The plan was to take NJ Transit into Penn Station, walk a block, take the E-line to Lexington and walk to the W. .. and that’s exactly what happened.Â I was stunned at the functionality of NJTransit compared to SEPTA as I walked through four cars to find a seat and didn’t stick to anything.Â The station was a spot confusion as the tracks weren’t labelled directly only indicating what the other side was much like travelling on the PA Turnpike and having the directions labelled “not New Jersey” and “not towards Pittsburg” or I-95 “not North” and “not South”.Â The tracks were also straight, which was weird as there were ligitimate moments where I didn’t know if the car was moving or not.Â To top it all off, the route had better graffiti.Â I thought this was the one place where SEPTA could triumph but the spray of colors, historical and social references, clarity of the tags and smoothness of the dodges was simply better than I’ve ever seen traveling in and about Philadelphia.
I did get more looks than normal as I took pictures of trains and stations, but such is the way of things in a post 9/11 world. I met Chayoss, Impulse (Steve McMackin) and his spouse Ratchet (Rachel Garman) at the W.Â Steve regaled me his efforts to do a time-lapse of the plane flight and I felt like I was punched in the face by hipster.Â This contrasted sharply with Chayoss’s urbane air that made one think that he’d never done anything for the first time.
Dinner was at some trattoria hosting the reasonable New York prices of $18 for a 10″ personal pizza.Â Luckily, New York City has what’s rumored to be the best tap water of any major US city which keeps getting better as the Catskill snowpack melts.Â I had a delightful paillard and learned about Rachel’s work receiving a barbed wire giraffe.
We took the subway to the stunningly boring Time Square but on the way I got to get a picture of Steve such that he looks like an absolute tool.
I hate newsie hats or whatever they’re called.Â There are four people that don’t look like tools when they’re reversed and while I’ve never met any of them, althoughÂ statistically they exist.Â People who wear their hats as such should be sealed in lucite and serve as a standard tool size for things like jackhammers and boom cranes.Â There were an infinitude of tourists split between slack-jawed jokels and pseudo-knowledged residents.Â I stuck by being a stranger in a strange land and we made our way to Central Park.Â Steve stopped several times to use buildings, lightposts, and postboxes as stabilizers but I decided for a stiff arm using the excuse of “the blur makes it look mysterious”.
I made my way back to Penn Station in time to miss my train so I had some waiting to do.Â Then, New York unfolded.
- Beggar drinking out of a San Pelegrino bottle
- 4 prostitutes with different dresses but identical accessories.Â Are johns becoming cost conscious and purchasing in bulk.
- A man using an overflowing garbage can lid as an umbrella stand.
- A bunch of hoodlum-y youths all wearing Blizzard software sweaters
The ride back went swimmingly until we stopped at my station… and none of the doors opened.Â Apparently some sort of ghost-conductor came around to tell as 8 people in my car missed the note that they’d only be unloading from one car of the 12 on the train.Â So, I had to go from Princeton into Trenton, wait for the 4:00 AM return train, get on that, argue with the conductor on why I and my non-English speaking hanger-on who also missed her stop and only English words appeared to be “NO PAY FOR FUCKING TICKET” should not be charged and then drive home without falling asleep and dying.Â Â It was 5 AM by the time I got back to the station three hours after my initial target time and I did the only reasonable thing one can do when in New Jersey, hungry and tired.Â I purchased 3 Wawa hot dogs, drove to work and fell asleep at my desk.Â Good day in all.