Friday, January 11, 2013

I'm going underground

In honor (horror) of all the tourists that have made the past month or so of life in New York City more annoying, I dedicate this post. Seriously... this is stuff I had to document cause even I couldn't believe it.

Picture it: Times Square subway station, stairs leading up from the 7 train, rush hour: Woman standing on stairs, leaning over railing to where her sandwich is sitting on the ledge, peacefully eating her sandwich, despite everyone having to squish around her. Thankfully my fellow New Yorkers were out that day... she got more than her fair share of grunts, groans, shoves and "seriously?"'s and just kept eating. Now that's either one hungry lady or one damn fine sandwich.

Times Square subway walkway, Friday evening rush hour: Man blocking the walkway handing out pamphlets. Man is wearing a "Jesus saves from hell" shirt. Hey guy, you know what's really hell? Someone delaying your long journey home before the weekend. So, is this guy telling me that Jesus saves from him? Why doesn't he just save Jesus the trouble and stay out of our way. I'm sure Jesus has other things to do and would appreciate the help. He's really just making more work for the poor guy/savior. Seems unnecessary, and frankly, a little callous. He died for your sins and here you are, putting him to work. I just don't get it. Maybe the pamphlet explained it all, but needless to say, I did not stop to take one.

While we're on the subject of the subway...

Hey, person wanting to board the subway, hows about you let me off first. I will make room for you. Not only common courtesy, but simple physics. The absence of the mass of my person creates more room for you. If you push on before I get off, I now have to navigate around your bulk to get out.

Hey, person getting off the train, I'm getting off too! I'm facing the door. I'm moving as quickly as the cluster of people in front of me will allow. You see my body inching behind the scores of others also trying to exit the train. In what world does it make sense to try and push past me? We're all doing the same thing, heading in the same direction. You are not only slowing me down, but the other people behind us as well.

Hey, tourist or savvy American who has learned the wonderful escalator rules of foreign countries, good job walking down the left and standing on the right! Of course, if you find yourself in front of me walking down the left side, please do not slow down at the bottom when you realize it is not your train sitting at the platform. It's my train! Please keep moving or I will move you.

A few thoughts on our transit hubs:

Grand Central Station: Most people see it as a chaotic, confused mess of people all heading in different directions. But at peak times, when the regular commuters are going where they need to be going, gliding gracefully through the crowd, it can be a beautiful mess. During the holidays when they do that laser light show on the ceiling which instantly transforms all the tourists into potted plants and makes the regular commuters want to kill themselves, then it's just a mess.

Port Authority: There's a certain seediness to the Port Authority that Rudy Guiliani was not able to clean up. They basically polished up Eighth Avenue and left Ninth Avenue for the "regulars." It's a nice throwback for the younger generation to get a taste of what some of the unsavory areas of New York used to be like. Kind of like a museum, but more crowded and smells like pee.

Penn Station: Most people see it as hell on earth, and it is. It is a direct representation of the pains in the a$$ it serves; Long Island and New Jersey... Yes, I went there. I will surely be hearing about this from all my LI/NJ friends later! If you don't know the magnificent architecture that was destroyed to make way for this subterranean cesspool:
Not cool.

So rejoice New Yorkers! We have our streets and trains back from the cold, misguided grip of the tourists. Unless you live or work anywhere near Midtown east or west, Chelsea, West Village, Union Square, Ground Zero, Soho, parts of Tribeca... no, you know what, I think these tourists are here to stay. Better find a way to get used to them. I started a blog to help with my anger. But you should probably do something else, blogging is a bit common, don't you think?


  1. Oh wait! I just figured out your comment system.

  2. Was hoping you were one of the folks that could help me figure it out. Damn! Wish I knew how to fix it!! Hmmmm.... But thanks, anyway! x


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