Morning in White Plains

Oh man, I’m sitting in the waiting room in White Plains laughing my ass off, because that sleeper kid that I posted pictures of once before is back. And he is worse then ever. Giant book in hand, he keeps falling asleep, and rocking back and forth as gravity attempts to pull him out of the chair and onto the floor. He dropped his book, and the clatter woke him up. Apparently he was also trying to eat, and with his wide open mouth, the food dribbled out and onto the floor. The rest of the food just rests underneath him discarded, he must have dropped it. Eating while falling asleep probably isn’t the best of ideas, though at least he has the sense not to eat the food that fell on the ground. Right now, though, he is just snoring quite loudly, as the people that walk back and forth through the waiting room chuckle and stare.
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In other news, the guy who always hangs out at White Plains station begging for dollars has also returned. Before he even asked me for money, I just said to him “We don’t have any money for you.” He replied back, “no dollars?” and my friend said, “No. No dollars. You are always here begging for money!” And with that, he left. I happened to come up with a brilliant idea though, but a bit too late to use on him. The next time anyone begs for money, I will say that if they stand right where they are and do a little dance or sing a song, and allow me to record it, I will give them a dollar. That way they get their money, and we get something hilarious to look at on the blog. Spectacular!

Though this morning wasn’t completely bust… the delightful Salvation Army trombone player was also back. And he brought his friends! They certainly sounded good, as I said before, much better than ringing that bell. I ended up giving them the dollar that I didn’t give to the beggar, certainly a far better investment. I did ask him what other stations he plays at, and he said Hartsdale and Scarsdale, so you riders over in those stations look for him and his cheerful Christmas tunes.
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Sleepyhead, Rocking Horse & Crazy Hair

The more I post in this blog, the more I find myself split between posting pictures and stories of the crazy people I see, and relevant news regarding the Harlem Line. I think that I have come to a compromise of doing half and half. However, today is certainly a pictures of crazy people day. Oh, and remember, if you see some crazy people around the MTA trains, subways or buses be sure to take a picture and send it to me. :D

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This funny guy kept trying to read, failing, and then falling asleep. I seriously thought he was going to fall out of his seat and onto the floor. There were a lot of sleepy people today, that is until one of the other crazies came upstairs and started shouting at them, “WAKE UP!”

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I just thought this woman was funny, she was carrying this small rocking horse around on the platform, and then onto the train.

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The other day I mentioned a girl with crazy hair carrying a mannequin torso… apparently she visited the train station again last night, this time she chose to carry a halloween pumpkin bucket. But this time I did take her picture. My coworker that saw her said that the tattoo on her face is probably real as well.

Also for amusement, here are some of the pictures that I was mailed today from the Christmas Carol Train Tour that was in Grand Central two weekends ago. On the train they took your photo, and then did a few “face morphs” to make you look like some of the characters from the movie.
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Looking for love on the Harlem Line

I was slightly amused this morning… happened to find a post someone made on Craigslist, looking for a girl he met last night on the train.

Saw you on the train as I walked up the isle and took the seat diagonal to the right of you. You were messing around with your Blackberry Storm – seemed like you were having trouble playing the music, hope it finally works now. You had excellent taste in music, from what I saw you were rocking Kings of Leon (my fav), The Veronicas and The Beatles White Ablum (another good one). Also, not that I was totally stalking you, I saw that you ticket was to Crestwood when the conductor came by so you live pretty close, I’m from Bronxville. We made eye contact when I was standing up in front of you as we pulled into Bronxville, that’s when I noticed you had amazing eyes. I’d really like to hear from you and see if we have anything else in common besides good taste in music…

You: Attractive girl, dark hair with what seemed like redish highlights and a clip in it, light eyes and manicured nails.
Me: Dark curly hair (I needed a haircut), 5 o’clock shadow, jeans and white long sleeve shirt and black messenger bag

Good luck finding her, dude. It isn’t such a crazy idea… a few years back Patrick Moberg found his mystery subway girl after starting a website called NYGirlofmyDreams.com Though I guess the illustration and website is a bit more creative than Craigslist.

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You can see the original post on Craigslist here.

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A Symphony of Sniffles, Bickering Twins, and More Politicians

You know what I seemed to forget this whole summer? Kids that ride the train to school. It was so wonderfully quiet without them… but now they’re back! Around White Plains I tend to see quite a few students from *unnamed school*… and when they aren’t discussing how they use cell phones, text messages, and all the other current technologies to cheat on their exams, they focus on getting the rest of the train passengers sick with what is probably swine flu. If I was a little bit nicer, perhaps I would have brought a box of tissues with me and given it to the whole lot of them. The other day the train really was filled with a symphony of sniffles. They all piped in at one point or another, but one kid, well, he was the metronome. He kept the beat of the slow-paced song with his every-five-second sniffles. Several people boarded the train and sat rather close to these kids, but within a few moments of hearing their song, they quickly got up and left. But hey, if you feel like sitting by yourself on the train, you can also use this tactic. Just start a terrible round of fake hacking coughs when people are boarding the train… Eighty, if not more, percent of the time, everyone will keep their distance from you, the sickie.

The other day I had to double check that I didn’t have any vision problems when I saw two identical twins on the platform. The amusing thing is that they must have gotten into a fight or something, because they were each pretending like the other wasn’t there. They were standing about twenty feet from each other, and I stood right in the middle, looking from one side of the platform to another. Really, I thought I was crazy, or my eyes were playing tricks. Too bad I missed the fight, must have happened shortly before I arrived at the station. That might have been interesting. I wonder though, who the hell do you root for when two identical twins get in a fistfight?

In other news, politicians are again hanging out at the train station, oh joy! Politicians are always my favorite. Last week there was a man passing out papers about Rob Astorino. I always love to see what is going on, so I went to grab one. But the man didn’t hand one to me right away, instead he squinted his eyes and stared at me. And then he mumbled, “are you even OLD ENOUGH to vote?!” That is sort of like when I go to restaurants and the waitress asks if I want a kids’ menu. Or at work when someone asks me if I am visiting my mommy or daddy… dammit, don’t you just hate when that happens?!

Back to politicians though, is there any amusing term that one uses for a person that is constantly following around a politician? Groupie? Or perhaps fanboy? Mr. Astorino apparently needs to find some better fanboys to pass out papers, ones that don’t mumble and you can actually understand. Like Dan Schorr’s friend with the large moustache. He is very loud and you certainly can understand him, other than the fact that you wonder where the sound is coming from because his facial hair is so large you don’t see his lips move.

This week, Mr. Astorino himself was in White Plains. Sort of just standing there smiling. As everyone rushed by. But hey, I noticed something… the little brochure that was being handed out, it looked a lot like another politician I know! I can’t believe the resemblance! Even the design of the brochure is the same… can you believe it?

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Alright, alright. Perhaps that was a bit much. But I mean, it isn’t like anyone ever photoshops pictures of politicians!
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Actually, this whole thing was amusing, because I had the brochure sitting on my desk here at work, and my supervisor came in and said, “Oh my god, that is Robbie Astorino! I was in third grade with him!” If only she knew about Robbie and his american flag bikini. I think Sarah Palin has one just like it too! Hmm…

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Train Graffiti

Perhaps I pay a little bit more attention to the signs and advertisements on the train because I am a graphic designer. Or perhaps it is just because I am observant. Either way, I am often amused looking at the little messages people write on ads, and on the trains. People interacting with their surroundings. Probably stupid people.

Here is my collection to date of delightful bits of train graffiti. Perhaps sometime in the future there will be a part two… and if you happen to have any pictures of anything amusing, be sure to send it to me :D

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Advertisements for television shows are quite common on the trains. Apparently this person thinks that TV is shit.

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Goldens Bridge tends to frequently get graffiti similar to the one above. My hypothesis is that high school students are the ones making the marks, and Goldens Bridge gets many young people, between the local skater kids and the students that take the train to school. Kennedy High School is right down the street, and a shuttle bus picks up students at the station every morning.

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My initial thought in seeing this is that someone forgot to write “For a good time, call…” Assuming that it is in fact a phone number, it is still missing an area code. Trying the various area codes from the New York area, the only promising number is in the area code 914. And that would be Dr. Jim Koo, located in Yorktown. Did someone on the train call information and not have anything to write on? Or maybe Dr. Koo is hoping for you to call him for a good time. He’ll give you a full physical.

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Fuck you Conrail? Conrail??? Metro North was formed in 1983, and Conrail was before that. Is someone living in the past, or was this done a long, long time ago?

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Apparently I’Am not very good at writing English…

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Please Do Not Touch Me (Part 2) & The Zoo

Some of my older readers may recall my mention of a man that stroked my knee while riding the Long Island Rail Road. I do not like touchy people. I do not want to be touched by these people. This morning I was really engrossed with a novel I am reading, hanging out on the benches at White Plains station, waiting for my shuttle bus to arrive. Apparently I was so engrossed that I didn’t see the shuttle arrive. A man, who also apparently rides the shuttle and looks to be a fairly new rider, walked over and placed his fingers on top of my hand, alerting me to the arrived shuttle. I sort of thought this was awkward. Never have we ever had a conversation before, and as of yet we still have not. He just touched my hand and then walked away. He could have say, spoke aloud, or if he was really intent on touching me to notify me, he could have tapped me on the shoulder, right? Perhaps I shouldn’t be quite so bothered by this incident, but it just felt rather awkward.

In other news, the train has been more like a zoo this week… in fact a man was so alarmed by this fact I saw him putting on bug spray prior to getting on the train! (okay, I exaggerate, but he was putting on bug spray!) Yesterday we had an adorable kitten by the name of Trouble. Today we had an obnoxious little dog, who knows what his name was. Not counting service dogs, I don’t really think animals have all that much place on the trains. Small animals either on the passenger’s lap or in a carrier I think are acceptable. But walking your dog on a leash in the train aisle is kind of dumb to me. I certainly hope she picked the dog up when exiting the train. Well, I am sure she did, otherwise I would have been hearing “oh come help, Fido fell in the gap, we need to save him!”
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Number 1 Reason to Ride Metro North: Beer

While riding the train I always see a lot of people drinking beer after work. I wonder if some people solely ride the train just because they can drink and ride, instead of getting arrested for drinking and driving. I also notice that just about every single person who drinks beer, leaves their empty beer bottles and cans on the train when they get off. You know, just so everyone sees how cool they are that they drink and ride. Everybody know you gotta show off like dat, yo.

Some people get started early…
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And others enjoy the beginning of the weekend…
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Either way, you’re just not cool if you aren’t drinking beer on the train.

Hey, maybe Metro North could even do a promotion, touting the best reason to ride the train! Completely ignore the fact that the majority of people do actually have to drive their cars home after getting off at the train station. Replace those boring train advertisements, and do a little something like this:
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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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Swine Flu! EVERYBODY PANIC!

I tend to think that the media uses a bit too much fear mongering… especially with this whole Swine Flu thing. In case I just happen to die from the swine flu, remember those as my last words. :D

Anyways, here are some great pictures I took today of someone who may be a little bit too afraid… everybody panic!

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Alright, it wasn’t just “someone” … it was a coworker, but even still, it is pretty funny. This is the guy I wrote about before who has the phobia of pigeons… so of course I had to tell him that it would be just his luck to not get swine flu, but bird flu.

I’ll definitely start to laugh the day that other employees here start wearing masks… again, I do think there is a little bit too much panic going on… our company has even introduced some new “operating rules” due to swine flu:

  • Business travel to and from Mexico is prohibited.
  • No visitors are from Mexico are to be received by any ******** employee. Any such meetings are to be conducted by video conference or other such means.
  • Personal travel to and from Mexico is discouraged. Any employees who have or will be traveling to Mexico may not report back to work until a seven day quarantine period has passed after their return.
  • My prediction however, is that the second person to die in the United States from Swine flu, will not be a person that actually has the illness. The person will sneeze while riding public transportation, and will be beaten to death by panicking passengers.

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