NEW YORK—According to evening commuters, 26-year-old web designer Kevin Hanley summoned every resource at his disposal Tuesday in an effort to appear more thoughtful and sophisticated, hoping to capture the attention of an attractive woman on the subway. "As soon as she got on the train, he sat up straighter, adjusted the angle he was holding his book at so he could show off the title, and started doing this thing where he would casually run his fingers across his stubble," said a witness to the scene, adding that Hanley would also look off into the middle distance from time to time and smile as though he were contemplating something humorous or poignant. "And at one point, I swear to God, he even furrowed his brow and wrote something down in a little notebook." When he gave up his seat to an elderly person in an effort to look chivalrous, the attractive woman appeared to notice Hanley at last, walking up to him, saying "Excuse me," and maneuvering past him so she could exit at her stop.