A ride on the subway with a drunk guy…

So this trip certainly started off interesting… I was debating whether I should leave to go to the airport really early or not… the fact that I woke up at around 4am and couldn’t sleep sort of decided that for me. Everything was sort of unremarkable on the first part of the ride in, I took the train that conductor Peter is on, he used to be on my train in the evenings. Honest to god though, a 5am train? I don’t know how he does that every day… and stay so chipper the entire time. He’s ever the optimist.

The subway was where the fun began, however. When I got on the E train it was pretty packed full of people, so there was no place to sit. And there was a guy with a ginormous backpack that prevented me from really moving around or grabbing onto a pole for support. There was a man sitting in one of the seats stretched out, and he moved over and offered me a seat. I sort of didn’t want to sit next to him, he was acting strange. And even if I did, backpack man was preventing me from really moving.

I kept swaying back and forth attempting to hold my luggage as the train was moving, which wasn’t working too well. The guy in the seat kept saying I was going to fall over, and I should sit next to him. I ultimately gave in and sat next to him. It was then that I was close enough to smell that he had alcohol on his breath. Definitely drunk.

The real hilarity began when the train stopped and new people entered. The guy seemed starved for human attention. Whenever someone walked in he had to ask them a question. And really stupid questions, too. “What time is it?” — Well the board with the station stops has that right on there. “Is this an express train?” “Is this train going to Jamaica?” Those are also repeated over and over by the train. Then there were the especially lucky females that he turned his attention to. He asked them all, “Do you remember me? I remember you.” One lady played along. Another lady ignored him completely. He kept saying, “Miss? Miss? You don’t remember me?” She turned and looked the other way, and he saw the back of her head. And she just happened to have her hair pulled back in a ponytail. “Oh yeah, I remember you. I remember that ponytail. Uh huh, oooh that ponytail, baby.” I wanted to burst out laughing.

After that lady got off the train, he got up, placed his bag on the seat, and opened the car doors leading to the other car. I was wondering what the hell he was doing. Did he have a bomb in the bag, and was leaving it on the train? The whole “if you see something, say something” and look out for unattended bags thing is deeply ingrained in my mind. After a minute or two that he spent riding in between the two cars, he reentered my train car, while pulling up and zippering his pants. He fucking peed out the subway doors as the train was moving.

Anyways, that is about it from me.

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I got slapped today…

I got slapped today at the train station. I don’t know what other way to put it. Let me explain: I have an addiction to Coca-cola. I needed my Coke fix this morning, and so I headed over to Waxman’s News in White Plains after getting off the train. Gary frequently provides me my morning Coke fix. Anyways, a few steps ahead of me was a woman with a cane, and a boot on her injured foot. Gary was being all nice, going to the cooler and grabbing the water that she claimed she couldn’t reach. I figured I’d be nice and wait until she was done and paid, and then I’d go and grab my coke. Except for the fact that she was taking absolutely forever. This woman was indecisive. “Well, how much are those juices over there?” and “What about those ones there?” If you are going to inquire about the price of every item in the store, it would be great if you didn’t block the entrance to the store for everyone else. Just saying.

Ultimately, I got fed up with waiting. I am a fairly small person, and I knew that without a difficulty I could walk right behind the woman. My backpack is really the big thing that would add to my bulk, so I took it off. I prepared to step behind the woman, and all of a sudden, SLAP. She slapped my leg (rather hard too!) and shouted at me, “Watch my foot!” I responded, “Lady, I see your foot,” and I could tell that my voice was speaking in a (much deserved) rude tone. There were a lot of other things I could have said, but I was just like, “f- that” and I got my Coke and got out of there.

Unfortunately the incident made me forget the other thing I wanted to do this morning. I saw Mutt this morning. Mutt is the nickname of (another) one of the crazy-type people that hang out at the station. Yes, I’ve given them all nicknames. Mutt is short for Mutton Chops, though the guy really just has long sideburns, and not true mutton chops. Nonetheless, that was the first name that came to mind in my head, and it stuck. Mutt isn’t too incredibly crazy. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him speak. But he always has this expression on his face, a look of being perpetually lost. He hangs out in the waiting room and just sits. And every time he’s at the station, he has to go and make his “rounds.” You see, Mutt has an OCD habit. He needs to stick his finger in the little door of all the pay-phones to see if there is any change inside. He also checks each of the automated ticket machines. What I wanted to do for amuseument’s sake was to take a dollar bill, and put it in the pay-phone downstairs. It would probably confuse the hell out of him. Though now that I’ve posted that, the amount of people sticking their fingers in pay-phones looking for dollars in White Plains will certainly be on the rise.

And just a note: I’ve been rather slow in processing my photos from last Thursday’s gallery opening at the Transit Museum Annex, but I’ll be posting them later in the day, I swear!

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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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Enjoying the sun on the platform…

Yesterday was a pretty great day. On the platform in White Plains at around 5:45, the sun was shining. And all the riders that had formerly been hidden in waiting rooms and other dark places, came out to enjoy the sunlight. I was seriously amazed at how many people were out and about. Of course I had to take pictures.

I also passed out a bunch of cards. At times this was really hard for me. I’m not exactly sure what people think I am like based on what I say in this blog, but I can be incredibly shy at times. When you ride on the train you have a routine. I take the same train, and generally sit in the same seat. And you cross paths with other folks that also have routines. When I see these people often, it isn’t too hard to just go up to them and have a chat. But just going up completely cold, to a person I’ve never seen before, and handing them a card. Well it is a little hard. I was deathly afraid someone was going to totally reject me. I will admit I got a lot of funny looks. But there were also people that really enjoyed it. I even encountered the guy who runs the site TrainJotting and gave him a card. This is only the second time that I’ve been recognized by someone because of my blog. Too funny.

As for this morning, it was a little bit chilly, but it is supposed to be another good day. I haven’t seen any St. Patrick’s drunks yet, but I expect to see that tonight. I did, however, see the guy I refer to as Johnny. He was standing in front of the White Plains station and kept asking people walking in and out whether they wanted to see a baby hawk. He kept pointing. “It’s right there, look!” He pointed to the area over the door where the pigeons enjoy roosting. I only saw pigeons, no hawks. I figured he was joking, because after that he said, “There is a leprechaun up there too! And he was this tall,” as he motions to show that the aforementioned leprechaun was about a foot in height. I got Johnny to produce this amateur sketch:

If you happen to see the leprechaun, please let me know.

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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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The Snowy Scene in Hawthorne

Due to the snow this morning a lot of people ended up leaving work early. I ended up getting a ride to Hawthorne from a coworker. I don’t normally visit that station, just in the few exceptions that snow has caused shuttle bus issues. Unlike what I am used to in Goldens Bridge, a good portion of the platform in Hawthorne is uncovered. So by the time I got there, there was at least an inch of snow covering over everything. Of course I took the opportunity to take some photos as I was waiting for my train.

And when the train passes by, who do I see with his head poking out the window? Peter, the conductor who used to be on my evening train who I haven’t seen in a few months. We caught up on our amusing train stories, and observed an odd woman wearing pajamas sitting a few seats away from me.

There is this crazy guy at White Plains that I nicknamed Mr. Chicago, because he talks to himself and will out of the blue just shout out, “The train to New York is late! … Because it had to stop in CHICAGO, HAHAHA!” Anyways, this woman could totally be his sister. They even look alike! Apparently she liked my hat, but the pompoms bothered her. She kept asking me, “but what are the pompoms for?” She waddled off the train in Katonah, at which point Peter asked me if I knew her. I had never seen her before in my life. Just one more of those interesting and odd people that I encounter on the train…

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The nightmare that is a holiday-time train ride…

My usual train car, many people had to stand in the open area by the doors, which made it difficult for others to enter and exit

Oh lord, the train last night was a nightmare. But of course, around holiday time, it always is. There was such difficulty getting onto the train at White Plains, because every seat was filled, and there were already people hanging out and standing by the doors, blocking other people from getting on. The only thing I could think of though, is about the cuts that are supposed to be coming for Metro North, and the MTA as a whole. Many trains will run with fewer cars. It has been a persisting rumor that my train would go from ten cars to eight. It hasn’t happened yet. But with these cuts, I can only imagine that it will end up happening quite soon. And I can’t even begin to imagine how horribly packed we’re going to be on an eight car holiday-time train.

Trains were so full, many people stood in the spaces at the front and back of the train cars

I was accidentally smacked in the ass by another passenger (apparently priming me for my upcoming trip to Japan, where I will be riding the rails. Groping happens so frequently there are special female-only trains). And to my left was a man listening to an ipod, and playing air guitar along with it. In front of me were several belligerent twenty-somethings attempting to light the others on fire with cigarette lighters. And the second I found a seat and yanked out my netbook, another passenger began a conversation with me about it, telling me how cute and light it looked. She wanted to know how much memory it had on it, and I said 1gb. She laughed and said that she has a flash drive that is bigger than that. I debated explaining the difference between memory (ram) and hard drive space, but I decided it wasn’t worth the effort.

Oh well, that is enough from me. I wish everyone a Happy Holidays! I was supposed to be working today, and I had planned to pass out holiday cards at White Plains to all the other unfortunate people that also had to work on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately (or fortunately) my tooth is hurting terribly (the dentist accidentally broke a tool in my mouth at an appointment on last week. I thank the coworker that had to say to me, “Oh I hope you didn’t get an infection from that) and I have an emergency pre-holiday dentist appointment, and I will be working from home. Anyways, enjoy the holiday, and I will see you next week!

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It’s Wednesday… Let the Crazy People Run FREE!

Did someone let the nutter bus loose today? Was the local asylum giving out day passes? We had some delightful numbskulls today getting in fights on speakerphone in the waiting room, and an amusing man wearing a New York Times badge that was having difficulty hearing on his phone. Of course when you have difficulty hearing, the only solution is to stick your finger in your ear, find the nearest corner, and go stand facing the corner while resting your head against the wall for support. Can you hear me now?

I like to read and mumble. And then get on my speaker phone and get into arguments, which I am sure everyone loves to hear!

I can’t stand some people’s UGGly boots, but there are some that just make no sense to me at all. These boots are so hairy it looks like an old, brown poodle died on each of your feet.

Every time Santa Claus Man treks up the stairs at Goldens Bridge, he thinks in his mind, ‘I can reach the unreachable star!’ because just going up a flight of stairs when you are that drunk might as well be climbing Mount Everest.

Ah, good old Sleeper Kid. I have to give him credit, at least he isn’t trying to eat and sleep at the same time any more.

I have no pictures for this one, so instead, I will leave you with a story:
This week marks the return of this rather large and obnoxious woman. She rode the shuttle bus last year, and then all of a sudden disappeared. Honestly, I had hoped she got fired. I guess she didn’t, because now she is back. Maybe she just rides the bus in the winter for some odd reason. I don’t really know. Either way, she is dead set about being the first person to get on the bus. She can and will push aside any other person in her way to be the first person on the bus. As witnessed this evening, if she is sitting in a seat and there is another open seat right next to her, her fat ass is not moving an inch. Our building complex now has two shuttle buses, but for the longest time we had only one. Before we got the second bus, extra people would have to stand in the aisles if there were not enough seats. Now that we have two buses, people that don’t fit in the seats on the first bus are required to wait five minutes or so for the other bus to come around. Tonight there was an extra seat on our bus, but because fat ass didn’t want to move her butt, that person had to stand in the bitter cold until the other bus came around. And then she had the audacity to laugh about how cold it was outside, and that she couldn’t have waited another minute out there. When someone said to her that there was one more seat, she said, “Who gon’ fit dere?” If someone can’t fit there next to your fat butt, maybe that is your cue to go on a diet? For the record, as I am sure I will get a flame from someone about that, I do not have a problem with fat people, but I do have a problem with assholes.

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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.

Oh look at that purse!

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Busiest Train Day of the Year

Metro North says that the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest train day of the year. And I certainly believe it. Though any day right before a long weekend tends to be rather busy, yesterday I definitely saw the most people I ever have on my train. When I got on at White Plains there were massive amounts of people, barely enough room to get on the train. All the seats were taken, and people were standing.

Or lounging around in the aisles, while wearing ugly boots, taken after Valhalla when most of the standing folks had exited

Though of course human passengers were not the only ones on board. There were a few canines as well, like this delightful ten-month old pup named Jasmine:

The waiting room was surprisingly empty at White Plains though, and the morning trains were fairly empty. You lucky people that didn’t actually have to work yesterday. But of course there was this one creepy guy, carrying four boxes that on the outside said they contained blood drawing needles, and kept studying a photocopy of a paper that had pictures of guns all over it.

Anyways, enjoy the holiday folks, Happy Thanksgiving!

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