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Tag Archives: homeless

Fine Dining on the Subway

1 Jun

June 1, 2018

Ah, the subway during rush hour. The crowds, the pushing and shoving, the smells, the body odor, the homeless, the rats, the unidentifiable flecks floating in the air. Doesn’t it make you hungry?

Not me.

I really don’t know how people do it but I see it every day. Just yesterday a woman was sitting in a seat, crowded on all sides, with a series of plastic bags open on her lap and the dirty floor between her feet and from them she was taking the makings of tortillas, which she made and ate while the odor of the homeless guy across from her wafted through the air like mustard gas in World War One. 

But what is even more inconceivable to me, yet I see it more than a few times each week, is the bizarre phenomenon of people taking home pizza on the subway. 

Picture it. Rush hour. Crowds. People pressed together. And someone forces their way on the train carrying a large box that has to be held straight out and flat, taking up the room of two other people. It pokes the already crowded commuters in their backs and gets shoved and wrestled. This happens. I see it a lot. A guy gets on at Union Square in Manhattan and takes a pizza all the way home, 45 minutes, to Bay Parkway. Of course by the time he gets it home it’ll be cold, probably squashed, and it’ll have been traveling through the subway where the air has more rat particles per square inch than an actual rat. Appetizing! And worse, the part of Brooklyn he traveled to with the pizza has more pizzerias than you can shake stick at. There are a dozen within walking distance of my house, no lie. Why not wait until you get home and order a pizza? Fresh and hot! And untainted by the body odor of underground denizens.

So even assuming the pizza from Union Square is the greatest pizza in the known world, after being shaken and crushed on the train, and after getting cold in an hour of travel, and after being exposed to the foul air underground, how good is that pizza going to taste?

Is it worth it?

 

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Survivor-Man Me?

8 Feb

February 8, 2018

Let me tell you what I was wearing. Not because I think you’ll get a thrill out of it, but because it is relevant to the story.

Blue sweat pants. Brown slip-on Skechers that I say are trendy and Saarah says are not. No socks. An old, thin green worn out t-shirt that is only good for wearing around the house. A winter coat.

That’s quite an ensemble and no, I was not on my to the Queen’s Ball. I was outside throwing out the trash. It was midnight and about 25 degrees outside. (That’s degrees Fahrenheit, not that Celsius nonsense. Celsius is just a scam perpetuated by the big mercury conglomerates to make us buy new thermometers.)

Does the dude in this stock photo look cold? He just looks creepy to me.

I walked around the side of my building to where the garbage cans are and put my trash in one of the already full cans so that my bag was precariously balanced atop a mountain of who knows what. I’m pretty sure that my building’s super empties these cans once in a while, but then again, what do I know? They never seem to get any emptier. (Yet they never get any fuller either. Maybe he empties just enough to keep the status quo.)

So, mission accomplished, I was walking back around the building when there was a gust of wind and I realized just how poorly I was dressed for the weather. Good thing I was only going to be outside for a minute or two and had a warm home to go back to.

But what if I didn’t? What if I were homeless?

Dressed as I was, was I prepared to survive a night of sudden homelessness?

I was already feeling a chill in my toes and since I wasn’t wearing socks my feet weren’t particularly comfortable to begin with.  So if I was forced to spend a night outdoors, braving the elements, how would I handle it?

My first worry was about frostbite. My hands I could jam in my jacket pockets, but with no socks my toes were an obvious frostbite target. I could probably tear up my shirt and wrap my feet in the cloth, then jam them into my shoes. But then I’d be shirtless (calm down ladies). Well, I was wearing a winter coat so I could zip it all the way up. My head was bare and my jacket didn’t have a hood. Maybe I could save some of the ripped t-shirt to wrap around my head like a bandanna to protect my ears from frostbite. Nothing I could do about my legs. The wind blew right through the sweatpants.

I had to face the fact that I was barely dressed to survive the minute and a half I’d be out in the winter, there was no way I’d survive overnight.

It was one thing to toss out the trash dressed that way, but I’d have to prepare better if I were to live outside.

If I were ever really homeless, I’d somehow make my way down to Florida. It’s much easier to be homeless in the winter laying on Miami Beach than it is here on Coney Island Beach.

That’s the life!

Being homeless on the beach does have some perks.

 

 

 

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