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Overheard Subway Convo I

February 19, 2009 1 comment

Two suits get on a crowded 3 train at Wall Street. My olfactory informs me that one of them hasn’t showered recently. The other starts:

My foot is killing me.
New shoes?
Nah, had them for a few weeks. I have a giant callous on my pinky toe.
Ah, that sucks.
Yea, it’s really painful. My doctor gave me some ointment to put on it.
That’s good.
Yea, it’s supposed to shrink it.
You’ll be fine.
I hope so.

Glad I’m not going into podiatry.

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Categories: Subway

More Amusment on the Subway

February 12, 2009 Leave a comment

The following happened to me (and my fellow riders of the prestigious MTA system) today while trying to get home from SoHo (for my SoCal friends, this means South of Houston Street, and is generally a very upscale area of Manhattan). I was on the Q train heading towards Brooklyn and while in the middle of a tunnel the conductor comes on the intercom and says the following (with a Haitian accent):

“Hullo, we are not sure where we are or exactly where we are goin’. When ah fine out where we are goin’ I let yah know. This coul’ be an N trehn or it coul’ be a Q trehn, I let yah know soon.”

Turns out, with gusts of up to 50 mph today, a tree fell onto the Q tracks, and all service was cut off to Coney Island. So, my Q train transformed into an N train, but luckily this didn’t matter until after my stop. This did leave some people wondering how they were going to get home however. Apparently, the greek god of wind, Zephyrus, also chose to fell a tree onto a poor lady’s car in East New York, outside my girlfriend’s school. Maybe she was praying to the wrong god, and Zephyr decided to total her car as a hint. I’ve taken this as a hint I should stay inside today.

Categories: New York, Subway

Dirty People

February 9, 2009 Leave a comment

If there is one thing you are sure to find in New York, it’s garbage. This is especially true outside of Manhattan, who I suspect have an entire agency tasked to clean up after its litterer citizens to give the outward appearance of cleanliness to the Japanese tourists. The ALA (anti-litter agency) likely centers around Times Square and loses efficacy the closer you get to reaching another borough. For example, as you reach Harlem you are also approaching the Bronx (troglodytes live here, or so I’m told), which shows little evidence of ALA activity.

What’s asinine about all this, is the source of garbage: locals. At this point, I barely flinch when a train pulls up into the station and I watch a person set down their coffee on the station seat and enter the train with a trashcan not more than four feet away. A few weeks ago I saw a guy chewing gum about my age, leaning casually against a trash can, take his empty gum package and toss it onto the subway tracks. My girlfriend saw an old lady sitting on a bus throw her coffee cup into the fresh snow with a trash can sitting only a few feet away. She went over, picked up the cup, and threw it away, which prompted the old hag to say “you shouldn’t have DONE that!”

Another thing you can’t get away from in New York is New York pride. EVERYONE is invariably wearing something with an “NY” on it, somewhere. So, what is it saying when a population that claims to love their home so much, is perpetually filling it full of crap? These idiots are leaving filth in their own habitat. Even cats are smart enough to hide their “litter”.

Categories: New York, Subway

Bitter Subway "Co-Conductors"

December 12, 2008 Leave a comment

I'm not sure what they're official job title is, but I'm referring to the guys (sometimes girls) that sit in the closet-sized compartment in the middle of the train and stick their heads out as the train approaches or leaves a station. From what I can tell, their only job is to press the door-open button and then the door-closed button, over and over.

My suspicion is that these poor individuals really wanted to be train conductors, but saw their dreams slip through their fingers when they were assigned door-duty. So, they're the door overlords, controlling when the proles may exit/enter the train. Primarily, they receive pleasure from controlling entrance onto the train, they could care less if you leave. Thus, the door overlords (D.O.'s) real power is in keeping people out, especially those that run up to the doors just as they slam shut in their faces, forcing them to catch a later train. Their pleasure scale is exponential – approximately P=e^n+r+l, where n is the number of people kept out, r is the number of "runners", and l equals 1 if it's a late-night train (delaying the person especially long).

Today, the woman D.O. (a rarity) achieved a score of e^2+2, or about 6.41 for those of you that can't do exponentials in your heads (D.O.'s can). That's a pretty good score for them, and should keep her going for a few more stops before she needs another fix. She gets extra points for looking at both of us for a couple seconds before signaling the conductor the train can move.

On a side note, insulin promotes, and glucagon/statins inhibit cholesterol synthesis… (fun biochem fact #1).

(I didn't get much sleep last night)

Categories: Subway

Subway Weather

November 3, 2008 Leave a comment

I think someone needs to explain to me why when it is already 50 degrees outside the train is air conditioned to several degrees below that.

Categories: Subway

3 Train

October 24, 2008 Leave a comment

After having ridden the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, A, B, C, D, F, G, J, L, M, N, R, and Q (sorry 6, V and Z trains, haven't had the pleasure yet) trains, I can say the 3 train is the absolute worst in NYC, specifically Brooklyn – and it happens to be right next to my apartment. This is confirmed when strangers ask what train I use to get home and a look of pity comes across their face as I reply. Am I a New Yorker now that I can name all the trains off the top of my head? I'm pretty sure you are only qualified once you know the bus lines.

Categories: Subway

Funny Subway Activities

October 3, 2008 Leave a comment

If you're ever on an especially long train ride and forget to bring reading material do your best to find someone else with a newspaper/book and read over their shoulder. It's especially fun to watch other riders do this, they all have the same posture, leaned back slightly, eyes down and in the corner, mouth slightly puckered as if to say "what? I'm not doing anything…"

On a side note of not-so-fun subway activities: old jewish guys that don't give a damn and will plop down right between you and the 300lb lady a seat away, coat tails landing in your lap, and leaving them there for you to move or ignore.

Categories: Subway