A hundred times have I thought New York is a catastrophe, and fifty times: It is a beautiful catastrophe. Le Corbusier
(photo by photomelissa)
New York City is a panic attack on Houston and Essex, it’s a broken down Q train, it’s a 45 minute schlep to work. New York City is finding yourself in your friend’s ex-girlfriend’s most recent ex-boyfriend’s apartment, it’s a roof in Brooklyn, it’s a bar in the East Village. New York City is a fake ID that expired 3 years ago, it’s an $8 show that changed your life, it’s a kitten found in a box 2 blocks from the office. New York City is a text message that was never responded to, it’s a photo pass to your favorite concert, it’s free drinks on a ship in mid-July. New York City is being in love with everyone you see, it’s a cup of coffee that makes you crazy, it’s your friend putting lipstick on you outside the venue 10 minutes before the show. New York City is platform shoes, it’s a pair of Converse, it’s taking a couple of Advil when you get home. New York City is thrifted treasure, it’s a stoop sale that saved your life, it’s the best cup of cocoa chai you’ve ever had. New York City is a sweaty room full of BK’s hippest, it’s missing an opportunity only to get another, it’s a lot of anxiously waiting. New York City is realizing your dream, it’s passing your current boss’s girlfriend on campus, it’s an iChat that got sent to the wrong person. New York City is a library full of tired kids, it’s a brownstone full of addicts, it’s a dorm room full of outsiders. New York City is a laugh attack in a quiet room, it’s a crick in your neck, it’s a stack of vinyl in your desk drawer. New York City is a walk to the waterfront, it’s an endless conversation, it’s 4 cups of tea in one work day. New York City is a revelation, it’s an exchange of words with the nicest stranger, it’s a never-ending beginning.
1910 Old Penn Station (RIP)
We have the Penn Station we deserve now, don’t we?
Circus Animals on 33rd Street (April 1968), Otto Bettmann
I had a lot of fun wandering around Central Park this morning! Apparently we got 11 inches of snow? That’s nothing on what got dumped on New England, but it’s still pretty exciting for this desert child. I loved seeing half of NYC out with their sleds and their dogs all bundled up in snow booties and down vests. I’m also pretty excited this weekend alone has been enough to justify my purchase of my beloved Bean boots and my long navy down coat.
P.S. God bless all of the New Yorkers who got up and shoveled the sidewalks this morning.
Like a shelf stocked full with fancy mustards, too many potential mates makes it harder to settle on just one. The surplus of singles in New York and L.A. means only that the single person’s wasteland is that much more vast: New York City’s 305-square-mile expanse offers over 8 million people to pick over. After a near decade of dating experience in that environment, my friend Joe Berkowitz tells me, the sheer volume of young singles in the city “gives you the sense that you could meet someone at any time. Most of the time, though, you don’t.” Another friend who uses an online dating site in the city says that the buffet of options means “everyone is looking out for someone better.
I think there are a number of pluses to online dating—and I know people who have had plenty of success with it—but I honestly agree that this is one of the biggest hurdles you have to overcome when you’re trying to do it in a city like NYC. I gave it the old college try, and I just can’t shake the sense that—as the article says—every person I went out on a date with was looking for someone better, or expected me to be someone I’m not.
P.S. It is way hard to meet people in NYC.
Wandering hordes of diseased pigeons
Subway cars that smell like urine no matter the season
Tourists who won’t move out of the way on sidewalks
Penn Station, Port Authority Bus Terminal, the Javits Center
Taken with instagram
For some reason (aka the 70 degree weather) I decided I was going to walk home from work today. I work in Midtown West, and live on the Upper East Side, which meant 90% of my walk was through Central Park. I called my mom right around the time I hit Museum Mile and was like, “I see now how much New Yorker hubris was involved in this decision,” but I made it. It only took me an hour.
Check out the gorgeous art from Sophie Blackall’s NYC subway poster. You can see the whole thing pieced together over at her blog.
- “Sick passenger is code for “dead customer ON the train”. Often times it actually IS a sick passenger though - sick usually refers to some kind of bodily injury, rather than someone puking or passing out, and the delays are mainly from the MTA doing an investigation to cover their asses when that customer eventually files a lawsuit.”
- “‘Police investigation’ is the code for a suicide by train. Service will be disrupted for about a half hour, usually. I’ve seen it mess up things for as long as 3 hours though.”
- There were 136 suicides last year (approximately 2/week), and that figure includes accidental deaths
- You ARE allowed to ride the 6 train past the last stop (Brooklyn Bridge) to see the City Hall ghost station, and the conductors aren’t supposed to kick you off. “There is a legitimate reason for this. Bleecker St still doesn’t have an underpass for the uptown platform, so passengers transferring from the F to the 6 and who want to go uptown are gonna have to either stay on the train, or do a crossover at Canal St or Brooklyn Bridge, which is likely gonna result in them boarding the same uptown 6 train they were already on.”
- If somebody faints or has a heart attack: “For the love of god DO NOT pull the emergency brake. Doing so is going to KILL the customer, not save him. Now we not only have a sick customer, we have a sick customer who is stuck halfway between stations where EMS can’t reach him.”
- “The only time the emergency brake should EVER be pulled is if a customer is in danger of being injured/killed by the moving train (their tie is stuck in the door, etc), or if a parent and child get separated due to the closing doors.”
- If you fall into the tracks: “The best thing you can do is run as far down the platform as you can (in the opposite direction from where the train enters the station) and wave your arms frantically to get the train operator and passenger’s attention. Believe me, the passengers WILL be doing the exact same thing, as nobody wants to see you get run over and their train get delayed. If you can get to the far end of the platform, it gives the train more room to stop, and there is a ladder at the end of each platform where you can climb back up – do NOT try to climb up from where you are. So many people have been killed trying to jump back up rather than getting away from the entrance end of the station.”
And also: “Do NOT trust the pits between the tracks —- they are often right next to the third rail which can be just as dangerous (and note that the wooden planks are not designed to hold a human’s weight - they are there to protect the energized rail from drips and weather) and the train operator is less likely to see you if you’re in there. And don’t duck under the train, because most stations do not have enough clearance for the average human. And do NOT jump down onto the tracks to try to save someone else. The best thing you can do is run on the platform towards the tunnel where the train enters so you can get the operator’s attention sooner. Waving your arms over the tracks will tell the operator to stop immediately.”
- Yes, there are some conductors who make $100,000+ a year. However, they are at top pay, work 6 days a week, 12 hours a day and have no life outside of work. The average senior conductor makes about $65K a year.
- On deciding when to close the car doors: “Minimum of 10 seconds per station (on the newer trains, wait until it’s done playing the next stop announcement). If there are still people boarding after that, keep waiting. However, you don’t have to wait for stragglers. If I see last second runners (people who weren’t already on the platform before the train arrived), it’s at my discretion if I hold the doors for them, or see if I can can close down before they’re able to grab the doors. There are some stations where if I wait for everyone, I will literally NEVER be able to close down, so I try to close at the first opportunity where I can do it without catching anyone in the doors.”
I’ve become a respectable adult! My dad has forced/convinced me to invest a good portion of my writing income. I have a diversified portfolio! I was trying to research some companies I wanted to buy stock in (including the parent company of the company I work for), and it’s been really interesting to see which companies are and aren’t public (damn you, J.Crew!) and which ones are incredibly expensive to buy into (OMG Amazon). I mostly invested in “safe” companies like Pepsi, Kraft, and Johnson & Johnson, which don’t have big fluctuations and pay yearly dividends. Mama’s gotta put that money to work!