Train hopping – that is, the art and practice of sneaking on board a freight train and riding the open rails – has long drawn literary greats in search of adventure, from Jack Kerouac to Jack London. Brooklyn-based Jeff Seal, however, is more hobo clown than high-flying author. And what’s up with his ridiculous helmet?
A film-maker, comedian and “self-proclaimed idiot” by trade, Seal makes his living doing stand-up and shooting short documentaries. Some of his recent productions for the website Gothamist include an eminently practical guide to dumpster diving and an intriguing inside look at New York City’s underground urbex scene.
His latest work, uploaded to YouTube, saw him attempting to train hop from Queens to Montauk in New York State. “I wanted to make this trip ever since my friend told me about it,” he told Gothamist. “I liked the idea that I could catch out somewhere that was near a subway stop and then just make it back home the same or next day.”