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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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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