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.

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!

Good Eats at the Former Valhalla Train Station

Imagine that, today I get to be a food critic! My friend Despina is fasting for Lent, and was looking for a decent place to eat (her variety of “fasting” is essentially eating vegan), and suggested Valhalla Crossing, which right next to Valhalla’s Metro-North station, and historically, was the original station building. I see the place just about every day on the way to work, yet had never gotten a chance to eat there.

Of course I brought my camera for documentary purposes, and the decor was quite nice in the place, so I took quite a few pictures. Our waitress told us that most of the woodwork in the room where we sat was not original, but the floor of the bar is the original station floor. Trains regularly pass by the place, which is kind of cool to watch. The noise from said trains was not bad at all, I’ve heard and felt worse in the city when subways pass by underneath. Though thinking about it, during the lunchtime hours mostly M7’s were going by… I imagine one of the diesels passing by is sure to jolt you from your reverie.

Throughout the place were framed prints and photographs of train-related memorabilia, as well as original photos of the Valhalla station, with the original platform. There was a caboose room in which you could eat, which we took photographs of. Of course all the people eating in the room had pause their conversations to turn and look. This is why I often feel shy about taking photos in public. I quite liked the large painting of the steam train that was not far from our table, but my friend kept saying to me that the plume of steam looked like an umbilical cord. Delightful imagery for lunchtime.

The food itself was pretty good. I am notoriuosly picky about my food, of which most people who know me can wholeheartedly attest to. I ordered the “Third rail” mostly because I was amused with the name. It contained chicken with buffalo sauce, bleu cheese, lettuce and tomato on a wedge. If I had to find a fault in it at all, I would have to say, “you call that buffalo sauce?” Weak and hardly spicy. The bleu cheese should complement the buffalo sauce, not overpower it. Alright, perhaps I am just bitter because my friend’s wrap looked better. If you go to Valhalla Crossing, try a wrap, they look good. And the onion rings look better than the fries. But they’re so awesome that they’ll allow you to get a little bit of both if you want. Either way, the Valhalla Crossing is pretty cute, and I’d certainly go back. They get major points from me because there were no big, black hairs in my food, which happened to me down the road at the North Castle Diner. There’s a place I’d never revisit.

Anyways, be sure to take a look at their website, ValhallaCrossing.com. My web designer nature must make me of course say that with the interesting decor of the place, they really could have carried that over and made an awesome website, but unfortunately they chose an out of the box template look, which saddens me slightly. (I can redesign that for you guys. Call me!) But really, go take a visit. Valhalla’s got some nice little places to eat, all in walking distance of the train station. Another favorite of mine being Mughal Palace, an Indian restaurant across the street from the station. Yummy.