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Straphanger Spotted Snacking on Endive 'Leaf by Leaf' on the Subway

By Gwynne Hogan | April 15, 2016 5:26pm
 Frances Calandra hurriedly snapped this picture of the endive eater on the left.
Frances Calandra hurriedly snapped this picture of the endive eater on the left.
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Courtesy of Frances Calandra

A woman eating an endive "leaf by leaf," on the subway so perplexed her fellow straphanger that the observer took to Craiglist Rants and Raves section hoping to reconnect with her.

"I have so many questions for you. Did you have that in your purse all day...Did you grow up on a farm, and the endive is the one food that takes you to your happy place," the post, which went live Thursday night, reads.

"Anyway, I don't need to meet you, I just want to understand, why? Why an endive?"

Frances Calandra, 35, the author of the post, said it was the first time ever she'd been moved enough to resort to Craiglist for answers about the perplexities of the city around her.

She first thought that she'd seen the woman on the L train, though she later remembered the woman was riding south on the F train just before she got off at 14th street, she said. 

"I've lived in New York for 16 years and I've seen everything that could possibly be," Calandra. "It was an endive. I was not ready for it."

The leafy snack triggered a flurry of questions for Calandra, she said.

"Is she anorexic? No, that's sad. She's not that tiny. Is it a trend that I don't know about? Is it as good as a chip and we don't know," she wondered.

After ten or fifteen minutes the woman was still, "chomping and looking at her phone just one by one peeling [leaves] off."

"It just seems like the most sad food you could possibly eat from a train ride home from anywhere." Calandra said, who works for Microsoft. "Am I crazy?"

Calandra snapped a quick picture on her way off the train. She got back to her East Williamsburg home and posted a Craiglist ad just before midnight. By Friday afternoon she'd gotten a few troll responses but no endive woman.

More than actually trying to find the mysterious woman with the endive, Calandra said she hoped to open up a conversation about the pros and cons of endive eating on the subway.

"It was sort of like 'boom,' mic drop," Calandra said. "That's it, I've seen everything."