Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Black Swan

Because the "Fuck Off or I'll Kill Myself" tat was taken.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I have to be straight with you, dear reader: ignoring is bliss.


So, I have to tell you something.

I made a conscious decision to cut down on my daily subway reports because, well, frankly, it was getting to me.

Many of you have approached me in search of the answer as to why I've been such a slacker at reporting the news of what, and who, is down there. So, I must come clean to everyone.

It's like this: The more you start to pay attention to who, and what, is around you, the harder it gets to detach from it and ignore it.

And the harder it is to pretend the city you love isn't filled with finger-nail-clipping a-holes who will throw garbage under the seat, sneeze out into the great open air without a hand for cover in sight, and then stare you down like a predator when you look away (A brief aside to all you blog-savvy subway predators out there: Do us a favor, hop on the Q101 Limited, get off at the last stop, then try that shit.).

But, more importantly, the hardest thing to do is to NOT to get really, really angry at the MTA.

The MTA raised our monthly rates in the beginning of the year because they promised station clean-ups, better trains and more buses on deserted outer-borough routes. But instead of keeping their promise, they announced that their accounting was wrong and they need to raise the prices again. (Insert joke about how if I tried that, I'd have this much.)


Anyway. There are some positive changes to report.

The new N trains are great. Clean and sleek and they do make the ride go faster. And, like some reverse-disease, they're spreading to the "worst" of the lines: to the W and M. I mean, it's basically like putting a new suite on someone who lives on the street. You can dress 'em up as nice as you want, but those finger nails are still filthy.

So. Yeah.

That's where I've been. Not fixating on the MTA's finger nails.

I will say this: I don't have the 3-train commute anymore, because I left my job in Brooklyn. But, guess what? I started freelancing in Newark and that requires an hour and a half commute on the MTA and NJ Transit and sometimes the Newark Light Rail. Jersey really is a fascinating place. I mean, 5 minutes outside Manhattan are dirt roads and wheat fields. WTF?

But, I digress.

And man it's feels good.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Last week: In the Blink of an Axl

So, I'm riding the N to work late last week, when I noticed that the train car was having one of those rare moments-of-silence, where not even the train seems to make any noise.

And just as I closed my eyes to begin to relax into that silence and calm, a large, muscular, mustacheo-ed, middle-aged man wearing a cheap-looking snap-button-up 70s floral-patterned shirt and these huge, old headphones sat on me.

As half of his rotund buttocks squished onto my left leg, I was simualtaneously assulted by the indisciferable pounding of drums and guitar eminating from his damned headphones. Without looking over, he readjusted himself onto the actual seat beside me.

In a split-second, I was pissed off for being squished and for having that moment of meditation shattered. Right as I was about to utter words of outrage at this daft fellow, my brain suddenly locked onto the song blasting at top volume:

Guns N' Roses "November Rain"

And then, just as quickly, I wasn't mad at all.

Of course this guys is in his own world, I thought. Hey, listen, sometimes, you need some time on your own. Don't you know you need some time, all alone? Wherever this dude was, if he needs to blast GNR at top volume, first thing in the morning, he's in a bad place and who the hell am I to take him away from those precious 8 minutes and 57 seconds?

I can certainly identify with needing to have a few minutes of total escape by turning up music really, really loudly. Even if it means I loose all control of my faculties.

Listen, why waste time being angry when we both know, nothing lasts forever? And, we both know hearts can change.

Especially in the cold N train.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Why Can't We Be Friends

POSTER: "Lean on your best friend for the $50 he owes you. But don't lean on the subway doors. It's dangerous--you block other people."

MTA, we need to talk.

You need to get over this "best friend" of yours. I know, I know. He promised that you guys would get to hang out. Promised that you guys would be together from Coney Island to City Island. But, MTA. He isn't giving you your money back.

MTA, he's not coming back.

So, you have to stop taking this out on us. So many millions of commuters try hard to love you. We know you're serious about saftey. So, if it means that much to you, please, take the $50 bucks. C'mon. Take it. Go on. TAKE IT. You big lug. We love you. Atta' boy.

Flower Power

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday, January 14th

At 7:15a it was sunny. Then, by 7:30p it was grey again. 36 degrees.

Train book: Hunt for Red October. This morning I read the section when the Russian fighter pilot was embarrassed during an assignment by two American jets. Tension is building over the Atlantic!


N: I ran into my friend, Trish, on the walk to the train. She's pretty great. We parted ways at Dunkin' Donuts and I went up to the train. As I got to the platform, four slow-moving people waddled their way through the crowd as the train pulled into the station. As someone who needs to be at the front of the train, I did my best not to push these fellow riders in front of the train (that would only delay me more) and snaked around them at the last minute.

7: Crowded platform. Crowded train. I ran into the middle of the second car only to have some dude's backpack keep jabbing me in the ribs. It was too much so I gently pushed back enough for him to look up and kindly, but vaguely said, "Ah, your bag..."

G: Crowded and full of idiots. Since I've been heading to work early (we're 3 weeks without a boss at work, so an hour of quiet in the morning helps pick up the slack), I'm riding with the Brooklyn Tech High School crowd. Call me a curmudgeon, but I could do without the early morning shenanigans. How the hell do teachers do it?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday, December 3rd

I didn't write in October or November! Yikes. I'm back.


Bright sun, blue sky (welcomed weather after this past weekend's snow storm, then rain fall).

The Bronx. 36 degrees.

Metro North to Grand Central
After unsuccessfully trying to buy a south-bound, one-way Metro North card because the machine wouldn't accept my cash, I said my good-byes to my lovely boyfriend who accompanied me to the station and boarded the 8:12am train with the understanding that I'd have to buy an $11 ticket from the conductor.

Once the conductor with a thick 70s ballplayer mustache sauntered up to my row, I explained the machine was broken and I'd have to buy my ride from him. He looked down at me and said, "Well, maybe we can work something out. How much've you got?"

He had a clear view into my wallet and the fat $20 that stared back at him.

I said, "I mean...I've got the money, it's just..."

He quickly said, "Ok then."

I sighed and was about to bring out the $20 when the conductor said, "Or, you could buy a $5 off-peak ticket from her." He pointed to the woman sitting next to me who was holding an unused ticket.

I looked at her, then at her ticket. I looked back at the conductor. He looked at me. He looked at the woman. Then, a little old lady sitting in the aisle across from me piped up, "Buy the ticket from her, sweetheart!"

So, I did and thanked her profusley. She said, "No problem, any time."

I thought that was sweet, because I'm sure I'll never see her again. But, if I do, I hope to return the favor.

Grand Central to Atlantic Ave.
I made the maddening transfer from the Metro North, through the main terminal of Grand Central Station (which is looking very pretty these days with it's Holiday light display) to the downtown express 4-5.

Hundreds of fellow commuters crammed themselves alongside me into the packed train. Then the announcer said the train would be "moving at slower speeds" for no good reason. Well, he gave a reason, but it was no good.

45 minutes and 15mph later, I arrived at my destination.

And some people walk to work: they miss all the fun.