Wednesday, June 29, 2005


I usually try to stay clear of strange characters on the subway but this morning I was taken by surprise as I sat down next to a man in jeans and a button down shirt. He seems totally normal until he took a quarter out his shirt pocket. He then began talking to the quarter. The problem was that it was not words! He was twirling it between his fingers and then mumbling at it. This went on for about 5 minutes. It seemed to be an intense conversation until it ended and the quarter was deposited back into the pocket where it originated.

The man really wasn't bothering me and I was slightly amused as I sat there and read my amNY. All of a sudden I felt a movement that was very close to my shoulder. The man had slid over and was reading the newspaper with me. I went to turn the page and he grunted. I guess he wasn't finished reading yet! The funny part is that the paper is free and handed to you as you enter the subway, there is no reason to share the paper! I must have been reading too quickly for his liking so he pulled another object out of his pants pocket and began a mumble conversation. He was not too loud and I don't think any other subway riders realized that the man was talking or attempting to talk to inanimate objects.

We got to 42nd street and he stood up, grunted to the woman standing in front of him and made his way off the train.

The woman and I exchanged a smile and a shake of the head which is a perfect example of classic subway stranger language.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Shower Love

I'm a night showerer and this always is a plus when living with roommates. I don't have to set a time to shower in the morning and I never have to cut my shower short for fear of intruding on someone else's shower time. I can take all the time I want to.

My new apartment has a window in the bathroom that looks out onto the Triboro Bridge. While in the shower, I always open the window a crack and look out at the lit up bridge. The greenish lights that outline the bridge make me think that I am living in a movie. I have to stand on my tippy toes to see out the window but just looking outside while in the shower makes me smile. I also love the smell of the shower and soap mixing with the smells of the city. Last night I smelled fresh laundry. These scents all mixed together was heavenly. I also got a whiff of pizza. I don't even think that there is a pizza place that close to the window. When the chilly air mixes with the humid warm air from the shower, I am overwhelmed with a sense of calm. I wish I could stay in the shower all night.

Friday, June 17, 2005

I hate I pods.

I enjoy listening to music. Yet I do not like to listen to other people's music, through their headphones.

Maybe it's because of the I-Pod craze that music listening has increased on public transportation or maybe I wasn't paying attention before. But I cannot understand why the non- headphone wearing people must endure salsa music at 7:30 am. Imagine this, you are sitting on the subway next to a man with little white circles in his ears. You can hear every word of the song that he is listening to plus the whisper-singing that is coming out of the man's mouth.

I cringe whenever I hear the slightly muffled music that could only be coming from headphones. I cannot do two things at once and get quite upset because I cannot read my amNY.

I thought the purpose of headphones was to make your music come out of whatever system it is hooked up to so you can hear it only. Are these people hurting their ear drums? Does the music have to be so loud that I can hear it on the other side of the train?

I love the freedom from cell phones that happens after I swipe my Metrocard through the turnstile. I know that for my entire ride I will not have to hear stupid ringtones that sound like n organ but should be the Backstreet Boys new song. I will also not have to hear half a conversation. There is no freedom from second hand songs from the person sitting next to you.

There is a little picture on the subway next to the no smoking sign of a boom box with a red line through it. I haven't seen anyone since 1988 with a boom box walking around so maybe its time to update the sign. It should be an I-Pod with headphones and little lines coming out of the headphones. I think everyone would get the hint that you should keep your music in your own ears only.

Maybe this is a big plan by Apple to get people to buy I-pods? If they make leaky headphones that the music escapes from they can profit... Think about it... people hear music and look over to scowl at their neighbor. They see the infamous white headphones and think to themselves "If I had those in my ears I would not have to hear this awful song." Another I-Pod Is sold.

Moral of the story: Turn down your I-Pod or be a walking advertisement for Apple. But please, just turn down your volume, I don't like Apple.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Summer in the city!

The time has come and the warm weather is finally here! It's the time for short skirts and tank tops and flip flops. Also the time for sweat and smelliness. Yumm. Currently the air conditioning in my office is broken. And it was broken yesterday. Let's recap...

The airconditioning unit broke in my office yesterday. They get it up and running by the afternoon when we all are leaving. This morning, the whole unit has flooded the kitchen and the floor below us for another day of heat.
So they go out and buy us some cute hi tech fans from PC Richard. These fans have remote controls. Does this strike anyone as odd? I mean you have to be close to a fan to be able to feel the breeze correct? So (here comes the logic) if you close to the fan and can reach it to change the speed why do you need a remote control? The only reasons that I can come up with are:

1. you are incredibly lazy.

2. You like hi tech gadgets and get a kick out of pushing the button a million times a day. ( ok I admit I do like the remote control and wish I could use it but alas I do not have any batteries).

3. You are unable to get up and move, ie. you have a broken leg.

4. You are across the room from the fan and someone else who cannot get up wants to change the temperature.

Ok you get the point...

I am very happy that I do have a fan so that I am not dripping sweat onto my keyboard as I type.

Moral of the story: Fix the airconditioning or give us cute fan toys to play with so we forget that we are hot.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Morning surprise

This morning as I stumbled onto the train I saw that there were a few seats open. I enjoy sitting down in the morning so I can read my amNY and relax before the train gets packed. So I walked toward the seats and I surveyed the seats condition. This is a technique that I use (and I'm sure other subway riders do as well) I called it the scan and sit. The seat looked alright, no mystery liquids or solids and no smelly people around it. I was about to sit down when I spotted the ground. There was a pile of chunky puke. Yuck. So much for sitting down.

At this point the other open seats had been taken and I was forced to stand and read my paper.

There is another rule to subway riding that is crucial to know. If the subway car is empty at a busy time such as rush hours, there is something terribly wrong in that car. It is better to stand in a crowded car than to endure whatever has happened in the empty car. It may be a smell, a sight, a sound, no airconditioning. You name it, but there is something you don't want to encounter there. I know it is tempting, the urge to sit but consider yourself warned!

Moral of the story: If there is a seat empty on a train at morning rush hour, there is a problem don't go and inspect.