Around White Plains…

When it comes to crazy people, White Plains station has no shortage of them. From now on I think I will officially dub the man which I’ve talked about a few times as Mr. Chicago, as he always seems to be talking about Chicago. This morning I was sitting waiting for the shuttle, and he sat down next to me. He was having a long conversation with himself, parts of which sounded like they were complete gibberish. He also described a fat woman that looked like Johnny Damon, and about how he would have beaten someone up, had he not been “drugged into submission.” I imagine this guy knows all about being drugged.

I never got around to mentioning it, but a few weeks back White Plains got some new signage. The old signage had a black stripe on the top, not the blue stripe consistent with the rest of the Harlem Line stations. Here is a delightful photo I took of an M7a coming into the station, you can see the new sign over on the other side of the tracks.
new_white_plains_sign

Unfortunately, the schedule board signs around the station have not been working too well. If anyone was curious, they are apparently run on Windows XP:
winxp

Though it would have been a little bit more amusing had it been like this:
bsod
Usually they work pretty well, and I’ve certainly talked about how I liked them before… of course I only like them when they are working properly.

And for no apparent reason, here is a picture of Peggy, my favorite one-legged pigeon.
pigeon

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Regarding Your Questionable Hygenics

This week has been rather hot. The trains have been hot. Some of the air conditioners are not working properly. As conductor Guy said, “It is so hot you could cook brownies in here.”

Inevitably what happens in the heat? People sweat. If you are some of the great people who hang out in the train station of White Plains, sweating doesn’t stop you from wearing your clothes many days in a row… as I doubt you have an entire collection of shirts that say: “My imaginary friend says you have severe mental problems.”

The Chicago-obsessed, taxi screaming, crazy man also wears the same clothing over again. I saw him over by the telephone last night and saw he had some sort of nametag or ticket in the transparent side pocket of his bag. So I walked past him to see what exactly it was. It looked like some sort of train ticket that actually said Chicago on it. It looked nothing like this ticket, but it would be certainly amusing if it had. And if this guy had photoshop skillz, no doubt it would have been like this, instead of a fake computer print-out.
thisisfake

On the other hand, at least these people stay away from me… and they aren’t this guy:
DSC00334
That’s real nice dude, as if putting your feet up on the seats wasn’t nice enough, he decided to take off his dirty, smelly sandals. And then proceeded to pick his feet. Thankfully conductor Peter came around and at least he stopped the feet picking, and put his shoes back on. Is this National Nail Week or something like that? With all the people I’ve seen picking, clipping and painting their nails, you’d think it was. You know what else is good? Showering, and changing your clothes every now and again.

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White Plains on a Monday Morning

A week or two ago I mentioned a man that was yelling at taxis beeping their horns… I tend to see this man a lot, some days he is quiet, other days not so much. Today was one of those not so much days. He is a rather large man, and I don’t tend to associate giggling with a person like that. Giggling is like a schoolgirl type of thing… but he was certainly giggling.

Some trains were apparently running late this morning, and the announcement system announces what trains and how late they are. The train to Southeast was running about ten minutes late, trains heading into the city seemed to be on time. Mr. Giggles apparently thinks he is somewhere else, and shouts out, “The train to New York is late,” he giggles for a few moments, and then completes the thought, “because it had to stop in CHICAGO first.”

Apparently he was looking for attention and wasn’t getting any, so he decided to begin interrupting people’s conversations. A man and woman to my right were discussing how their shuttle was late. Mr. Giggles chimes in and says, “Amtrak does allow stopovers.” The man and woman look at him and say, “What?” Giggles continues, pointing up where the train platforms are, “The trains. Amtrak does allow stopovers.”

This is Metro North, my friend… though of course that is probably the man’s problems.

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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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From the waiting room on a Friday…

Using a tweezer to trim your nose hairs is best left to at home, not the train waiting room.

It is really annoying when you go through your entire phone’s library of ringtones, playing each as loud as possible in an effort to pick the best one. You may think you look hawt, but you don’t.

If you are not one of the homeless people living in the train station, you probably have enough change to go and buy yourself a dumb newspaper. Picking through the garbage in an effort to find a newspaper suitable to read just makes you look really lame.

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The people I see…

Tomorrow I will be celebrating the end of my eighth full month commuting to work by Metro North. In that time I have encountered many different people. Some I’ve talked to, others I just watch and observe. I might be a little crazy, but I give them sort of nicknames in my head based on their observed traits. Here are some of the people I see regularly:

Ginger: Apparently we both ride the same train every morning. Long before I knew this, I would always pass by her at White Plains train station every morning. She’d be going to the opposite stairwell, while I went down to the one closer to the buses and taxis. The nickname was derived from her red hair, although I’ve noticed that the shade changes from time to time. It does somewhat bother me that her nickname is really a falsehood, not something that reflects her as a person, but reflects the choice of hair dye color for that month. Anyways, she always smiles when she passes by me. One morning when the train car I normally sit in was full, I wandered back and discovered that we ride the same train. She told me that day that seeing me every morning wearing my cute cat hat makes her smile.

Embroidery Lady:  She embroiders stuff while waiting at the train station. That is about it. The only amusing thing that I note about her is that her voice is a bit deeper and lower than I would have expected from her appearance. She has also told me that my cat hat is amusing, and she likes it.

Clipboard Lady: I see this lady in the White Plains train station in the morning. She stands in front of one of the display boards, and holds a clipboard. I wonder about the nature of the clipboard. What she is writing in it. Does she wait for the train and take it to work? Does she work for the MTA or someone else, and stand there to observe people and take notes?

Slipper man: I see slipper man take the train with me from Goldens Bridge in the morning. I tend to laugh at his shoes, because they don’t look like shoes one would wear to work, but slippers around the house. I assume that he goes to work on the train, but it is possible he does not. Either way, for him there is no Casual Friday. It is Casual Wednesday through Friday. These days he wears his slippers. He has several pairs, one being a completely obnoxious orange looking color. Other possible nicknames for him were Horrid Combover man, but I felt that the slippers defined his personality a little bit more.

Santa Claus Man: Looks like Santa Claus, so I imagine at least that is self explanatory. This man really freaks me out though. I at one point thought he was homeless, since I see him wandering around the train station often, sometimes pushing a grocery cart. It seems that he is not, however. He is the guy that I am certain I saw wearing no pants. I had to walk past him this morning on the way to the train station, and he grunted at me several times. If I ever disappear, or am found dead somewhere, this guy might be your first suspect.

Exercise Video Man: This man is totally doing it wrong. I sat next to him on the train one morning. He is a tad overweight, and had his laptop in his lap. I looked over and noticed he was watching an exercise video. On the train. I can understand watching movies and such, but what is the value of watching that, a video meant for you to participate along with? You’re doing it wrong, and you won’t be losing any weight that way, I’m sorry to say!

Juggling dude: I’ve been seeing him recently at White Plains station. I don’t think he is performing or looking for money at all, he just does these juggling sticks things to pass the time, assumedly until his train comes. For some reason I think he looks like Jimmy Wales. If you know who that is. (you probably don’t… he’s the founder of Wikipedia)

Blind lady: I most certainly don’t want to be mean or offensive when referring to this lady, because she is extremely nice. She has a very cute dog too. I really imagine it must be hard for a blind person to ride the train, but yet she does. She did actually mention that she fell off the platform in Brewster once, so she is very careful now. Shit, if I fell off the platform, I might be so afraid I’d never want to ride again! I do sort of observe her though, in case she ever needed any help or anything. One time when she was looking for a seat, the train is pretty busy at White Plains (where she gets on), and she was feeling around to find an empty seat, I think she sorta groped some guy who was sitting there. Guess that seat wasn’t empty.

Obnoxious Fedora Man: In order to explain this man, I must first tell a story. A story of the only time, within these seven months of travel, that MTA made me late for work. Our morning train, the diesel coming down from Wassaic, makes its last stop at Goldens Bridge. So by the time it gets to us, it is pretty full. The train all of a sudden stops in between Valhalla and North White Plains. Apparently something broke, and it needed to be repaired. So we were made to wait about fifteen minutes for someone from the repair facility to come and fix the train. Ten more minutes, and that person determined the train could not be fixed and must go out of service. They brought us up to North White Plains, and we had to disembark.

It was announced that another train would be on its way to pick us up. Now North White has more tracks than most of the other Harlem line stations, so people were unsure whether we should stay on the current platform, or go over to the other. One lady tried her luck and went over to the other platform. She was shouting across to her male friend/boyfriend/husband debating whether he should join her, or she should go back. Apparently Mr. Fedora man thought she was talking to him, and kept answering back her questions. Sort of like going into the bathroom and thinking the person in the stall next to you is asking you questions, when in reality they are talking on their cell phone.

Anyways, a train finally comes, though of course it was completely packed. Pretty much every seat taken. It was the most full I had ever seen a train. Just about everyone from my train was standing up in the aisle of this train. I just happened to be next to the couple, and they were talking about the “obnoxious” guy that kept answering and talking to her across the platform. I guess the name just stuck, in my head at least. The man used to wear a fedora during the winter, but does not anymore. But I still think of him as obnoxious fedora man.

To finish the story though, when we got to White Plains it was absolutely nuts. On a normal day you need to get up and in front of the doors beforehand, because those people are vicious and push their way onto the train, to hell if you are trying to get off. Now imagine a bunch of people confused because their normal train didn’t show up, others waiting for their normal train, and the train pulls in with no space whatsoever for any other body. No sitting room, no standing room. Oh yeah, and there was me, trying to get off. The conductor sorta had to push people aside while shouting “Move aside! Let the passengers out!” Oh well, I was late to work that day.

The man that is always there: His name is Gary. Gary Waxman. If you’ve ever been to White Plains station, you have probably seen him. He runs the news stand on the lower floor of the station. I can not remember a single time I have ever been in the station, and did not see him. He is always there. In the morning, and in the evening. When I need my morning Coke fix, I head right to Gary’s fridge. I’d certainly buy from him a bit more often, if he actually sold plain milk. He sells vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavored milks, but no plain milk. I like plain milk with my chocolate donuts in the morning. And I never have enough milk, because of a milk thief at work. But then again, that is a whole other story…

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Radio Repairman Returns! And a bunch of random memories…

The other day I caught sight of the amusing radio repairman that I dubbed Bob in a previous entry… he was carrying a plate of food, and thankfully didn’t get into any awkward conversations with anyone. He did get up and go to the little conductor vestibule, and got on his hands and knees and looked under the door, and through the window in order to see if anyone was in there. Alas, nobody was. He returned to his seat, shouted out “Mount Kisco!” for no apparent reason a few times, and then got off the train.

Here are a bunch of other random memories that have come to mind recently… some are new and some are old!

While eating lunch at a place across the street from the Valhalla train station, I heard a trio of blondes get into a very heated discussion about dog food.
“You can’t buy your dog Kibbles and Bits, it is BAD!”
“What do you mean, BAD?”
“It is just bad, Iams is better. You get it from the pet store.”
“But why is Iams better?”
“Well, the lady said that giving your dog Kibbles and Bits, is like eating at MCDONALD’S every day! It is FAST FOOD for dogs!”
“Oh, well I wish they would write that on the label then!”

I also kind of hate to admit it, but there are often some “racist incidents” that happen on the train. While walking to the Brewster train station, I stood in the crosswalk waiting for the cars to go by. It is starting to get warmer, so people have their windows down… and the man shouted out the window at me, “I’ll only stop for you because you’re a white girl!” If you’ve ever been to Brewster, you might have an idea of why this disgruntled man made this comment.

A recent article I read talks about convicts traveling by Greyhound bus. I’ve certainly commented about that in this blog. Greyhound feigns ignorance, but I could have told them that ages ago after taking a 30 day cross country trip via Greyhound. Many people talked about being in prison, leaving prison, etc. Now if it were me, I wouldn’t be telling a bunch of random people on the bus about being a felon or anything like that. So you must imagine for each person that told everyone about their criminal past, there might have been quite a few others keeping their mouths shut!

Don’t get lost in Boston. The cops you might ask for directions from aren’t the most helpful. While traveling with several other girls, we were looking for a place on Channel St. The policeman we asked made it a point to inform us that we were stupid girls and that we were looking for “CHANNEL and not CHANEL.” Yes, because Chanel is ALL we think about.

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Another Weirdo, Another Taxi, and old Greyhound Stories

Coming down the steps from the platform this morning at White Plains, I saw some rather odd guy running around wrapped in a white bed comforter… hmm, is it nappy time? Perhaps another homeless guy I don’t recall seeing before… but it did look like it was a nice comforter… almost like the down one I have on my own bed. Hmm…

In other news, there is yet another White Plains taxi driver that isn’t trying very hard… Here is another artist rendition. Yeah, because the first turned out *so* well…
fishing

Here are some good past memories of Greyhound, after reminiscing with my friend and travel companion:

  • A man that wanted to give me 20 dollars to see if I could fit in the upper baggage hold of the bus
  • Vitaballs vitamins looking very suspicious on baggage x-rays
  • Taking 20 pounds of cheese from Wisconsin 1100 miles by bus
  • Getting soaked in a rainstorm because the skylight window on the bus would not close.
  • Getting hit on by a guy at the Atlanta bus station at 3am while eating icecream, and telling him we forgot our names.
  • Females flashing other passengers… then giving said passengers their “business card”
  • Getting kicked off the city bus in Las Vegas, because we asked the driver directions, and he said he was not an information booth
  • Almost getting kicked out of Canada because we wanted to get our passports stamped, apparently that desire makes them want to investigate you further… so we got detained. And my friend joked around when they asked her how much money she had, and said “a dollar.” Let’s just say the woman who detained us didn’t find this very amusing.
  • Shopkeeper in Wisconsin convincing my friend and I to buy cheese hats… We said that we would have no place to put them in our baggage, and she suggested we wear them on the bus, and told us of a man that was in a plane crash and was protected by his cheese hat, which he couldn’t fit in his luggage. Research into this subject proves that it is for the most part true, though the man was a pilot of a small plane and was not on a commercial aircraft.
  • A man with many face piercings bleeding profusely all over himself, and the bus.
  • A drug addict that lost his bag of drugs…
  • Does Greyhound even sell 30 day bus passes any more???

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    Reminder to Self: Don’t Go to Sleep. Ever.

    After getting off the train in White Plains the place I work at has a shuttle that picks us up and takes us to Valhalla, where I work. I was pretty tired this morning, and had a rather nice nap on the train ride down. The shuttle bus was another story however… As we arrived at work, and I was attempting to wake myself up, I hear… “I’m your prince, I have to give you a kiss to wake you up!” Save me please!

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    The Radio Repair Man, and Public Transportation Etiquette

    I think it is an unwritten rule of public transportation etiquette that when there are a lot of empty seats on the train/bus/whatever, you don’t sit right next to another passenger. Let me just say, a guy I saw on the train one evening was apparently unaware of this rule. By the time the train gets to Chappaqua, most of the passengers have already left, and the cars may have about two to three people in them, max.

    In my train car, there was only one other guy. At Chappaqua, another man entered the train. From this point on I will refer to him as Bob. Bob decides to sit right next to the other man. After a few moments of awkward silence, Bob pipes up, “I repair radios. What do you do?” The other man appears to be rather dumbfounded, “Is he talking to me??” he thinks. So Bob repeats, “I repair radios. What do you do?”

    If the silence was awkward, this was definitely even more so. The man began answering Bob’s questions, with what he told me later were completely fabricated answers. Then Bob wanted to know where the man lived, and where he grew up. Again, he was given fabricated answers.

    As we approached Mount Kisco station, Bob asked the man if he knew anything about computers. The man said he did not. Bob abruptly rose from the seat and prepared to disembark, telling the man something along the lines of, “Oh, I don’t think we’ll talk again. If you knew about computers, I might have wanted to talk with you again. But you don’t.” And then, when the doors opened, Bob left.

    I like to refer to this man as Bob, recalling a previous visit to Mount Kisco, though not by train. It had to have been at least five years ago, on the way home to Connecticut I stopped at the Burger King in Mount Kisco for a quick meal. In the parking lot there was a car completely filled in every place but the driver seat with fast food trash. Inside the Burger King we saw the man that owned the car: filling a two liter soda bottle in the self serve soda fountain, and then washing his hands in the soda. Needless to say, it was a memorable bit of amusement every time we were to pass through Mount Kisco.

    Fast forward to about a year ago. My family again stopped at the Burger King in Mount Kisco, and my dad thought it would be amusing to ask if the man “who washes his hands in the soda” still comes around. Apparently he is well known at the establishment, and a worker told my father his name was Bob. I like to think that this man is the one I did in fact see on the train.

    I may never know for sure.

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