"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

New York Minute


Occasionally I see a big kid on the subway platform in the morning. He has a full head of dark hair and he gets on the subway at the same door as me. One morning I established position as the train arrived. When it stopped and the doors opened, the kid slid past me and got in first. He tapped on the side of the train twice before he got on.

No manners. So I began to play a little game every time I saw him, getting position like I was boxing someone out on the basketball court. But still he moved past me, knocked on the side of the train and got on.

Finally I realized that I was being ridiculous. The kid could be autistic and here I was getting offended. Or maybe he didn’t have autism. Anyhow, what’s it my business?

Yesterday, I saw him again. Made eye contact. He looked away. When the train came I stayed back, watched him knock twice on the side of car then get on. I was happy to let him go first.

[Image By Nacho Ormaechea via Ghost in the Machine]


1 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 24, 2013 9:19 am

Yeah, commuting brings out the worst (anger, resentment, pettiness), and occasionally, the best (patience and forgivness) in people.
I drive 100 miles per day to and from Manhattan, so, I see it all. I try to be zen about it, but sometimes fail.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 24, 2013 9:59 am

1) What do you listen to in the car on your drive?

3 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 24, 2013 10:13 am


4 ms october   ~  Oct 24, 2013 11:00 am

haha, ya sometimes it is the routine person you see that gets you. when i was working in chelsea, there was this woman in her late 40s i would guess, who i saw almost every day who pushed passed everyone to get a seat in the first car on the c. for a while there she really annoyed me because she was so aggressive, pushing past the kids that would get off at 116th to go to school.
anyway, now i have a "reverse" commute which is strange but more pleasant.

5 BronxToCT   ~  Oct 24, 2013 11:25 am

Maybe just a coincidence, but my daughter (18 y.o.) has this thing about knocking twice on the skin of a plane as she's getting on. Says it's good luck. Now, of course, I can't not do it.

6 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 24, 2013 1:09 pm

2) I'm old school. A perfect candidate for satellite radio, I still listen to WCBS and 1010Wins news and WFAN and ESPN sports talk. When I've had enough of that I put in a CD. My car still has a tape deck, too, which I haven't used in many year. I purchase all my music on itunes and burn discs old school stylee.

7 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Oct 24, 2013 1:18 pm

[6] I love that burning discs now counts as old school style.

8 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 24, 2013 1:20 pm

I flip around the dial, music, news, sports, but don't listen to politics, or commercials.

2-3) what's in your ears during the commute?

9 RIYank   ~  Oct 24, 2013 1:41 pm

I also have a commute, about a half hour. And I also burn CDs, mainly because it's just a pain to fiddle with the iPod while driving (not to mention dangerous).

I almost always listen to a podcast rather than music, though.

10 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 24, 2013 1:51 pm

[6] Oh I'm the same way. I alter between jazz and sports, but my tape deck's flaky, so I want to replace it with HD Radio and an aux port for an iPod. Did you know The CD101.9 Smooth Jazz is still alive on HD radio on the second or third tier?

11 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 24, 2013 1:55 pm

I would get satellite if I could afford the monthly subscription, but Podcasts are also a superior alternative to what's generally on terrestrial radio. I'm a far ends of the dial kind of guy.

12 RIYank   ~  Oct 24, 2013 2:12 pm

[11] Yeah, that doesn't surprise me. I figured you listened to 127.9 FM and 73.1.

13 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Oct 24, 2013 2:27 pm

[6,7] - I just found a new "old school." I got a cassette player that plugs into the computer (into ITunes) so I've been digitizing real old school stuff. Now, if I could find a way to digitize my 8-tracks!

14 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 24, 2013 2:30 pm

8) When I'm reading I listen to something that doesn't distract me too much. Lately, that's been Steely Dan--Katy Lied, Gaucho, Aja and especially The Royal Scam. I often listen to Fats Waller because he puts me in a good mood and makes me smile. Comedy helps too and I go through streaks of Pryor, Carlin, Bruce, Cos and the old BBC radio show, The Goon Show. Mostly, though, if I'm just listening to things, I play any number of mixes of rap records mostly from the late 80s to the mid-90s.

15 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 24, 2013 3:03 pm

[12] I get those frequencies in my delta sleep, actually...

[13] I have one of those, too. I've got an ongoing project where I'm digitizing all of my brother's cassette collection. I'm also about to digitize an album of music collages my buddies and I made maybe 15 years ago... Wowzers, I just thought about how long ago that was for us.

16 Matt Blankman   ~  Oct 25, 2013 11:27 am

[14] You're not distracted by those lyrics? Man, those guys wrote great lyrics.
Is there a jauntier song about heroin than "Time Out of Mind?"

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver