Tag Archive for 'nyc'

Four NYC Subway Haikus

For those of you who don’t know, all the subways are fucked (AGAIN!) because of rain. Thats right, rain. What kind of bullshit is that? It’s not as though rain is new, or anything. I’ve chosen to express my disgust in haiku form.

subways are broken
at least i’m not from brooklyn
not so smug now, huh?

walking is for poors
sweating like an animal
swamp ass is a bitch

this is such B.S.
isn’t this america?
New York is third world

the M.T.A. blows
thank you for nothing bloomberg
what are taxes for?

Douchebags aplenty!

I added a new Photography section, which you can access easily from the navigation bar at the top. It’s a little rough, but it gets the job done for now.

Nice weather in New York really brings the D-bags out of the woodwork. The following two examples are true stories of real NYC douchebags that I saw in the last few weeks:

If you are a fobby Indian in a Hummer H3 (which, by the way, is the official car of the douchebag) thumping the Panjabi MC/Jay-Z song from 2003 from your car stereo, then you are a DOUCHEBAG!

If you subject everyone around you in the subway to hiphop played from your tinny-sounding cellphone, then you are a DOUCHEBAG! Of course, your cellphone is “ruggedized,” because a gangsta lifestyle means your cellphone needs to be ready in case things get “heated.”

An unceremonious return.

My college buddies and I just got back from Rio de Janiero, and we are all depressed. Rio might be my favorite city. On our return, I half-joked: “New York sucks. It’s cold, its wet, and everyone here is fucking ugly.” Don’t get me wrong, I love New York. But sometimes, it feels a little….stale. You see the same people, and there is a real hostility, a real hatred, between people. I think New York really lacks a sense of community, so people can be and are horrible to each other here. While in the midst of being on the receiving end, I actually feel sad for the other person. But much later, I’m not just sad for that person, I’m disconsolate for the city that made that person. Traveling reminds me that not every place is like that. And Rio, like Costa Rica, and Iceland (the last few places I’ve been), is filled with warm, generous people.

Without really knowing it, I started to watch a movie about New York. The movie takes place right during the Great Blackout of 2003. Of course, everyone has their own Blackout story, and maybe another day I’ll tell mine. But everyone will tell you that it was one of those few days that you really felt any sense of community here. So in a way, it was one of the best things to ever happen in Manhattan. But back to the movie.

Now Shortbus is one seriously fucked up movie. But some moments are beautifully and brilliantly written. Some lines really resonated with me. Like: “9-11. It’s the only thing real that’s ever happened to them.” In a perfect arc, the movie begins with a recollection of an event that brought New Yorkers together for what felt like the first time ever, and ends with another event which had a similar effect. 9-11 was the day we mourned together, but the Blackout was the day we rejoiced together.

However, the part of the movie that had the most gravitas was the soliloquy by the ex-Mayor (played magnificently by Alan Mandell). I’ll excerpt it here:

But you know what’s the most wonderful thing about New York?…New Yorkers are…permeable…Therefore we’re sane. Consequently, we’re the target of the impermeable. And the insane. And of course, New York is where everyone comes to be forgiven. What have you done wrong? Tell me, how have you sinned? I’m sure it’s nothing serious.

How would you know?

Well, I’m– I’m sure you did your best. Imagine if you grew up here like I did. Home can be very unforgiving.

On that note, here are some of my favorite pictures from Rio. From the angle, it looks like he is hovering in the clouds. Click to open them.


A modern day hero.

Every once in a long while, something happens in New York that restores your faith in humanity:

Who has ridden along New York’s 656 miles of subway lines and not wondered: “What if I fell to the tracks as a train came in? What would I do?” And who has not thought: “What if someone else fell? Would I jump to the rescue?”

Mr. Autrey was waiting for the downtown local at 137th Street and Broadway in Manhattan around 12:45 p.m. He was taking his two daughters, Syshe, 4, and Shuqui, 6, home before work.

Nearby, a man collapsed, his body convulsing. Mr. Autrey and two women rushed to help, he said. The man, Cameron Hollopeter, 20, managed to get up, but then stumbled to the platform edge and fell to the tracks, between the two rails.

The headlights of the No. 1 train appeared. “I had to make a split decision,” Mr. Autrey said.

So he made one, and leapt.

Mr. Autrey lay on Mr. Hollopeter, his heart pounding, pressing him down in a space roughly a foot deep. The train’s brakes screeched, but it could not stop in time.

Five cars rolled overhead before the train stopped, the cars passing inches from his head, smudging his blue knit cap with grease. Mr. Autrey heard onlookers’ screams. “We’re O.K. down here,” he yelled, “but I’ve got two daughters up there. Let them know their father’s O.K.” He heard cries of wonder, and applause.

Full story here (registration required)

Rules of NYC Sidewalks

1. If you are not making the way, you are in the way.

2. Do not have children. Do not bring them outdoors to slow everybody down. If through some horrible accident you are unlucky enough to have two young children, for the love of God, do NOT buy one of those goddamn double-wide strollers. You’d be better off picking the one you love the most and giving the other one to charity or something.

3. No holding hands in the streets, unless its to create a two-person wide swath for ME. Your PDA is obnoxious enough without me getting clotheslined by it. This rule is waived on Saturday and Sunday afternoons only.

4. Please put your gigantic bags on your right side. If you are on Broadway between 26th and 30th Streets, please put your gigantic garbage bags on your right side.

5. If you are about to go down the stairs to the subway, and you see 1,000 people trying to get upstairs all at once, newsflash! – you missed the train. Kindly wait at the top of the stairs off to the side and let everyone out. It will make your life and their lives easier, and you weren’t going to make that train anyway.

6. Baby strollers are not cow catchers. Stop using your kids as human shields.

7. Size matters. As in, if I am bigger than you, get out of the way. That includes your puny arms, and your gigantic bags. If you are bigger than me, I will get out of your way.

8. The blinking hand means “move faster”, not “stop at the curb and block the path to freedom.”

9. If you are going to come up from my left, cut me off and then take a right, you better damn well make sure that you are moving fast enough, because otherwise I am going to stomp right on your heels.

10. When the little man in white lights up, that means to all you douchebags in your SUV’s trying to make right turns: YIELD. That’s right bitch.

11. Go with the flow. You are not a North Atlantic King Salmon, so stop ruining it for everyone by trying to swim upstream.

12. Walk on the right hand side of the sidewalk. Anything less would be communist. Even within the right hand side, there should be two speeds. Midwestern tourists and cows on the far right. Enjoying the view? That’s precious. Get the fuck on the right side. Walking at a normal pace? Congratulations, you can use the left hand side of the right. Allow me to demonstrate with this handy diagram:

That’s pretty much it! If you have any better ideas, let me know.


So the other day, ConEd sent me this email:

Basically it says that by switching your energy provider (ConEd remains your utility, but the energy is supplied by a third party), you can save money on your electricity bill. And apparently, you immediately save 7% for the first two months on top of any savings you get from the lower power rates. Also, switching eliminates sales tax you pay on your energy. Any discount on a commodified service like electricity is great, especially since my bill is like $80 bucks a month.

However, there is no streamlined process to learn which ESCO’s (the energy providers) give you the best deal. The fact that this is such a bitch probably explains the following statistic:

As of March 2, 2006 the following customer percentages are currently registered with an ESCO:

55.6% of large commercial/industrial customers;
39%of small commercial customers and
6.7% of residential customers.

But my confusion is your gain:

Phone: 1-800-928-7775

I spoke with an Accent Rep, who explained that their fixed rate is 16.6 c/Kwh, and variable rate is between 7 and 14 c/Kwh. The highest the variable rate has been this year is 19 c/Kwh. Their fixed rate has a cancellation fee of $100 in the first 12 months. Variable rate has no cancellation fee.

I had emailed them earlier and their fixed rates were:

12 MONTHS 16.23 cents per kWh
24 MONTHS 16.53 cents per kWh
36 MONTHS 16.56 cents per kWh

Phone: 1-888-320-8991
Their fixed rate is 14.8 c/Kwh. Hippies can elect the Green Power (environmentally friendly) option for 15.8 c/Kwh.

Phone: 1(866) 348-4194

From their website: A 12 month stable price of $0.1599 per kWh with the first two billing cycles set at 10% off to $0.1439 per kWh.

Phone: 1-800-805-8586
They offer variable rate only, and their current variable rate is 13 c/Kwh.

Phone: 800-437-7265

It was not immediately apparent that they will service NY, because Con-Ed doesn’t list them as an option on their website. I might do a little more digging later.

Phone: 1-877-HUDSON9, 201-251-2400
Variable Rate is always guaranteed to be .1 c/Kwh less than Con-Ed’s variable rate. Their fixed rate is 14.494 c/Kwh, with a $250 cancellation fee for (I think) the first year. I spoke with “Joe” at x113.

Phone: 1-877-887-6866

It was not immediately apparent that they will service NY, because Con-Ed doesn’t list them as an option on their website. However, they have a variable rate option which is currently 10.9 c/Kwh.

Phone: 1-866-769-3799 or 1-954-771-1463
Liberty’s rate is variable, but identical to Con Ed’s variable rate. That doesn’t appeal to me.

Phone: 1-800-375-1277

MX offers a variable rate currently at 12.5 c/Kwh, and a fixed rate at 15.8 c/Kwh.

Phone: 1-888-674-7847

NYESC’s offers a fixed rate for five years is 16.9 c/Kwh. The cancellation fee is .15c/kWH times annual usage times the remainder of your five year contract. That’s pretty prohibitive. Pass.

Phone: 914-345-5700
It was not immediately apparent that they will service NY, because Con-Ed doesn’t list them as an option on their website. Robison’s website is not very informative. I might do a little more digging later.

Phone: 888-877-7569
Spark offers a variable rate (currently 12.9 c/Kwh), but they have a monthly fee of $4.95 a month (acc. to their website). That doesn’t sound too great.

Result? MX and Econnergy look to be the best variable rate options to me. The fixed rate options are generally less appealing to me since I may move and I don’t want to be stuck in a contract. I will probably go with MX for a bit and see how it goes.