This weekend, I lost a dear friend, the W train. While the W train and I certainly had our differences, we did share a year of commuting. Yesterday, I spent an extra 10 minutes waiting for a morning subway (we now get the Q train in Astoria) and sandwiched myself between two people who smelled less than optimal … ah, summer in the City. Not only were people spilling out of the train, but it seemed to be moving at an extra snail-like pace.
And with that, I share yesterday’s musings from my commute and beyond …
The National Notary
I will preface this by declaring I am not a notary, nor do I know what is required to become a notary and/or perform the duties of one. Therefore, if I am slighting your profession or hobby of choice, I apologize. There was a guy standing near me, reading a magazine called The National Notary. How much content can possibly be created about stamping leases and signing next to the date your notary license expires? Scintillating.
Into the Wild
To my left, a girl was reading “Into the Wild.” While this sight was a pleasant diversion from the Twilight series and ever-ubiquitous “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” I was reminded exactly how annoyed that book/movie made me. Here’s the deal – I generally love Jon Krakauer’s writing and stories. “Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman” – good book. “Under the Banner of Heaven” – awesome. But “Into the Wild” angered me. Poor boy. You were raised by rich parents who gave you everything … but they fought! I totally get why you had to give away your trust fund, run off to Alaska and allow your parents to spend all of their money looking for you. I think I may have cheered when the guy finally died in the story. (Sorry, spoiler.) Good riddance.
Save our City
When my parents were preparing to vacation in Paris, they kept hearing the same thing – the French don’t like Americans. Surprisingly, in their experience, they found that to be anything but true. Having living in Charleston (a city dependent on tourism) for four years, I certainly did not enjoy tourists but recognized them as a necessary evil. Being a resident in that environment taught me how to respect the natives in other places I visited. If you are going to be a tourist, the rules are simple – don’t be a jerk. So when this overweight woman, her overweight husband and her son tried to force their way on to the already overcrowded subway train, her loud advice, “Just keep pushing!” was not well-received. She will probably go back to Alabama and tell everyone how awful and rude New Yorkers are.
Say It Ain’t So, Target!
As far as discount-type stores go, I have always regarded Target as “different.” While I am hesitant to set foot in a K-Mart or Wal-Mart (actually, more afraid than hesitant), I welcome Target with open arms. I actually look forward to shopping in Target when I drive out to my parents’ house. But Target has done something that they shouldn’t have. They chose to wrap the 6 train, both inside and out, with garish advertising that resembles graffiti. After exiting the overcrowded and smelly N train yesterday, I did not need this visual assault.
I know I am an extremist when it comes to weather and clothing choices. I would be perfectly content living somewhere I never had to wear closed-toed shoes or anything with sleeves. For that reason, I aim to wear boots, coats and tights for as few months as possible. By the time any sign of spring appears, I am ready to set them all on fire. On the other side of the coin, some people are a bit more reasonable than I am. They won’t bother freezing simply because it is April and will wear appropriate clothing. Here’s the thing: New York has been embroiled in somewhat of a heat wave until today. So, why, for the love of God, would you be wearing tights when it is 90+ degrees and 1000% humidity outside? Because it’s New York and we always have to be different. (Definition of “different”: looking foolish and/or gravely uncomfortable by choice)