Archive for August 16, 2013


Are You Licensed to Ride the Bus?

I got this link in a comment to my “Riding the Bus” post, not only do I agree with these guidelines I could probably add a few or a hundred to them.

A Collection of Musings

dog_bus

In order to drive a car, you have to take lessons and pass a test. I strongly believe that transit users should also be subject to rigorous testing, because they too can be a hazard to the public. In order to enforce the system, there should be inspectors who you show your ‘Certified to Ride Public Transportation’ card to. If you get 10 de-merit points in 1 month, you will need to undergo an intensive course entitled ‘How to Behave in Public’.

I understand that this is unlikely to happen unless city leaders start using transit and see for themselves that most villages have in fact put their local idiot on a bus to the city.

In the meanwhile, based on real experiences, I’ve drafted a list of guidelines I would like to print out and hand to people who ride the bus or metro with me.

  1. If you drop…

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Yesterday I rode the bus, it is an event that happens with sufficient infrequency to be noteworthy. It would never have happened if I knew how to cook sausage in a non-stick pan. I suppose I could blame that on my mother, since she had a cast-iron skillet and taught me how to cook sausage and eggs in that instead of a non-stick pan. Or maybe I could blame it on the fact that I now eat chicken or turkey sausage and there is not as much fat draining out into the pan. The fact remains that I ruined my pan cooking sausage in it and when I told Em I wanted to buy a cast-iron skillet she suggested going to Home Goods after the game yesterday.

20130816-023001.jpgWe took the B train from Yankee Stadium to 103rd, from there we walked to Home Goods, where I found a small cast-iron skillet, mission accomplished! I also saw these green Ramekins which I had to have. They are oven safe to 500°F (260°C) and also microwave, blowtorch and dishwasher safe, except I don’t have any of those. Really! I don’t have a blowtorch, never needed one. Em said they would not be a frivolous purchase because I would make baked eggs in them. I was thinking they would be good for single servings of baked Macaroni and cheese myself, or for heating up macaroni and cheese since I don’t have a microwave. Then we stopped at Model’s for socks, which they didn’t have. After that we went to eat Mexican food.

Em was ready to walk to Grand Central, I was ready to go home, but we were on the west side and I didn’t want to walk across the park since I always get lost walking across the park. Don’t ask and don’t judge. Also I was carrying this heavy cast-iron pan, 4 green Ramekins and 3 yellow bananas. And my knee hurt. That was when I got on the bus. If you’ve been reading this blog you may know that I hate the bus more than the train. Even when a friend tells me, “If you take the bus from church it will drop you right by your apartment.” I will still walk the two blocks to the Green Train and then walk the two blocks back to 2nd Ave. The Crosstown bus is not that bad. However once I got off the crosstown bus I walked up 2nd Avenue home. Which is how I ended up with a bottle of Aleve (that I needed) and a bottle of shampoo (that I didn’t really need but Ricky’s sucked me in).

While riding the bus I was struck by the thought that public transportation in NYC represents the diversity of the city. At one stop a man got on wearing a pale suit and straw Fedora (a different type of hat I would have said he was a southern gentleman), followed by a woman wearing a skirt and shirt (not quite pulled together businesswoman attire, looking pissed off, I wonder if the southern gentleman made a chauvinist comment to her), then a middle aged man wearing shorts and a Mets shirt (EWWW!), a teenage boy was next (he might have been with Mr. Met). There was also this ancient woman with hair down her back that looked like one big dreadlock (please don’t sit too close to me).

At least it was better than the subway ride to the stadium when I saw two women not wearing bras that should have been. One had on one of those strapless dresses that are cute if you’re not a DD cup, the other woman was wearing a white racerback tank top. My eyes, please my eyes hurt after that.

GulagIn The Gulag Archipelago (which is about the Russian prison system, and which I have decided to abandon at page #132) Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn talks about the periods of mass arrests. He refers to them as rivers, the wave of 1929 and 1930, the size of a good River Ob, and later 1944 to 1946, the size of a good Yenisei. The other day as I waited for the train, I thought about what an accurate description of people that was, because the people keep coming not caring what is in their way. If it is something big, they move around it, something small, and they just run over it, push it out of the way. Even if that thing is a person, like me.

This is what happens in the train, people come like a river, they keep coming even when there is no more room. Even when I want to shout, “There’s no more room in here! Wait for the next train!” On the subway platform when the train has been delayed they keep coming, they look down the stairs at the mass of people and think, “There’s room for one more.” Except everyone looking down is thinking the same thing, so instead of one more there is ten more, then ten more after that.

Don’t do it, just take the bus.