White Plains, Level 8, My new favorite place

Despite the fact that I started this blog to talk about all the crazy people I see on the train, I don’t really do it all that often anymore. But that is not to say I still don’t see crazy people. The coat guy is still around in White Plains, sporting his new favorite accessory: a big red cowboy hat. I rode in this morning with a skinny guy that dreams of being a bodybuilder. He had about ten bags, along with a few magazines that had photos of greased up men with muscles so enormous they must be taking steroids. The seat next to him he used as a table, as he buttered his bagel and mixed up his protein shake with the cup of milk he purchased from Starbucks. Bag Lady still rides the shuttle bus, as does the whiny girl that moans in some foreign language on her cell the entire ride. Yesterday I had to sit through the entire shuttle ride listening to her whine – she does not talk, she whines – and she continued to do so in the waiting room of the train station. I couldn’t stand to hear it anymore, so I went exploring.

There aren’t too many places in the White Plains train station I’ve never been. But I figured, why the hell not, I’ll go to the top of the parking garage. Up at the 8th level you can look down at the city of White Plains, listen to the rumble of the diesel engines as they head to Wassaic, and hear the whine of the M7 as it brakes and stops. And besides all the bits of trash (used condoms, eew) it is actually kinda nice up there. And quite peaceful, since I never seem to see anybody up there. Anyways, here are some photos of the view, morning and evening.


You know, the only thing I’m afraid of now is that someone is going to see me up there looking down and think I want to jump. Thats the last thing I need – cops coming after me. With all the stories I hear about photographers getting arrested and such for taking pictures, I really have a fear of the police, and I don’t trust them one bit.

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What happens when you party too hard?

When I got on the train this morning I was a bit tired. Conductor Miguel was collecting tickets and asked me if something was wrong. I told him I was just tired. Jokingly, he told me I shouldn’t have partied so hard last night, and that there of course are always consequences. I wasn’t partying last night, but I am certain that some people were. And I saw the aftermath of it on the platform (oh yes, there was vomit!), and in the waiting room…


It isn’t St. Pat’s anymore… get rid of your beads, your pizza box, and wake up!

Because I am in an amusing mood this morning, I figured I’d post some of my favorite photos of passed out people in the waiting room.

And as a special bonus… here is a picture of a train sleeper and some great ad placement.

If only there was some sort of drink that could possibly wake you up…

Have a great day everyone!

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Good Eats at the Former Valhalla Train Station

Imagine that, today I get to be a food critic! My friend Despina is fasting for Lent, and was looking for a decent place to eat (her variety of “fasting” is essentially eating vegan), and suggested Valhalla Crossing, which right next to Valhalla’s Metro-North station, and historically, was the original station building. I see the place just about every day on the way to work, yet had never gotten a chance to eat there.

Of course I brought my camera for documentary purposes, and the decor was quite nice in the place, so I took quite a few pictures. Our waitress told us that most of the woodwork in the room where we sat was not original, but the floor of the bar is the original station floor. Trains regularly pass by the place, which is kind of cool to watch. The noise from said trains was not bad at all, I’ve heard and felt worse in the city when subways pass by underneath. Though thinking about it, during the lunchtime hours mostly M7’s were going by… I imagine one of the diesels passing by is sure to jolt you from your reverie.

Throughout the place were framed prints and photographs of train-related memorabilia, as well as original photos of the Valhalla station, with the original platform. There was a caboose room in which you could eat, which we took photographs of. Of course all the people eating in the room had pause their conversations to turn and look. This is why I often feel shy about taking photos in public. I quite liked the large painting of the steam train that was not far from our table, but my friend kept saying to me that the plume of steam looked like an umbilical cord. Delightful imagery for lunchtime.

The food itself was pretty good. I am notoriuosly picky about my food, of which most people who know me can wholeheartedly attest to. I ordered the “Third rail” mostly because I was amused with the name. It contained chicken with buffalo sauce, bleu cheese, lettuce and tomato on a wedge. If I had to find a fault in it at all, I would have to say, “you call that buffalo sauce?” Weak and hardly spicy. The bleu cheese should complement the buffalo sauce, not overpower it. Alright, perhaps I am just bitter because my friend’s wrap looked better. If you go to Valhalla Crossing, try a wrap, they look good. And the onion rings look better than the fries. But they’re so awesome that they’ll allow you to get a little bit of both if you want. Either way, the Valhalla Crossing is pretty cute, and I’d certainly go back. They get major points from me because there were no big, black hairs in my food, which happened to me down the road at the North Castle Diner. There’s a place I’d never revisit.

Anyways, be sure to take a look at their website, ValhallaCrossing.com. My web designer nature must make me of course say that with the interesting decor of the place, they really could have carried that over and made an awesome website, but unfortunately they chose an out of the box template look, which saddens me slightly. (I can redesign that for you guys. Call me!) But really, go take a visit. Valhalla’s got some nice little places to eat, all in walking distance of the train station. Another favorite of mine being Mughal Palace, an Indian restaurant across the street from the station. Yummy.

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White Plains: The Game – Dress Up the Crazy Coat Guy!

If you’ve ever been to the White Plains train station a few times, it is highly likely that at some point you’ve encountered the guy that I’ve dubbed “The Crazy Coat Guy”. He’s a fixture of the station, and has been around long before I started commuting through the city of White Plains. He talks to himself, and he’s loud. Depending on the weather, he hangs out in the upstairs and downstairs waiting areas. He has some questionable taste in jewelry, and has been seen wearing big earrings up both sides of his ears. His taste in accessories isn’t much better, as he’s begun a love affair with womens’ purses. He has the craziest haircut, though due to the cold we haven’t seen it for a while. And now, it isn’t all that strange to be wearing a coat due to the temperatures. But come back in July on the hottest day of the year, and you’ll still see him wearing that coat, stalking around the station, and talking to himself.

Without the Coat Guy, I don’t think White Plains would be the same. But seriously, don’t you think he wears some of the craziest stuff? Wouldn’t it be awesome to dress him up yourself, in something more normal? Or something even more crazy? Guess what, now you can! You can dress up the Crazy Coat Guy in this spectacular flash game that I wasted quite a few hours of my life on! Every piece of clothing in the game (with the exception of the iridetheharlemline.com shirt) is something that I’ve actually seen him wear in real life (yes, even that leprechaun hat). So what are you waiting for? Get in there and dress up the Coat Guy! And when you’re done, click the button that says “Go Out” to see him stand on the platform!


A few of my spectacular creations…

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White Plains: Welcome to the waiting room…

Around this time of year, the waiting room in White Plains is packed. Nobody wants to wait outside in this cold. And if you like people watching, it is the spot to be. The current “thing” to do is smoke inside. Who wants to smoke outside in the cold? The best way to perform this maneuver is to hide against the wall or window, in an attempt to block anyone from seeing your pipe or cigarette. Nasty smelling chewing tobacco is also popular. Be sure to pull a hood up over yourself and lean over, so nobody can really see what you’re doing.


Nope! Can’t see me! (though we can smell you)

Earlier this morning I saw Johnny walking through the waiting room with a cigarette in hand. Johnny (which is just my nickname for him) is an interesting character. I wouldn’t group him in with some of the other crazies at the station, he seems relatively normal, but he does hang out and smoke with the crazies. And tries to have conversations with them. Which can be interesting, since most of these people are used to only talking to themselves. When not smoking, he also likes to sing. His mind does not retain lyrics well, however, which is where his nickname came about. One amusing morning he kept attempting to sing Johnny B Goode, but after a few words just went back to singing “Go go, Go Johnny go, Go!” over and over again.

Crazy coat guy was hanging about the waiting room yesterday too. With the blue purse. And a questionable looking chain around his neck. Honest to God, I think he stole a hood ornament off of a car, and put it around his neck.

John the dollar man was in the waiting room last night, being questioned by police. And he looked as if he were about to cry. A friend of mine said she actually saw him on a train from Grand Central, walking up the aisle and asking for dollars. It was only a matter of time before somebody complained. Plus White Plains always tends to have a decent size contingent of police officers. And occasionally K-9’s that are probably ready to take a bite out of your leg.

That is about it for crazy stories from the waiting room for today… though I realized that I never mentioned anything about the new year. Honestly I am not much of a fan of holidays. But as the decade came to a close, I thought about some of the “commuting memories” I had of the decade. There were two that stuck out in my mind. Wesley Autrey, the man that saved another man that fell on the subway tracks, and Edwin Gallart, the guy who lost his phone down a Metro-North toilet, and got his arm stuck attempting to retrieve it. Anyone else have any “commuting memories” from the decade? Comment or tweet…

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“Don’t be Skurred!”

The other evening in the White Plains train station my good friend the crazy coat guy was creeping around the waiting room. He was sporting the earrings and big fat chains that day, as well as his green purse, which must be his favorite, since he’s always had it ever since he started experimenting with women’s purses. As he is stalking around, my friend who is a bit afraid of the guy walked away. She’s convinced that there is going to be one day that the guy is going to snap and either push someone off the platform, or push someone down the stairs. And I certainly wouldn’t put it beyond him. And he has in the past just randomly started yelling at me, so he certainly creeps me out.

While this is going on some other random guy swoops in and says to us, “Don’t be skurred! He’s a little slow, but he won’t hurt you! I see the man every day here.” Well yes, I do too, but I wouldn’t go so far to say as he wouldn’t hurt anyone. As the man walked a few steps closer to inform us yet again to not be “skurred” I could quite clearly smell the alcohol he was drinking from a plastic cup. Right man, I trust you. He then informs us, “if he had done anything, I would have beaten him up for you girls.” I’m sure that would end well.

creeping
Oh look at that purse!

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Is that man wearing… a BAJORAN earring?

Guy asked me the other day, “so what are you reading?”
And I replied, “A Star Trek book. I’m almost always reading Star Trek books.”

The train is great because I’ve seriously read around 40 books this year. The commute gives me plenty of time to read. I just happened to be reading another Star Trek book this morning, one about the Cardassian occupation of Bajor. Bajorans are those aliens with the nose ridges, and wear the big earrings.
li_nalas
Like this guy…

So I get off the train at White Plains this morning, I go downstairs to sit, and I am like, “holy crap! Is that guy wearing a Bajoran earring?!”
DSC00420
Nope, he isn’t.

I guess I looked too quick. Anyone that has spent any time at White Plains knows this guy. He’s the one who is always wearing a winter coat, even on the hottest days of summer. He also gets into good conversations with himself. I thought the earrings were so great I took a picture… only later on did I notice he was also carrying a purse. These spectacular fake-bling earrings were on both ears… and he was also wearing a fat rope chain.

rstone
Like this, just add girly fake clipon earrings

What a normal day in White Plains.

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Crazies of White Plains, Wassaic, and those Clipboard People

Ah, White Plains train station, you have the most interesting of people. I think all the rain we’ve been having lately has been stressing people out. The other day the taxis couldn’t seem to do anything other than honk their horns loudly at each other, prompting a rather unkempt looking man sitting on the benches to scream out, “SHUT THE HELL UP!”
Do you know what calmed that man down? Another strange man wanders over, singing “I’m here to save the day!” He sat next to the other man, and they began a conversation. The two of them, certainly a match made in heaven.
Another guy I tend to see at the train station is a man that despite the warm temperature, is always wearing a winter coat. He also gets into very animated conversations with himself. He does keep to himself, and doesn’t bother anyone, so that is always a good thing. While sitting around waiting for my bus the other day I watched him play a game with himself. I’m not quite sure what the rules of this game were, if there were any at all. But he had a handfull of coins that he would shake in his hand, as if he were about to roll some dice. Then he would throw the coins to the ground, count them, and then start the process again.
For all the crazies I see at White Plains, I’ve been told that the real crazies hang out on the trains to Wassaic. Apparently a man felt it necessary to use the train to take a patio bar set somewhere. And not in a box or anything like that. In pieces. When the train doors opened he brought one piece in, then went back out to pick up another piece, and then another. And during the winter, another passenger on the Wassaic train decided to to transport a snowblower. A gas reeking snowblower. Oh the intriguing people you see on trains…
Just as a last note, I know I mentioned once before seeing a lady that carried a clipboard, and I speculated as to what the clipboard was for, and what she was making notes of. Now I am not sure if this particular woman was in fact making notes for Metro North, but I noticed a young man on my train, every single day, carrying a clipboard and walking through the train cars making notes. After watching this for quite a while, I asked… apparently there are people with clipboards that make notes about train car temperatures or things like that. I figured I’d write that since I actually saw that some people found the blog by typing into a search engine “mta what do clipboards people do”. Apparently other people have typed in “why do pigeons scream in the morning” and “ride the train sex”, but I have nothing to say about that.

Ah, White Plains train station, you have the most interesting of people. I think all the rain we’ve been having lately has been stressing people out. The other day the taxis couldn’t seem to do anything other than honk their horns loudly at each other, prompting a rather unkempt looking man sitting on the benches to scream out, “SHUT THE HELL UP!”

Do you know what calmed that man down? Another strange man wanders over, singing “I’m here to save the day!” He sat next to the other man, and they began a conversation. The two of them, certainly a match made in heaven.

Another guy I tend to see at the train station is a man that despite the warm temperature, is always wearing a winter coat. He also gets into very animated conversations with himself. He does keep to himself, and doesn’t bother anyone, so that is always a good thing. While sitting around waiting for my bus the other day I watched him play a game with himself. I’m not quite sure what the rules of this game were, if there were any at all. But he had a handfull of coins that he would shake in his hand, as if he were about to roll some dice. Then he would throw the coins to the ground, count them, and then start the process again.

For all the crazies I see at White Plains, I’ve been told that the real crazies hang out on the trains to Wassaic. Apparently a man felt it necessary to use the train to take a patio bar set somewhere. And not in a box or anything like that. In pieces. When the train doors opened he brought one piece in, then went back out to pick up another piece, and then another. And during the winter, another passenger on the Wassaic train decided to to transport a snowblower. A gas reeking snowblower. Oh the intriguing people you see on trains…

Just as a last note, I know I mentioned once before seeing a lady that carried a clipboard, and I speculated as to what the clipboard was for, and what she was making notes of. Now I am not sure if this particular woman was in fact making notes for Metro North, but I noticed a young man on my train, every single day, carrying a clipboard and walking through the train cars making notes. After watching this for quite a while, I asked… apparently there are people with clipboards that make notes about train car temperatures or things like that. I figured I’d write that since I actually saw that some people found the blog by typing into a search engine mta what do clipboards people do. Apparently other people have typed in why do pigeons scream in the morning and ride the train sex, but I have nothing to say about that.

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