Light Holiday Shopping Rush?

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Well it is usually this time of the year that I run out of Christmas cheer.  It’s about this time that I am ready to kill people on the subway.

Most of it has to do with obnoxious tourists and their 25 shopping bags cramming into the train cars.

See if you can relate to this scenario.  There you are going to or coming from work.  You have on dress pants or a skirt.  Most dress pants tend to be a somewhat thin, light weight material.  Here comes a 50 something woman with 10 shopping bags in each hand.  As she tries to scoot by you on the train, the sharp corners from her designer shopping bags scratch and scrape your legs.

I’ve actually had a person put a small hole in my pants like this ones.  Soooooooo pissed.  Even more pissed because I didn’t notice the whole until someone pointed it out when I got to the office. And I know it was from this woman on the train because the there was a red scratch on my skin right where the hole was in the fabric.

Anyway, the major rush seems to have already ended.  I’m not seeing as many shoppers on the trains this week as I’ve seen in years past.  The trains are no more crowded than normal it seems.

I did speak to a vendor at the Bryant Park holiday bazaar, and he said it is much slower than last year.  It is much colder this year than it was the previous year.  As a matter of fact, it was pretty warm for December last year, so it brought out tons of people.

Any other mass transit holiday nightmares you would like to share?

Can we all agree that Columbus Day is the most pointless holiday of the year?

Honestly, it really is.  It’s like a fake holiday.  The damn kids have school off, but we don’t get the day off from work.

Let’s look at a quick holiday breakdown:

St. Patrick’s Day:  An excuse to get wasted in the middle of the week.  And who doesn’t love green beer?

Valentine’s Day:  This one’s for the ladies, but it gets men laid.  And women get chocolate.

Labor Day:  Hey, no work!

Memorial Day:  Honor the troops.  Hey, and another day off!

President’s Day:  Still, more people get the day off than Columbus day.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day:  Celebrate racial equality, and yes, another day off from work.

Then, there’s Columbus day.  Only kids in public school and teachers get the day off.  The rest of us have to go to work.  Yeah, there’s a parade, but even that’s pretty lame.  The Italian community latches onto this guy like a saint.  I mean yeah, he “discovered” America, and was alleged to be Italian, but even that’s up for debate.

Besides that, he is widely known as causing the most massive slaughtering of human life in history.  The exploration and settling of Columbus’ voyages displaced, enslaved, and killed millions of indigenous American people.

Columbus, and the people he brought to this continent “…caused the deaths of millions of American indigenous peoples, in what can only be described as one of the greatest tragedies of all time.”

Ok, now that being said, let’s get back to the kids.  They were everywhere today!  The day off from school meant that thousands of teenage students were turned loose on the city.  The trains were super crowded with teens huddled in small groups all over the trains.

Since the parents still had to go to work, they were left to their own devices.  So why not hit the city for the day and do…things.

I have no idea where all these kids are on the weekends because you never see them out like this on a random Saturday.  Something about having a day off from school brought them all out, thus making the commute a nightmare.

Of course, they were not out of bed yet for the morning commute.  But the afternoon ride…WOW!

High School Kids: They’re Back

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I think the high school population in my neighborhood doubled this year.  Today, there were waaaay more kids waiting for the train than last year.

The girls really bother me.  They move in little packs of 2 or 3, and will not separate no matter what.  So instead of being able to navigate around just one of them at a time, you have to treat them as a single person.

They get on the already crowded train, and then stand on top of each other in the most inconvenient spots possible.  Then, as the ride continues, they don’t move with the natural flow of the train car.  As other people get on and off, they refuse to separate.  As if they weren’t going to the same place.

If they get separated or travel alone, immediately the iPod earbuds go in.  Also, oversized sunglasses go on so they can spot their girlfriends without people knowing they’re panicked.

Then there’s the guys.  They tend to be a bit more nomadic, however it depends on their race.  No, I’m not racist.  It’s just an observation.  Feel free to disagree.  Here we go:

White Guys:  They tend to gravitate to the pods of girls.  They move solo.  If no girls are around, two guys might ride together.  Otherwise, they go it alone, or  with a minimum of 2 girls.  You’ll usually see a group of girls with the token dude standing somewhere near by.  Shaggy haircuts and designer t-shirts a must.  They come off as way too cool for everyone on the train.  Oh and don’t forget the messenger bags

Hispanic Guys:  The true nomads.  They tend to do their own thing.  They’re often the least noticeable because they travel solo, move with the flow of people, and generally don’t get in the way.  I relate best to these guys.  They just look like they want to be left alone…like me.  As if they haven’t had their second cup of coffee just yet…like me again.  By the way, what do Mexican guys use in their hair to make it so slicked back?  What ever it is, it’s at the peak of slickness early in the morning.

Black Guys:  Always have a wing man.  They tend to travel in pairs.   More often than not, one tends to be much taller than the other.  There’s very little talking.  Almost telepathically, they set up position in the doorways.  They never move, even when the doors open.  Would simply turning their bodies 90 degrees to let people on and off work?  Of course!  Will it happen?  Not likely.  They’re easy to spot because they have those Nike sports bags that have the rope cords that cinched the bag shut at the top.  The guy could be 6 feet of torso, yet the bag cords are always long enough to let the bag hit them near the ass.

Only about 8 or 9 more months till summer vacation.

OMG!!!!! One of the most shocking subway videos ever

Ok, you haaaaaaaave to watch this video. Stop whatever you are doing, and watch this clip. It is simply astonishing!!  This is the subway in Mumbai:

CLICK HERE

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Is that not the craziest shit you’ve ever seen?!?!  What’s even scarier is that’s how our subways are going to be in the next 3 years.  And people will still keep riding.

How insane is it that they don’t even bother closing the doors?  You can see that some of them try to close, but the train just pulls away.  It’s even funnier that the train cars are organized by sex.  I was wondering why those guys were climbing on there like spider monkeys when the next train seemed much less crowded.

I wonder why the trains even stop?  If they’re going to ride like that, the trains should just slow down and let people bail off.  It would probably save some significant travel time.  Then, new riders can dive to get on the train.

WOW…I’m gonna go watch it again.

Just a Big Pile of Suck

Ok, so can we discuss how f-ed up the past couple days of subway ridership have been?

Why is it that crappy service always comes in waves?  You never just have one random day where things are messed up.  It always seems like it has to come in 3 or 4 day in a row bursts.  It’s like the MTA is trying to test your limits or something.

Monday:  A bazillion degrees out.  Subway is hot sick.  The morning run was just a pain in the ass because the train took forever to get there.  Like 15 minutes at least.  The evening run was way worse.  The trains were so late, that they decided to have my local train skip a bunch of stops.  Unfortunately, one of those skipped stop a one that I had to get off.  Damn.  So I had to get off well in advance and wait for the infamous train “directly behind this one.”

Tuesday:  Same slow ass wait in the morning.  Evening…well…just shoot me.  By far the worst day this week (so far).  A slight drizzle as I approached the subway entrance. Unfortunately, I did not have an umbrella, but not a big deal since I made it to the train before it got bad.

Well, the trains were apparently very late again.  On the plus side, I got there as the train arrived, but there were already people who had been waiting for 20 minutes.  By complete miracle, I made it onto the train.  Everything was going swimmingly until the dreaded “this train will be going express…”  Again, my stop was getting skipped.  Shit.

We all unload, only at this point there was virtually no space whatsoever to even fit on the platform!  Express train after express train kept dumping more and more people on the other side, so it was getting pretty dangerous.  Clearly, I was not getting anywhere near the next train, so I headed for street level thinking I could catch the bus.  Read More »

POLL: What kind of rider are you?

Over the years, I’ve noticed that there are generally a few kinds of riders when it comes to getting on a crowded subway train.

This is expecially ture lately it seems because for whatever reason, the trains seem to run just a little slower in the summer. Why is it that the there just seems to be fewer trains?  It’s not like they’re broken down, they just come spread out by an extra 5 or 6 minutes apart.  So by the time it gets there, it is so crowded that a few women get pregnant by proxy.

Anyway, what’s your story?

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Ok, time to refocus! (and a secret riding tip)

Platform Edge

Sorry for the lack of posting today. It was just “one of those days” that you wish you just stayed in bed.

In any event, it seems that I managed to dodge a complete sh*t show of a day on the subway. The Lexington line was all out of whack apparently. The trains were only running express from 125th Street South or some craziness.

I was on 1 train today, or at least I should say, I attempted to be on one today. I waited on the local line (No 1) as 2 train after 2 train came down BOTH the local and express tracks. I thought I was stuck in some sort of time warp where trains that are supposed to be express kept coming on both tracks.

Then, I said to hell with it, and I got on one of the plentiful 2 trains. They kept coming, so I was shocked at how full it was. I guess I wasn’t the only one that finally gave up. So eventually, it came time to get off and wait for the local for real. I had ridden as far uptown on the express (running local) as I could. So me, and every other person on the train, decided to get off. What was fun was the fact that there was probably already two trains worth of people already waiting on the platform. Yay.

I had to break out one of my most top secret tricks to get on the first 1 train that finally came by. The secret is, you have to look at the ground. Yup. That’s it. Look at the ground near the edge of the platform. Usually, you want to look at the ground where the yellow warning part is near the edge. Look for the area on the ground that is the most “worn out.” Or look for the area with the least grim. Why? Because that’s where the door is going to line up.

Most trains stop within a couple feet of the “target.” So the doors will generally always line up at the same point all day long. So naturally, a worn area starts to become visibly notable. That’s where the door is going to be. So get yourself right up to that area, and you know the train is going to stop with the door right in front of you. Just make sure that you are near one side or the other of the door. Generally, try to place yourself with your shoulder lined up with the door frame. That way you won’t be in the way when people get off, and you will be in perfect position when it’s time to board.

That secret’s just between you and me.