Tag Archives: train

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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A Moment Of Kindness On The Metro North

8 Mar

March 9, 2018

The Metro North is a northeastern regional train line. You buy a ticket and the conductor walks down the aisle and punches a card, which he sticks on your seat signifying at which stop you get off. I ride it every day and I usually get a seat but  on this night it was crowded and I stood.

Sitting not far from me was a family, a father and his young children. They were about five years old and very cute, reading books on the ride. But it was crowded and cramped and bad as it was for me standing, it was worse for the conductor who had to squeeze his way down the aisle and check everyone’s ticket and punch a card for each one.  So he could be forgiven if he just did his job and moved on down the line.

But he didn’t.

Wouldn’t you give this child a smile?

When he got to the family, he took some extra time with the tickets. While he made small talk with the kids (“Do you like the ride? Is it smooth enough?”) I watched him make a lot of extra punches in their tickets. I had no idea what he was doing but when he was finished, he handed them each a card which had a smiley face punched into it.

The kids were thrilled as only a little kid would be at getting a card with a smiley face punched in it. Their smiles were huge and they waved the cards in the air. They were happy, their father was happy, the conductor was happy, and I, who just happened to be looking at the right place at the right time, was happy too.

Look closely at the ticket in his hand.

 

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