Crazy stuff always happens on the 5:27…

By now you’ve all heard about Metro-North’s quiet car program… unfortunately, on the 5:27 Harlem Line train from Grand Central, there is no quiet car. There is, however, a crazy car. Over the three years I’ve taken this train, we’ve had lots of crazy things happen: from cheesecakes and cannolis, to magicians performing tricks, and Yankees trivia nights. Yesterday evening the crazy car was serenaded…

All of this usually happens after we leave Chappaqua, since by then most of the people on the train are gone.

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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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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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In Case of Creepy People…

When I encounter people that I consider creepy on the train, especially the ones that attempt to talk to me, I really try not to be rude (at least to their face. Because then I end up going and writing about them, which I suppose could be construed as a rude act). In recent days, this has been difficult. When someone sticks out their hand for a handshake, though you really don’t want to shake it, what exactly do you do? Hand shaking is an important part of our culture of meeting people. Articles get written about how people perceive you based on how firm your handshake is. So really, what do you do? If you don’t shake it, you’re just an asshole. And so, in an effort to not be an asshole, I reluctantly shake their hand. And they prolong it as much as possible. And I wonder when the hell I am going to get my hand back. So thus, I am now armed with this:

This morning was one of those times. There is a man at Goldens Bridge I see every once and a while. He always carries a bag, and he never walks properly, he always scuffs his feet on the ground. He reminds me significantly of a friend of my father’s, which may be the only reason why I end up talking to him each time. He very well could be the long lost brother that was dropped on his head as a baby of my father’s friend. Last week I saw him and he did the handshake thing. Oh and he prolonged it as much as possible. But I think you’d also be considered an asshole if you asked for your hand back. Anyways, today we had a conversation on the platform, it went something like this (He’s in bold):

“Hi!”
“Hello, how are you?”
“I got a new jacket”
He then proceeded to stroke the sleeve of the new jacket. At that point, he was about to walk away, but something brought him back.

“So where is your laptop? You don’t have your laptop today?”
“Oh I have it, it is in my bag.”
“So where do you work in White Plains?”
“At FUJIFILM.”
“Oh nice!” At this point he sounded very impressed.
“Let me guess, you file papers there?”
Wait… what? I file papers? That is so wrong. Are you saying that because I am female? Because I look young? Shit. At this point the train is coming, and so I get on. And he disappeared in the crowd of people. I’ll see him again, I know I will. I just hope the next encounter will not be quite as awkward.

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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.

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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.

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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:
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.
boxman

Anyways, enjoy the holiday folks, Happy Thanksgiving!

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The usual suspects in White Plains

The other night was rather interesting in White Plains… An interesting woman walked up the stairs and stood in line waiting for the ticket machine, and probably just about everyone in the station was staring at her. I’m not the best at just going up to random people and taking their picture, so I don’t have one, unfortunately. The woman had incredibly long dreadlocks, which probably would be down to the floor, had they not been tied up. The dreadlocks were all dyed colors, fire engine red and a sunny yellow. She had many long and pointy piercings on her face, so much so that she looked like a little bit of a porcupine. She also had a tattoo of a heart on her face, whether it was permanent or not I was not able to determine. I don’t really mind people’s looks like some of the folks that were at the train station that night do. I mean, it is her body, she is welcome to do that if she wishes. And heck, I even I had blue hair for a time. The only thing I want to know is why the hell was she carrying a black mannequin torso around at the train station!

I had never seen that woman before, so she is hardly a regular at the station… unlike the crazy guy that is always talking to himself. He’s a train station regular… and it is always a strange day to not see him stalking around. I posted a picture of him a few weeks ago when he first began experimenting with wearing purses. A few days I’ve seen him wearing multiple purses. And then other days, he goes back to wearing big fat gold chains, with gold laces in his boots.

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Apparently my friend who happened to also be a the station on the weekend said that she saw him waving money around like a fan. To most people I really wouldn’t suggest doing that at all… but this guy, well, everyone knows he’s crazy, and they probably stay the hell away.

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And this guy, well, who knows, I just saw him on the train the other day and felt like taking a picture. He kept showing off the fact that he was wearing no socks and
smooth-shaven legs. That, and he snored really loud.

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Politician Fever

Train stations are packed this week full of various politicians making their rounds, passing out flyers, and trying to earn your vote on November 3. I was sitting upstairs in the waiting room in White Plains today, and it was just a hilarious procession… Step one: Politician hands you a flyer, Step two: walk down the hallway, Step three: throw flyer into the trash bin, Step four: continue on your way.

Why is it that so many people don’t refuse the flyers? Even if they don’t want them. The majority of folks take it and throw it out. I on the other hand, hold onto them and do different things… Let’s just say I don’t think that Tony Castro and Bill Ryan are my biggest fans.

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politician002

That was about all that was interesting at the train station this morning… though we did have a guy who was begging for coins, he claimed that he missed his train and he needed fifty cents to call his boss to say he was going to be late to work. One of the folks I ride the shuttle bus with gave him the money, then he walked away. Right past the phone booths. So I shouted out to him, “Hey, the phones are over there!” With everyone staring at him now, he pretended to make a call. Quite terribly though, because he didn’t put that money in the phone. What a surprise.

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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?!”
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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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