First Post from Binghamton

August 24, 2012

So I thought only weird people lived in NYC.  Well, Binghamton apparently has them as well. Only here, as our conductor shared with us, you can’t pick them out of the crowd.

It’s 1:30 in the morning, and I should be sleeping, but could not fall asleep because the upstairs neighbor (who is not home) has allowed someone to stay at her place who decided that coming home at 12:15 am and making a racket was a great idea. (This is the 3rd night in a row, so I’d had it) Side note suggestion: when a guest in someone’s home, be quiet.

So the singer who I’m taking over the lease from, and who’s lived here a year went with me upstairs to ask the person to keep it down.  He was very nice. Turns out he plays in a rock band, and is a night owl (oh yay for me). Then out of the blue, he asks, “Are you leftists?” I’m like, “Um…like a lefty, as in handwriting?” “No. Like liberal.” He then launched into supporting our unions. Um….at this point I’m thinking to myself, “It’s 1 in the morning. Are we really having this conversation? And, uh, I don’t think classical liberal will mean much to you.”  I just smiled, and we said our goodnigts.

Now to get some zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s.

 


“If you see something, say something” – this is a campaign that Homeland Security rolled out and was immediately picked up by the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority (it’s now being picked up elsewhere in the country). Suddenly, there were posters all over the subway system with this proclamation and then some stats about how many calls were made into the anonymous hotline. I’m not really opposed to this, but this is my beef with the campaign…it relies on citizens noticing odd behavior from odd looking people…

um…excuse me, but we’re in New York City. What exactly is the meaning of “odd”.

New York City’s middle name is “odd”. If you’ve been a regular reader of my blog, you already know all the “odd” I have reported. I mean, I didn’t even bat an eye when I was walking down the street with a friend of mine the other day and noticed 2 girls, dressed completely Goth, standing on top of a rolled up carpet with a body inside of it…and there were no cameras around, so it wasn’t like CSI: New York was filming. In regular American, that’s weird, OK? But here? We need some more direction and explanation of what “odd” is.

Check your bed…and your cup

September 13, 2010

For those of you who grew up in the country, you understand why someone might say, “Check your covers before getting in bed”. For those of you not from the country, let me edumacate you. This was a nightly ritual to insure you had neither spiders, nor roaches, nor scorpions or some other awful critter waiting for you between the sheets. I have now lived out of the country a multitude of years, and therefore do not check my bed every night…we waste money on a monthly basis for someone in a work outfit to come out to the house and spray for those little critters. I used to do it myself, but I hate doing it. Anyway, I digress.

Back to the story. When one leaves the country, one seems to forget about doing such a thing as there normally aren’t bugs in your bed in suburbia or the city (as is evidenced by my above story). Anyway out of the country you’re safe except for…wait for it…wait…NEW YORK CITY!!!! How’d you ever guess!

You better check your bed every night. I don’t care if you are clean and are in a nice place, you don’t know how your neighbors live and since their critters have to have somewhere to go, you become their favorite family destination.

But don’t just check your bed. You better check your cup, as I learned today. I’m staying in a very nice apartment in Inwood. My host is very clean, barely cooks in the kitchen, sprays roach spray and yet? The kitchen is full of them. Apparently the apartment next door is too full of them so they are moving into his place. Well, this evening, I looked into my cup of water to find (long pause, please wait with bated breath) a roach swimming in it. Yes, folks. A roach in my water cup. And apparently this is a new trend in this apartment. My host experienced the same thing as he went to take a drink out of his water bottle, he noticed a swimming little something.

So a word of warning when you come to New York City…pretend you’re in the country. Check for bugs in the bed, bugs in your cup and piles of crap left by different animals on the path.

Why…

July 26, 2010


do you parallel park your Lamborghini on 8th Avenue? If you have that kind of money, wouldn’t you put it somewhere a little safer?

Guess where I am, and what I’m doing. If you guess correctly, you win…not sure what, but you still win.

It’s dark. It’s hot. I’m making my bed (as in getting the mattress out, putting sheets on etc…). I’m doing this all by flashlight. I see a couple bugs scurry by.

If you guessed camping, I would give you and A for effort, but alas, you would be wrong. I am actually in a New York apartment…in 2010.

Why, do you ask, am I “making” my bed by flashlight?

Well, this lovely building was built before WWII. And though it is 2010, the wiring has never been redone. So there are 3 air conditioners, a projector, a stereo system, refrigerator, lights etc… running off of two circuits. So we have now blown the circuit 3 times in the last 45 minutes. So now, we are unplugging things, moving things to different outlets, resetting the breaker in the basement, replacing the fuse in the apartment…oh yeah, and not turning on any lights.

So that leaves me with a little flashlight that randomly turns on and off because it is has a funky circuit, fuse, whatever…and I’m making my bed and brushing my teeth by a flashing flashlight.

Beat the system

July 18, 2010

I have arrived in New York. That equals an uptick in the blog entries. And today was no exception.

As with anytime I fly, there is some subconscious part of me that wants to “beat the system” i.e. show up at the airport much later than the “suggested” time. AKA, be as stressed out as possible and be that person in the security line checking their watch, sighing heavily, giving those people who didn’t take off their flip flops (hey, there could be something bad in that 1/4 inch of rubber) dirty looks for holding up the line. It’s a part of me that I just can’t deter. So I have come to just accept it and try to keep my heavy sighs and dirty looks to myself.

So I pull into the airport at 2:10 for my 3:05 departure. I planned to park in economy, but after going in and seeing no shuttle bus anywhere close, I went to short term. The hubby was flying in a few hours later, so I figured it wouldn’t be so expensive. I managed to get all my stuff for 2 weeks into my carry on (oh yes, I am woman, hear me roar!), so I grabbed my boarding pass and got in the security line. Suddenly it hits me, “hey, what time is it?” So I go to grab my phone. Not there. I empty the contents of my purse on the floor. No phone. I’m suddenly that person holding up the line. I dart out, thankful I’m in short term. As I’m leaving the airport, I hear the time announced “The time is now 2:30”. Ack! I’m racing to the car, sweat pouring in the 90 degree heat. Search the car. Not there. Just as I’m about to give up, I look down and lo and behold, there it is on the pavement next to the car. Victory!

The dash back to the airport is on. Back in line at security. I choose “expert traveler” lane thinking it will be faster. Ha! Thwarted again! No! It is slower than all the other lines. In fact, the TSA scanner guy is just sitting talking with his friends, laughing and such while we stand there waiting for him to move our plastic baggies with no more than 3 oz of liquid in them down the conveyor belt. He must have been good at least at finding those forbidden over the limit items. Below the belt was a graveyard of half full toothpaste tubes and hair gel containers (man, those are dangerous! Glad I’m not traveling with that sad person. Bad breath and bad hair?).

I make it through security. It’s 2:45. Where’s my gate? You guessed. At the very end of the terminal. Attempting not to be that person running crazily in the airport with my bags and other things flopping in ways they shouldn’t, I take up a quick pace. My shirt is now wet on my stomach and back from sweat. You can see it. Yeah, I’m that gross. The fortunes looked upon me, though, for I made it to my flight by 2:55 and was in my seat by 3:00.

Oh yes. I beat the system again.

But just when I thought things would be just fine…the other shoe hit the floor. That entry coming tomorrow…

(I know you will be on the edge of your seat, unable to sleep tonight, in great anticipation)

Sitting on the subway in New York is always an interesting experience. Most often you are serenaded by a Mexican Mariachi band, or a black gospel quartet, or some poor, white college student on their violin or guitar or you are asked for money by myriad of different folks, all with their own special story.

Well, this day was no different, except for the “special” part of the story.

A ragged, tired looking man drags himself onto the train and begins his slow, languid spiel (the “…” represents a long, dramatic pause). See if you notice something is not quite right. It goes something like this.

“Hello, ladies and gentlemen… My name is John… I am a man…living with AIDS…I live…in a group home where I receive treatment…I receive housing…food…and a small stipend for spending money…however…this is not much money…if you could spare…some extra change…so I can have a little extra spending money…I’d be very grateful…God bless.”

Ya know, when he started out with the AIDS part, I felt bad for the guy (though wasn’t sure if I actually believed him). But then when he began to inform me openly that he had food, housing AND spending money and just wanted more, I wondered, “Hmm…something doesn’t sound quite right. This is a very “special” story. Where in his mind does he think this story with behoove me to give him something?” Heck, I’d like a little extra spending money, too!

Does this make me insensitive?

A rare moment of New York actually fixing a pothole

Dear New Yorkers,
I have a few questions for you New Yorkers. If anyone can answer them, please make a comment.
Many thanks in advance,
Sarah

1. Why is the Triborough Bridge full of potholes and basically in a constant state of suckiness? Each car is charged $5.50 whether they are coming or going. Isn’t the point of a toll to pay for upkeep? And why are the Williamsburg, 59th Street and Brooklyn Bridges in much better shape, yet they are free?

2. Why was the Triborough renamed Robert F. Kennedy? If I were a Kennedy (well, I mean a “real” one), I wouldn’t want my name attached to that piece of crap.

3. Why is the A train labeled “express” when everybody knows it is the slowest train in the city?

4. Why does the “slow” local train consistently beat the said A train to it’s final destination?

5. Why does the city of New York cut spending on cops, yet hand out flyers to heroin addicts teaching them how to properly take their drug so as not to endanger their lives?

6. Why is it allowed to put 10 people in a cab, half of them children and not buckled in, but if you have 1 kid without a car seat in your own, personal car, you get plastered on the front of every tabloid?

7. Why is it that when you sneeze on the subway, you will hear a chorus of “Bless you’s”, but when that subway stops, those same people will run over you to get off first?

I love the Bendy Bus

April 27, 2010

I love riding the bendy bus(as the Brits refer to them on “Top Gear”), and here’s why.

– If you sit in the bendy, accordion part, the seats are just high enough that your feet don’t touch the ground (unless you’re over 5’10”), so your legs can swing like you’re a little kid

– You feel like you’re sitting in the middle of a musical instrument

– And if you’re lucky enough to sit there on a rainy day, the water makes it’s way through and you get rained on 🙂

Luxury?

April 26, 2010

What is difficult to see is the sign that says, “Luxury Car Service”.

Notice missing hub cab and the whole Toyota Sienna thing.

I’d sure be disappointed if I ordered luxury and this is what showed up.