'Subway sleeper' photo goes viral

New York subway rider shares picture of man's act of kindness

Nov 8 6AM subway sleeper Local 6: Morning News
Nov 8 6AM subway sleeper Local 6: Morning News

NEW YORK – Proving not all New Yorkers are unwelcoming and unfriendly, one man's small act of kindness was captured in a picture now being shared around the world.

While riding on the Q train, Mike Braff noticed a man nod off and rest his head on another rider's shoulder. The rider-turned-pillow, 66-year-old Isaac Theil, didn't flinch and didn't ask the man to wake up and move.

"The guy's exhausted," Theil told Local 6 CBS affiliate WCBS. "He's put in a long day and I said, 'let him sleep.'"

Braff told WCBS he asked Theil if he wanted to wake up the sleeping subway stranger. When Theil said no, Braff decided to snap a picture so he could share Theil's thoughtful gesture.

"I was just so tickled that a New Yorker would let another New Yorker sleep on his shoulder," Braff told WCBS. "I just think it was a sweet picture and encapsulates the New York that doesn't get shown a lot."

Theil says the man slept on his shoulder for about 30 minutes.

"He was sort of dead weight on my shoulder," Theil told WCBS. "I knew he was very tired and what would be the point of waking him up? I was fine. I had a seat. He didn't bother me at all."