Watch the Gap in Goldens Bridge, a story of David the “drunk” & a Free Ride Sweepstakes

Hey, Metro-North? Did somebody fall off the platform in Goldens Bridge recently? I was surprised to notice when I got off the train this evening the platform was covered in new, yellow paint. Atop the paint, stenciled in black, were the words “Watch the gap.” There were just… so many of them! I don’t think I’ve seen a station with this many, that close together. In Japan the train platforms have markings where the train’s door will open. Wouldn’t that have been cooler to paint on the platform? Really though, did someone fall off? I bet it was Sleeper Kid. I always worried about him. He’s always drunk, or stoned, or something in between, teetering precariously close to the edge of the platform…

But then again, here I am judging someone I observe on the train. Someone, who wishes to remain anonymous, told me a story today. They told me that they no longer judge people they see on the train. Because really, you’re only viewing just a minimal slice of their life. You don’t know what is up with them. Maybe they’re having a bad day. Or they’re sick. Or they have early stages of dementia. I was told the story of a person, who from here on I will refer to as David. My friend, who rides a particular train every day, noticed David. David sort of smelled like alcohol, and was carrying two large cups of some sort of liquid, which my friend assumed to be alcoholic. When the conductor came by to collect the tickets, David kept trying to set down the cups, and searched every pocket for his ticket, to no avail. He tried to speak, but just kept mumbling unintelligible words. My friend watched the exchange. The man appeared to fall asleep, or perhaps pass out. The conductor tried to wake him up, and he began searching for the ticket again. By now the conductor, and everyone else, assumed the man to be highly intoxicated. I’m not sure if David ever managed to find his ticket. But eventually when he got off the train, everyone watched him stagger out onto the platform. And then they watched him fall down the stairs. By that time the train was in motion, there really wasn’t anything they could do.

Fast-forward a few days. My friend sees David on the train again. David has bruises all over, his face is discolored and purple. His hand is wrapped in a bandage. This time David is coherent, and talks with the conductor about what happened the last time he rode the train, and how he fell down the stairs. The conductor asked him what had happened, and why he fell. The man pulled up his sleeve, revealing a medical bracelet. He said that he is diabetic, and that day on the train, he was going into diabetic shock. He had the juice for the sugar, but was having difficulties walking, let alone drinking. Let’s just say that my friend felt a little bit like an asshole, having judged the man as a drunk, when in reality he was pretty much going into a diabetic coma, right there on the train.

I’ll try and be a little less judgmental the next time I see somebody like that on the train.

And just as a final note, I wanted to let you all know that Commuter Nation is having a little contest… you can win up to a year of free commuting, which of course is pretty awesome. Especially if you are in one of those places that will be seeing a fare increase. I’d love to suggest Commuter Nation to my work, so I could get my ticket a little cheaper, but they want to know who the benefits manager is for your company. Is it a little bit sad that I don’t know the answer to that question? The one I knew, well, she got laid off. Ouch.

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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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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?

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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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Attention all female train conductors…

Female train conductors… boy does Craigslist have a deal for you! Do you have “fantasies” of sex on the train? Apparently there is one man who does, and he wants the world to know!

I am sure that there is one woman conductor out there that would like to fool around on metro north train, and live out a fantasy,i will be taking the 6:46 tomorrow morning from ossing and the 5:56 this evening, would love to orally please a woman, hispanic male 5;4 stocky build, d& d free

This was my amusement of the morning, since I have google alerts set up to email me when new websites and news articles are posted about Metro-North and the Harlem Line. I doubt this desperate guy is going to get any, but I have no illusions, I’m certain people have done this on the train before.

In other news, the delightful Santa Claus man, the resident drunk of Goldens Bridge station, had a little bit of an “issue” the other night. His pants were, well, they were soaked. In a drunken stupor he pissed himself. So here’s a little expert tip for you: don’t sit on the benches at the station.

Other than that, this has been a pretty much uneventful week… enjoy the rest of it!

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Construction at Goldens Bridge, New Transit Museum Exhibit

Good afternoon from high in the sky… I’m currently on a flight headed for Orlando, and I figured while I have some wi-fi and nothing else better to do, I’d make a post before the blog goes on a temporary vacation hiatus. I happened to take public transportation to Westchester airport, I’d actually never been on a Bee Line Bus before. I do have to say that is probably the most comfy public bus I’ve ever been on in my entire life.

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Hey guys, I’m workin’ here!

In order to get to the bus, I took the train down to White Plains from Goldens Bridge. I’m not exactly sure what kind of work is going on there, but there were several trucks and such doing some construction work at the station. I will honestly admit to you right now that I did not know that trucks that can ride also on the rails even existed. Then I saw a yellow pick-up truck fly right past me as I was waiting on the platform. It was too fast for me to snap a picture of, but apparently these larger trucks that were also there have little track wheels that can pop down and allow it to ride the rails.
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Considering my exceptional ability to encounter drunk and crazy people, a delightfully intoxicated young man kept asking me when the train to New York was coming, his words incredibly slurred. He then walked back and forth up the platform a few times, impossible to walk in a straight line. As he wandered perilously close to the edge of the platform, it started a conversation about who would jump down and rescue him if he happened to fall off. Great. Finally he collapsed against the wall, and thankfully didn’t fall off the edge of anything.
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In other news, the New York Transit Museum looks like they are going to be having an interesting new exhibit. I happened to make a post earlier in the week about some of my issues with the museum, all of which have been resolved. I’m not one for censorship, including self-censorship, and originally I had edited my post. Finally I decided it best to remove it altogether. The entire situation did allow me to learn a little bit more about the museum, most notably about their new exhibit: THE LAST DAY OF THE MYRTLE AVENUE EL: Photographs by Theresa King

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Opening in 1888, the Myrtle Avenue el ran from downtown Brooklyn to Queens, passing through Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Ridgewood, and Middle Village. After eighty years, to the dismay of many passengers, the Myrtle Avenue el closed in 1969 and was demolished the following year. Yet, in the mid-20th century, the el’s wooden train cars and antiquated stations still held fond memories for riders who grew up in those neighborhoods.

THE LAST DAY OF THE MYRTLE AVENUE EL: Photographs by Theresa King is a photo essay shot in a single day forty years ago. The photographer recalls, “At midnight on October 3, 1969 over a thousand people eagerly awaited a train – not just any train, but the final train to run on Brooklyn’s Myrtle Avenue elevated line. These people were taking the last ride on this historic elevated train. As soon as they crammed on, the train rolled along from Brooklyn’s Jay Street station to the Metropolitan Avenue station in Queens. At the end of this sad journey, some passengers took artifacts to remember this very special old timer and bid a fond farewell. The pictures were taken during this last day at various stations along the Myrtle Avenue el in Brooklyn. During my childhood, I rode this train daily and loved the look of the station stops and the train itself. When I realized the line was due for demolition, I wanted to document a part of Brooklyn’s past that would be no more.”

The exhibit will run from September 29, 2009 – February 28, 2010 at the Transit Museum.

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The Drunks of White Plains…

While on my way home from work, I often have to sit in the White Plains train station for a bit, waiting for my train to arrive. Oftentimes the seating area is full, but every once and a while it is not.

That is truly when you ought to be cautious. Because a lot of times there are *reasons* why those seats are not taken.

A lot of times those reasons are whom I like to refer to as the drunks of White Plains. My favorite, or perhaps I should say, my *least* favorite, smells heavily of alcohol, and does a pretty poor job of drinking alcohol (out of a large fruit juice bottle, mind you), probably getting more on his body than down his throat.

Another least favorite is a lady who enjoys taking up several of the seats, and stretches out and falls asleep. She punctuates the noise of the waiting area with her own brand of slurred half-asleep gibberish.

In either case, I’d much prefer to stand.

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