The passengers from New Jersey spill out of the train station and across the blistering sidewalks of Lower Manhattan, oblivious to one another as they steamroll toward their destinations.
One rider stands out from the pack: a broad-shouldered man wearing jeans, T-shirt and a baseball cap, a tattered gym bag slung over one shoulder. He takes in the scene outside the station, at the edge of the former World Trade Center, and homes in on a young couple.
"Do you know the past? That's the question I ask!" he barks cheerfully at the pair, who have no time to respond before he fires off his next question.
"Where are you from?"
"Uh, L.A.," the...