a commute.

SAWICKI: Every day now that I get on the train, I'm looking, just 'cause I want to give her son a high-five and give her a hug and tell her she's doing a fantastic job.

FREUND: It's a really nice reminder, especially, you know, especially when the days are long and the commutes are long, that we're so fortunate to have this time together.

MONTAGNE: You can see a picture Jabali Sawicki took of Megan Freund and her son at, and you can share your commuting images and stories with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #NPRCommute.

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