If you are a New Yorker and you don’t recognize the name Chesley Sullenberger, you may be living under a rock… Captain “Sully” was the pilot that landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River after a bird strike earlier this year. If you’re interested in having his pilot’s hat, which I must admit looks way cooler than my MTA Conductor’s hat, it is now available on eBay. It is even autographed! The proceeds from the auction benefit Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, CA, and Lockwood High School in Oakland, CA. The winner will also get a personal note from the pilot and his wife. Unfortunately, it was not the hat he wore during Flight 1549, and he won’t be delivering the hat personally (just make a flyover upper Westchester, thanks! We have plenty of reservoirs for water landings too!)… come on New Yorkers, show your love for Captain Sully by placing a bid here. The auction ends on Monday December 14 right before noon.
I feel incredibly guilty about an incident that happened today… I found myself laughing at the misfortune of an old man. While waiting near Grand Central for my train back home, I went to grab a bite to eat. At a table to my right was a woman and her child, and to my left, an elderly man drinking a coffee.
Unfortunately, the old man spilled his coffee. The woman turned to him and said something along the lines of “ah, it’s okay, these things happen…” in an attempt to make him not feel so bad. I don’t think the guy actually heard her though, it seems that he was deaf or hard of hearing. Anyways, he grabbed some napkins out of his pocket to wipe up the table, and some change fell out of his pocket. After wiping the table he looked at the ground to see the mess there, and saw the money. He picked up the money and exclaimed, “I found 30 cents!”
He put the money back in his pocket. Except his pocket must have had a hole, because the change tumbled back out and onto the floor. And being that he was deaf, he didn’t hear it fall out. This happened several times. Pick up change, put in pocket, change falls out. The lady at the other table looked at me, and I knew she was thinking, “what the heck??”
Eventually, the guy just gave up and went into the bathroom. When he came out, we noticed that the spill was a lot larger than we thought… His pants were soaked, and it most certainly looked like he had wet himself. The lady saw and said something along the lines of “oh, I feel so bad!”
I replied back, “Yeah, I didn’t realize it was so bad… I feel really bad for laughing, but I do think he found his thirty cents about five times though!”
She laughed, “Oh, you saw that too? He must have had a hole in his pocket!”
At one point during the colder months I began to keep score with the pigeons. Quite a few places have structures to deter pigeons and other birds from building nests. On the covered entrance portion of the White Plains station, there are metallic looking spikes that serve this purpose. But the pigeons have maneuvered through them and began nesting anyways. While waiting for my bus in the icy rain, I saw a pigeon fly to a nearby bush, break off a twig, secure that twig in its beak, and then fly back to the nest. This pigeon could have won prizes for endurance. I seriously saw him do this about a million times, and he was still doing it while I got on the bus. For outsmarting the humans who tried to deter birds from building a nest? Pigeons: 1, Humans: 0.
The next day, I found myself sitting on the shuttle looking out the window. Recalling the previous day’s pigeon outsmarting humans event, I noticed that the humans had tied the game. A pigeon had gotten run over by a Bee Line bus… with wings completely outstreched, desperately trying to make it away in time. Failing. And becoming a pigeon pancake.
Alright, so from all my posts about pigeons, you may think that I have a little bit of a thing for them. Not really. They are just amusing animals. Something about the way they bob their heads back and forth… which they do even faster and in an even more amusing way when you just happen to be chasing them. And with little kids, and little idiots (like myself), it is a much more likely scenario to see a human chasing a pigeon. But one incredibly amusing day, I definitely saw the opposite. I have a coworker that apparently has a phobia of pigeons. He normally doesn’t take the train from White Plains, he takes the bus to Stamford to pick up a New Haven line train… so he doesn’t normally hang out in the White Plains train station with my friends and I. On this fateful day however, he had to go to the bathroom. Unfortunately, the upstairs hallway on the way to the bathrooms was being patrolled by a pigeon looking for handouts. My coworker cowered against the wall, and pointed to the pigeon. Another coworker said “Oh just go by him, he won’t do nothin’ to ya…” And so he timidly stepped forward… and the pigeon launched into the air, and flew straight at him. In truly hilarious fashion, he screamed, and ran the rest of the way to the bathroom, as fast as he could. He may be ridiculed about this day from now until the end of time.
Welcome to I Ride the Harlem Line, home of the Metro-North Panorama Project, which toured all the stations across the entire Metro-North system. If you’re interested in history, check out the SmartCat Historical Archives, which contains old timetables, tickets, postcards and more from the old New York and Harlem Railroad. For other posts and information, use the navigation above, or to the right.
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