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Scenes from the Subway

August 4, 2011

I’m from Detroit.  So are cars.  This means that public transport doesn’t exist.  Well, unless you count the 4 stop elevated train-ish thing that runs downtown between exactly 2 buildings.  The People Mover.  I certainly don’t count it because I’d be really shocked to hear that it actually moves, well, people.

Having recently made my way to NYC, where I ride the subway daily for at least 2 hours, I’ve started to notice all of the things that us Michiganders miss while we are solitarily riding in our big, Detroit-made cars on the vast Michigan highways.

Here is a list of the ones that make me wonder the most:

1.  Ill-fitting mens pants.  Really horrible ones.   And I’m not referring to Issye Miyke when I say:  Pleats? Please!    Don’t these guys have women in their lives who can explain at which height on the body the pants should stop?  And, in my opinion, khaki doesn’t do it for anyone.  It should be banned.  On second thought, maybe Mr. Miyke could help the eyes of subway riders everywhere and start folding some chic into mens pants.  Maybe I should shoot him an email?

2.  The widespread popularity of the Kindle.  New Yorkers must be singlehandedly supporting Amazon with the amount read in digital books, underground.

3.  Choreography.  Not only are we reading on Kindles, but we are, of course, plugged into our iPods.  And in New York this means practicing dance moves.  In public.  In the open space on train cars, or on the track, or even walking up the steps.  I’ve seen Latin dance, hip-hop/breakdancing to Janet Jackson, and  sort of scary belly dancing-esque twitching.

4.  Babies playing on iPads.  For me, this is just awe inspiring considering my friend had to upload the 200 songs on my iPod.  It’s sad when toddlers understand technology better than you do.

5.  Conversations with yourself.  And I’m not talking about those moments – everyone has them –  when you just say something out loud in thought.  I’m referring to full blown question and response sessions with yourself.  Wait, this is schizophrenia, isn’t it?  Eek.

6. Love for one’s pet.  Imagine: rabbits and little dogs in bags, a white parrot perched on a rider’s arm, a cat on a leash.  Not exactly what you’re expecting to see in the 9 am rush hour.  Cute.  Well, save the parrot maybe.

7.  Updated subway entertainment.  When I first went to Paris it always made me smile to see these older, suspender-clad Frenchmen pumping a tune on the accordion in the Métro.  Things have evolved.  In Paris you now have teenagers doing a sort of poll dance to translated Jay Z tunes.  And, apparently their insulting you in Slavic languages while you’re bumping along to what you think is maybe a Romanian version of “99 problems” and trying not to feel too awkward  as a 14 yr. old gyrates in your direction.

8. Makeup talent.  For a girl who can barely put on eyeliner and who’s makeup routine takes all of 3 minutes, I’m completely amazed to see the women doing themselves up on a moving train.  Isn’t that dangerous?  You could poke your eye out!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. guess who... permalink
    August 4, 2011 9:58 pm

    I just “lol-ed!” Too funny, Em.

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