Stunts on the New York City subways are usually so unremarkable that no number of mariachi bands, Showtime dance crews, or fire and brimstone preachers can shake the resolve of the daily commuter. But getting stuck on the same train car as an amateur Soundcloud rapper can’t prepare someone for this shit: a Thanksgiving feast, tablecloth and all.
On Sunday, a woman wearing an apron with the Instagram handle “@ChefBea6218” written on it, carved a turkey and served up a slew of sides—greens, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and more—for passengers on a Brooklyn-bound L train. The tablescape even included battery-operated candlesticks and bottles of cider, because this was a classy fucking affair.
“Everybody, get their plate, sit down, and eat!” someone yelled as Chef Bea piled mashed potatoes onto a paper plate.
Flannery Foster, co-founder and CEO of Good Yoga found herself in the middle of the festivities, which she posted to Instagram.
“@chefbea6218 invited me to #thanksgiving today,” she wrote. “The #Macandcheese was correct and the company was #classy. I F’ing love #nyc.”
Giselle Guzman also posted an Instagram story of the event with the caption, “There’s nothing like the holiday season in the city.” It was later posted on Twitter.
And here’s a TikTok video of yet another angle of the feast:
Of course, this event immediately became a controversial one. Commuters are always divided over showy subway stunts, and the very idea of eating on the subway where vermin, used condoms, and unpleasant odors roam is enough to make New Yorkers heave. Combine the two, and you’ve got some assuming that this is the work of New York City transplants as others heartily embrace the move as a showing of holiday cheer.
Eating a plate of gravy-smothered turkey and mac and cheese on a hot and crowded L train describes my personal hell. But at least there’s an element of community to this stunt, unlike the time a woman enjoyed a sad-looking lobster birthday dinner and a pinata on the J train a year ago while apathetic passengers looked on. So despite the lingering ick factor, it’s somewhat endearing. Maybe it brightened a hungry commuter’s day. Maybe someone short on cash who really could have used a free meal got in on the action. Maybe the greens were fire. Maybe the train car didn’t smell like piss. I don’t fucking know. What I do know is that Chef Bea hasn’t even posted about the Thanksgiving feast on her Instagram account yet, so maybe this is the moderately selfless act of holiday cheer we’ve been waiting for.