Several Paris metro stations have IKEA lounge furniture installed for general public comfort. The installations will remain until 3.24. It’s utterly impossible to envision this happening in the New York subway system. There would be vomit and urine stains all over the furniture in no time, not to mention discarded condoms and the odor of booze and beer, etc. Bums would take up permanent residence.

How, then, is this happening in Paris without apparent incident? The answer is that Paris, quite simply, is somehow better regulated and managed regarding its homeless underclass. Less crude and coarse than Manhattan — smoother, cleaner, silkier. How else to explain the IKEA experiment? Am I wrong about Manhattan subways and the skanky element they seem to attract or at least accomodate?