happy march and happy friday, also return of the a train poems

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It has been kind of a gloomy last couple of days, around town. But I have been insanely busy, with hardly any time to notice. Despite all of that, I was able to sneak in a few quick runs during the week. Our first race of the season is actually Sunday morning. Luckily it is in our neighborhood. So, we won’t have to stand around freezing in the park forever, before it starts.

One of the things that I worked on this week, was snapping some images (above and below) of the new Rothman’s space near Union Square. It is a NYC born and bred men’s clothing store that has been around for almost a century. It is a really cool space. I just wish that the weather would have cooperated, so that we could have had better light.

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Here is a quick and dirty A train poem to kick off the weekend:

Chambers, Canal– here we go. ‘E’ across the platform at West 4th, some jackass holds the doors. 14th approaches, device alerts sounding in synchronization. Penn, Times, 59th, time to zone out.  125 arrives, Harlem proper. 145th— “’D’ on the lower level” a voice shouts. 168– Columbia Hospital and the place where they shot X dead. GW Port Authority, almost theres. 181, detrain and hit the stairs.

happy friday on a wednesday+ an A train poem

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4 day weekends are boss. The weather has turned to crap, and is supposed to remain crap (rainy) for the duration. I’m not worried though. Some of our good friends will be spending the holiday with us, and I’m sure that there will be plenty of good times had. I’m also excited about my good friend Michael Corleone who will be returning from Italy after several years on the lam. Wait, that is a different Michael C.. My friend Micheal C., who is coming home from Italy to visit, didn’t shoot anyone. I’m hoping to be able to kick it with him for a minute or two over the weekend, as well.

Since it is sort of a Friday, I’m going to serve up this A train poem. I thought it was cheesily appropriate for this week since it has a bit of a gratitude theme.

The rain magnifies everything on the A train. The humidity on the platform, once bearable, reaches levels normally reserved for swamps and saunas. That subtle stench of urine/body-odor/halitosis becomes much less subtle. On rainy days, nose-deaf strap hangers are counted as fortunate. When it rains, the slight annoyance felt toward the person who keeps bumping your leg on the A train, becomes tangible as their wet umbrella soaks your slacks and drips onto your brogues. On the A train when it’s raining, that feeling of relief to finally be headed home goes beyond relief, and breaches the threshold of gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

[photo: Rush hour on the West Side Highway from the Vesey St. foot bridge]

Ode to the A train

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As great as public transportation is, the MTA is seriously messed up. Sometimes the glaring deficiencies are maddening. Other times, their efforts to restore service, or prevent interruptions are something that the Army corps of engineers would be proud of. One example of this was on Monday. A broken water main on the UWS caused the ABC and D tunnels to become totally full of water in certain sections. The MTA spent all night pumping it out and replacing signals and switches ruined by the flooding. Even though afternoon commute that day was hellish, having those lines out of service, the MTA had everything back in working order in time for the morning commute. Way to go, guys. In honor of their hard work, I would like to debut a little poem that I wrote about the A train. Hahahaha.

I have actually now written several of these. I thought that it would be hilarious to start writing poems while either waiting for, or riding the train late at night. This particular poem was one of the first. I thought that in light of recent events, it was appropriate to publish it this week.

On the platform, probably staring at the texturized yellow line. Maybe sane, maybe paralyzed. On my retinas flash the reflection of incandescent light on the tracks. It’s that ghetto incandescent light of a city that hasn’t been updated in much too, too long.  The tracks have been worn smooth, shinier than mirrors. Two parallel mirrors in the sooty rat pen. Optics strain, pupils dial down. There is a disgustingly un-royal, royal blue circle with the English equivalent of Alpha marking the center. On my way home, at last. At last what? I don’t know. Nothing significant, because I’ll do it again tomorrow and again. I’m bad at poems.

So there you have it. Happy Wednesday.

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