New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), under a barrage of criticism and with a list of long-overdue reparations, has taken a page from the Nazi-era playbook. With conductors newly empowered to close doors on unsuspecting riders under Joe Lhota’s stewardship, area emergency department (ED) visits for arm and elbow injuries have skyrocketed. “Fuck that, I’ll walk,” said one arm-slinged former MTA patron who suffered an ulna fracture on the new Second Avenue Q line when doors slammed shut during a particularly frenzied morning rush late last week. “Looked me right in the eye, snickered and shut those motherfuckin’ doors on my arm,” she added referring to the fourth-car conductor that morning. Repeated inquiries made to the MTA have gone repeatedly unanswered. On the subways lines with particularly high Jewish ridership (1, 2, 3, B, C – Broadway, Central Park West (CPW) Upper West Side (UWS)), incoherent overhead announcements with a distinct German lilt blare throughout the day scaring off the mostly elderly subset of riders. “Hits too close to home,” said the aged Sylvia N., refusing to give her full name for fear of reprisal. “Access-A-Ride is terrible,” she added in a thick Hebraic accent, “but at least it doesn’t feel like 1943. I’m waiting for them right now. They’re late. I am never late.”
In an attempt to woo disgruntled subway riders, the MTA unveiled a plan that dovetails nicely with their in-station Wifi accessibility. Beginning in early August, riders will be granted access to the third rail of select subway stations to charge their smartphones, tablets and laptops. In an early rollout this week, a few lucky riders were allowed to begin using the service. One gentleman from Sunnyside was stunned, saying, “My phone was on 3% and charged to 100% in 11 seconds. Amazing!” A woman from Williamsburg noted, “It is annoying that I had to remove my piercings, especially, that one.” She pointed to the general vicinity of the now-zipped fly of her pants. While there is general concern about the public being allowed in such close proximity to the high-voltage rail, a spokesperson for the MTA said, “Look. These are New Yorkers. They get it. Besides there is a semi-rotting plank of wood on top of it just in case.”
I love the subway. I was the kid on the train with my grandfather staring out the window on my knees (I’m aware that the phrase “on my knees” is triggering to some. Stop it) and peering into the darkened tunnel. (I’m aware that the phrase “darkened tunnel” is triggering to some. Have fun). I love the rats (although my toes curl), the feculent track water, the third rail (yes, Mr. Blue) and the increasing stench of urine as you approach either end of the station towards the tunnels. I love how you can tell the time of day by the crowds. Somber and silent is a Monday morning commute. Loud and raucous is a Saturday night at midnight. I love when I can stare out of the front of train and watch as it glides along from the dark to the light of the next station. When I lifted up one of my kids to look out, I enjoyed it as much as they did. I love when I see another train next to mine and it’s either much higher or lower than my train or going at the same exact speed. I suppress the urge to wave. I guess what I’m saying is I love this city. Did I say I miss stepping in dog shit?
I’ll write about music soon but just got this sticker and put it on the case. Simple, true.