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In February, when Beyoncé introduced that she would embark on a world tour for her “Renaissance” album, New Yorkers started furiously plotting their journeys to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
They debated the deserves of Ubers and celebration buses. They organized automobile swimming pools and chartered vans. However many selected a extra accessible mode of journey to see Queen Bey: New Jersey Transit.
We knew followers would gown for the event. So we pitched an thought to Louis Lucero II, a Kinds editor and a self-described Beyoncé superfan: to document the so-called BeyHive, as its members, of their glamorous and infrequently bedazzled outfits, waited on platforms and traveled on crowded trains to the present.
On a scorching and sticky Saturday final month, we met by the Dunkin’ in Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan for the primary of Beyoncé’s two exhibits at MetLife that weekend. Once we arrived on the station round 4 p.m., all the things appeared regular: Vacationers pushed, shoved and scowled their method via the station, suitcases trailing behind them.
However as we approached the New Jersey Transit ready space, indicators of the BeyHive started to emerge. Outdoors a newsstand, a lady wore a soccer jersey with the title of Beyoncé’s track “Thique” embroidered on the again. The density of sequins contained in the station was rising.
A spot beneath the departures board — the place vacationers usually wait for his or her practice platform to be introduced — proved significantly good for people-watching. There we regarded for anybody sporting a cowboy hat; Beyoncé wore a glittery model in promotional photographs for her album, and we guessed followers would do the identical.
From afar, we noticed a variety of cowboy hats and adopted them to Monitor 14, the place we struck up conversations with a number of vibrantly dressed concertgoers. A lot of the followers had been excited to inform us about what Beyoncé’s music meant to them, or in regards to the effort and time that went into every of their seems.
Imani Tudor, 28, a photograph editor from Brooklyn, mentioned she dyed her eyebrows pink that morning. Seeing that others had additionally put collectively futuristic, avant-garde seems that had been impressed by Beyoncé’s most up-to-date album stuffed Ms. Tudor with pleasure. “I’ve been listening to this in my room alone for the previous yr,” she mentioned.
Once we arrived at MetLife Stadium about half-hour later, Ms. Tudor and different members of the ecstatic crowd spilled out of the automobile. We headed again to the town on an empty practice — after which hopped on one other crowded practice headed again to New Jersey.
Throughout every journey, Amir pointed his digicam via the home windows of practice vehicles, throughout platforms and up escalators seeking attention-grabbing folks and contrasts, like a household with big suitcases being swept up in a throng of Beyoncé followers. The vestibule on the finish of every automobile proved a very compelling backdrop for footage; the reflective silver floor matched many passengers’ shiny equipment.
We had been additionally keen to speak with individuals who weren’t going to the present, like Jair Fonseca, who simply occurred to be sporting a cowboy hat that day. Like many different unintentional passengers on the Beyoncé Categorical, Mr. Fonseca, 38, who owns a Peruvian restaurant, expressed a mixture of bewilderment and awe at his environment.
We rode to and from New Jersey six occasions that Saturday, taking a quick break for doughnuts after journey No. 5. At one level within the day, a station attendant took pity on us and began swiping us via the turnstile at no cost (he had thought we had been hopelessly misplaced; we defined that we had been journalists). As Beyoncé took the stage at MetLife that night, we took the F practice again to our respective flats to begin sorting via notes and pictures.
The subsequent day, Amir photographed extra fashionable concertgoers en path to Beyoncé’s second present. We despatched one another texts all through the day: The place did we meet the couple who had stopped for Häagen-Dazs, though they had been operating late? Did we get an image of the lady with a “Yoncé” lip tattoo?
Our hope was that such particulars would talk the dedication and aptitude that had been on show in probably the most mundane of settings. It’s one factor to jot down that the BeyHive is a passionate group; it’s one other to publish a picture of a lady with a distinct picture of Beyoncé imprinted on every of her fingernails.
When the article was revealed on-line, we each felt that all the journeys had been value it — even when it concerned a very inefficient strategy to get to MetLife Stadium. However possibly subsequent time we’ll Uber.