Saturday, September 15, 2007

More random observations

* The subway operates according to its own mysterious and random schedule at weekends. Express trains become local trains or even change numbers and colours. That would be OK if there was some kind of predictability to it, but they sometimes change half-way through the journey and sometimes not all the time. I got lost in Harlem, thinking that the train I took was operating the local route only to be told by the train driver that today, it was local until 103rd and then express onwards. No announcements, no signs, no forewarning. I have come to realise that taking the subway at the weekend is the city's equivalent of the russian roulette, less deadly but similarly unpredictable and, of course, infuriating.
* I have noticed the same woman, sitting in the Winter Gardens of the World Financial Center, every single day without fail for nearly 7 months now. She sits on one of the benches and sometimes wonders outside in the Marina, doing nothing and meeting no-one. She's not homeless - in fact, she dresses up every day. I am puzzled as to why she is here when she clearly doesn't work in the building. My theory is that she is hoping that, one day, a rich investment banker will notice her, ask her out and maybe they'll marry and have lots of children. That's clearly, and depressingly, the kind of desperate measures one has to take in New York!
* I once watched - OK, oggled at - a very good-looking and fit black man, sporting tracksuit bottoms and a bare chest, running backwards in the middle of Broadway (possibly one of the busiest avenues in the city) while throwing boxing punches. He narrowly avoided being run-over more than once but seemed unfazed by the danger.
* At the subway station at 181st Street (yes, I did venture that far north), you have to take a lift to get back up to street level. The lifts are operated by a man who has decided to numb the dullness of the job by setting up his own DJ booth in the lift, spining out loud Reggae tracks, much to the amusement and pleasure of the passengers.
* According to the NY Times quizz I took, my New York age is 27. I clearly have a lot more to do here before I can consider myself a local. I will make sure I take the quizz periodically and I aim to be achieve a NY age of 50 before I can really call myself a local.
* In my hotel room in Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, I watched the film "Showgirls" on TV and was amazed that they didn't bother bleeping out the numerous swear words but instead recorded bad voiceovers (that didn't even match the actors' voice) to re-phrase the offensive sentences in a more politically-correct manner.
* My favourite slogan t-shirt sighting - "Rehab is for quitters". Enough said.
* One of my favourite sites is - a collection of things that people have heard other people say in New York. Funny, stupid, rude, raunchy - it's all there. I hope to contribute to it one day!

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