September 2008 archive

Speaking of New York…

Speaking of New York...

Things and people spotted on the my daily commute that made me smile:

  • A guy intently reading a book on astrophysics, but who kept looking up furtively when he changed pages. I ended up sitting next to him. Glanced down at the page he was reading and discovered the book only had an astrophysics cover — inside was You: The Owner’s Manual. Good luck self-helping, subway guy! (Meant sincerely. Goodness knows I could have handled a fake cover for, say, Hot Target, the cover of which is much more neon pink that that image shows.)
  • “Scary” teenagers — mohawks, lots of piercings, studded leather jackets, the works (picture the guys from Star Trek IV, who hassled Kirk and Spock when they were taking public transit, except with music-playing cellphones instead of boomboxes) — who got up and gave their seats to a group of little old ladies.
  • A panicked tourist who caught me on my way to work this morning, and demanded to know where the nearest Starbucks was. (There are four within four blocks of my office. But it was clearly a coffee crisis. I sympathize.)

And finally, perhaps my favorite thing I’ve ever seen during my commute…

  • An off-duty clown. I actually noticed the shoes first — they were huge and bright red. I wondered why someone was wearing clown shoes in real life, then actually looked up at the guy and saw a baggy clown suit — with a regular demin jacket over it. He’d apparently washed his face, but smears of white makeup remained around his hairline. He was holding a large box labeled ‘TRICKS’ on his lap, and — like pretty much everyone else on the subway — listening to an iPod and zoning out. Hey, the commute home is universal, I guess.