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Subtitle: "You lazy bastard."

Subtitle: "You lazy bastard."

The problem with living in Morningside Heights has nothing to do with its distance from lower Manhattan. I have no problem with waiting for the late-night 1 train, the time it takes to get uptown isn’t a problem and the neighborhood is one of the best in the city.

But it seems like my patience for all of that immediately dissolves every single time the 1 train has to make a stop at that goddamn 18th Street Station. That one stop is a singlehanded “Fuck you” compliments of the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

This has to be the most unnecessary stop in the entire system. Is it really that much of a pain in your daily routine to walk from 14th Street the entire four blocks to 18th Street. I’m so glad we could create an entirely new stop to cater to these people who just deem that kind of trek as being ridiculous.

And the weird thing is that I could care less when the train stops at 18th Street any other time of day. It’s only when it happens at 1:30 A.M., that I think the entire train lets out a collective, “Oh, come on! Really?”

Pulitzer Prize gay sex inside

Pulitzer Prize gay sex inside

Ever read a book in a place where people can read over your shoulder, like a bus, subway or airplane, and all of a sudden you get ambushed by a hardcore gay sex scene that comes out of nowhere?

I don’t have a problem with gay stories, but it’s when you get ambushed by the gay part of straight stories that I could use a warning.

This happened the other week when I was reading an excellent book, Kavalier and Clay, on the subway. As any real New Yorker knows, the book you’re reading is more important for showing off to other riders than actually enjoying reading it.

So I’m proud of my great book, showing its Pulitzer Prize medal to anyone who happens to walk by and wonder what that intelligent-looking guy is indulging in now. But that’s when one of the main characters turns out to be gay and has a descriptive gay sex scene written with the precision of Pulitzer Prize fiction.

Normally, no problem at all. But it’s the fact that the train was packed and there were clearly people reading over my shoulder that I ran into trouble. This all could have been easily avoided if there had been a footnote a few pages prior to the gay sex scene simply saying, “Listen this is gonna get real gay soon, so heads up if you’re on the A train.”

This is opposed to people intentionally sharing a book like, “The art of gay sex” for everyone on the subway to notice, which, hey, go all out, right?

read-on-subwayLast night I was reading my book on the subway when the train pulled out of 96th Street and headed towards my stop, 103rd.

Just as the train left the station, I turned the page, and saw that I was one-and-a-half pages away from finishing the chapter. A race ensued.

I don’t think I comprehended a single word that my eyes passed, but I was in this furious competition to get to the end of the chapter just in time for the doors to open and I can leave knowing that I got to a point in the book where the author approved for me to stop.

I didn’t make it. I was two paragraphs shy when the doors opened. I didn’t know what I just read. I didn’t know if something had important happened. It’s not even a great book to begin with, it’s just the principle of the competition.

But I let the doors close and I rode to the next stop so I could get to the page break anyway.

crossword-puzzleI don’t like that they put the Crossword Puzzle in the Arts section. Nothing against the Arts, I’m just extremely insecure about the image I project to my fellow subway riders who are surely watching me with intense curiosity about which newspaper section I read first.

The arts section is fine. It has great TV and movie news, reviews are crucial and it’s a superb source to learn of upcoming shows. But because of the influence from US Weekly and People changing the Arts Section to skew much more feminine, it’s no where close to my prime interest in the Times.

The crossword puzzle, however, can completely be my prime interest some days. Mondays through Wednesdays I only buy the paper for the crossword puzzle (Fridays I buy the Times for movie reviews, Sundays because the newspaper itself gives me a purpose in life, Thursday and Saturday I take off). But because they stick that crossword puzzle in the Arts Section it appears to subway riders that I’m buying the New York Times so that I can find out insider info on American Idol.

And don’t say that I could just take it out and fold it over to only show the crossword puzzle. Then people would think I’m buying the newspaper simply to do show off with the puzzle. As true as this may be, I don’t want anyone to know.

Granted it could be worse. They could put it in the Home & Garden section or the Styles Section or in the Comics Section. But maybe a compromise? Like two days a week we get it in the Metro Section or Business Day. Hell, put it in the Sports Section and you’d have the whole important parts of the newspaper right there.

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August 2019
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