Wednesday, December 15, 2004

things I learned in New York

  • never try to catch the F train out of Brooklyn right before 3pm... at least 2 rival schools get out right before 3, and the occasional fight breaks out. The train operator stops the train and calls the cops, and all the kids go running up one set of stairs while the cops run down another, then the cops run back upstairs and the kids run back into the train and pretend they weren't involved. It was like watching the Keystone Kops.

  • In a related story, it's useful to know that if you are essentially held hostage on an unmoving train while your flight departure time marches inexorably closer, for the promise of a $20 tip New York's zen cabbies will violate every law of New York City, a couple of laws of probability, and possibly one or two laws of physics to turn "a little more than an hour" trip into a "21 minute" trip. In near-gridlock rush hour. It was like all the other cars were in on the deal; everytime I thought we were going to get stuck an opening appeared in front of us and he drove right into it. I don't think he tapped the brakes once. He must have a portable wormhole generator or something. I tipped him $30 on a $20 fare and walked leisurely to my plane, so grateful was I that I wasn't That Guy who runs down the concourse bags a-flailing and makes the plane take off late.

  • Sometimes kindness comes from the most unexpected places.

  • So does the Bad Shit, so don't get too complacent.

  • We west-coast folks have no fucking idea what real pizza is like.

  • If you look out the subway windows in the darkness of the tunnels, you'll occasionally see long colonnades stretching out into the distance. Sometimes a spark or a worker's light will momentarily light up a cavernous pillared room, a scene right out of the Mines of Moria only with rats instead of goblins.

  • Taking off from La Guardia at night is like flying over jewelled riverbeds, lambent and alive. It all looks two-dimensional, until you see the buildings all humped up together on Manhattan, jutting from the sparkling ground like anthills.

  • I'm pretty sure my friend Julie is hitting on the Christmas Tree Guys.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admit that I too fell in love with NY style pizza when I was there a decade ago. When I went to Italy it was replaced as a favorite by the "Pizza Margeurite", not much more than basil, cheese and olive oil on the crust. It's hard to find anyone stateside that can make it right they all put tomato sauce on it. Wrong, wrong, wrong. +

NY style is still my second favorite though, nothing better than a big NY slice and a coke for lunch.

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