November 12, 2008

A Little Afternoon Nonsense...

So here's a somewhat stupid post for you.

My mom was born and raised on Long Island, NY. As a result, she feels like she's some sort of expert on Manhattan. Maybe she is, maybe she isn't. I guess that depends on your perspective. But a handful of years ago, when I informed her of my intention to move to this bustling metropolis, her response was something like - "you're a country boy, you'll never fit in there" (or "never make it there" or something to that effect). It was said jokingly, but I have to think she meant it to a degree and she definitely used the words, "country boy." Nevertheless, here I am, a "country boy" in the middle of this fair city, just trying to make my way.

Still, living here my "countryness" (which is really a bunch of bullshit anyhow) does get the better of me sometimes (although this could just as easily be categorized as "being a reasonable human being"). Specifically, when I'm on the Subway. You wouldn't even believe how annoying the process of riding this damn thing is sometimes. Take morning and afternoon rush hour, for example. Those of you in LA will feel me in a different way, but here's usually how this process goes...

Step 1 - Get stuck behind a pack of the slowest people on Earth while descending to the turnstile level. These people are usually lined up like paper dolls, thus forming a makeshift human wall which makes it humanly impossible to get around them lest you have the ability to make a 6 foot vertical leap.

Step 2 - While attempting to make it through the turnstile to the platform, get cut off by at least 2-3 people who clearly think they're more important and wherever they have to go is clearly more important than where you have to go (and unfortunately, it's probably NOT their shrink's office).

Step 3 - Train arrives, doors open, and here's what you're faced with...

The key here is to find that sliver of daylight, lower your shoulder and straight muscle your way through (this part is always the hardest for my scrawny ass).

Step 4 - Try not to touch ANYTHING or ANYONE. Some people also wear painters/surgeons masks and/or latex gloves. I'm not that crazy.

Step 5 - Once you arrive at your stop, doors open and here's what you're faced with (only imagine they're on the other side of the door). Repeat Step 3, Part II and lower that shoulder.

Step 6 - Get stuck behind a pack of the slowest people on Earth while ascending to the street level. Often, these people will have cut you off getting out of the train, which you will assume means they intend to walk as quickly as possible to the street. You, of course, will be wrong.

Step 7 - Even if you've touched nothing, wash your hands at your earliest convenience. If you get off the train relatively far from your humble abode, I recommend carrying hand sanitizer, or alternatively, you can find a puddle and use the radioactive waste looking substance you find therein to wash the VD off your hands. Otherwise, you run the serious risk of contracting some rare monkey virus that has made it's way around the city from Battery Park to the Upper East Side (and probably to Jersey...actually, it probably came from Jersey, but that's a separate issue altogether).

And that's really how it's done, more or less. I'm told once you are able to master this process without noticing any of Steps 1-7, you can finally categorize yourself as a "New Yorker." Here's to hoping that day never comes for me!

Matt, I know you feel me on this one...

One final thing - If anyone would particularly like to be on the panel this week for Meeting People Is Easy, drop me an email like it's hot. That's You can make the Subject line - "You are the worst blogger on the internet and you should probably knock this douchebaggery off immediately...and also, I want to be on this week's panel...dick." Cheers!


tecmo said...

The best representation of NY and the subways comes from my main man Immortal Technique:

Working your whole life wondering where the day went.
The subway stays packed like a multi-cultural slave ship.
It's rush hour, 2:30 to 8, non stoppin'.
And people coming home after corporate share croppin.

tiny350Z said...

DC is slightly similar to that, although, I've heard that our subways are much cleaner. I had made an attempt to start a blog about it, but I was an epic failure when it came to that.
Was up in your area this weekend. Ate a nice dinner at Leo's.

ladi izz said...

The DC Metro isn't that bad. However there are times when I would come home from school only to be faced with problems Step 3 and Step 5. Metro Center and L'Enfant Plaza are the worst. I'm not sure if this would work in New York, but sometimes I find the least crowded cars are the very first and last ones.

@ Tiny: I think the Metro is cleaner because, if I'm not mistaken, the Subway runs 24/7. The Metro closes and they have time to vacuum and stuff.


Cotter said...

tiny350z ~ Leo's Grandevous! I love that place. Best Italian food in Hoboken, hands down. You made the right choice, there.

ladi izz ~ Indeed, those cars tend to be the least densely populated. I'd probably walk down to the end of the platform to get to them, but usually in the morning I'm still trying to figure out what the hell's going on (actually, I've been doing that for the better part of my life) and in the afternoon, I'm always on my way to school and I only go one stop. So I like to get on the car that will arrive closest to the stairs so I can make as quick of an exit as possible and make it to class on time.

tiny350Z said...

ladi izz - you are indeed correct about the cleanliness. I find myself fighting for space (yes, I have the wonderful opportunity of switching at l'enfant) and dealing with the crazies.
Been going to Leo's since I was in a highchair. Get their Vodka sauce in a jar to take home - phenominal. Hoboken food and NJ italian food in general is what I miss the most about not living in Jersey anymore... Favorite Hoboken food? Benny Todino's (sp?), Court Street, and guhhh I forget the name.. It'll come to me.

Get Fresh Designs said...


Good read, although I'll never need to use it.

oh, and country boy? did you live on a farm??

Cotter said...

tiny350z ~ You just hit for the cycle there. Benny's and Court St. are actually right around the corner from me (much like the rest of Hoboken since it's only a mile square). And you were close, it's Tudino's.

doug ~ Well, I guess to someone from Long Island, anywhere that has more than sporadically placed 4 x 6 foot patches of grass is the country. And, no I did not live on a farm. But I did live next to a cow pasture and across the street from a corn field. That I'm actually not even joking about.

joy said...

Eeep, don't even get me started on the DC Metro. It's purely form over function there. It's wonderful and air conditioned and has blinky lights. But you have to walk over hell and half of DC to get to the nearest station.

Great post. I love NYC, but some days, the commute just sucks the life out of you before you even get to where you're going.

ljkc said...

I love this.