'drew (thirdreel) wrote,
'drew
thirdreel

New York Notes

We passed a policeman near Times Square, a burly guy walking with a bit of a swagger. After we turned a corner I said to Stee, "If I were casting a movie that required a character, 'New York Cop,' I'd totally cast that guy." Stee said, "I was about to say the exact same thing."

*

For some reason, hearing people speak French in public makes me feel inferior. Not necessarily because of the Frenchiness of it all, but because I took four years of French in high school, six semesters of it in college, and I still don't understand a damn word when someone's speaking it.

*

Wireless Internet connection in the hotel is kind of spotty, so any web page that comes up is hard-won, a product of trial and error. I find that I get most impatient when I'm trying to load Google. If I'm trying to load a website like eastwestnyc.com and it says, "Firefox cannot find the server," I cut it a little slack, but when it can't find Google I get extra-frustrated. "Come on," I want to say, "it's just Google!" (Note to the irony-impaired. I know that a server is a server and, when the connection drops, Google is as hard to find as anything.)

*

Travel can be more fun when you choose places to go based on their name. In this case, when I saw "Hell's Kitchen Flea Market" on the map, I was all into going. I didn't ask if it was recommended or famous or highly rated; I just had to go. It's the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market. Why wouldn't I go?

*

Trams fly past the window of our room. We have a view of a bridge that alternately makes me hum Simon & Garfunkel and David Mead songs, and alongside the bridge there are cables that carry trams across the river. (I'd never heard the word "tram" used to describe an above-ground cable car before, so I was puzzled the first time Stee mentioned them.) So for another why-the-hell-not moment, we took the tram over the river, took a bus around Roosevelt Island, then came back.

At the bus's first stop after the tram station, the driver flipped out the wheelchair ramp and a grizzled man in a wheelchair and army uniform got on the bus. He told the driver, "Guess what? I got robbed today. By the bank."

I heard the driver's voice, muffled by the barrier between us, "How did that happen?"

"They exchanged money for me, but didn't give me enough. Last night, I was sleeping on Forty-Second Street, and this lady came and put a twenty-pound note in my pocket. So I took it to the bank, right? And they give me $32.45 for it. And I know that ain't right."

A muffled follow-up question from the driver.

"No, see, a pound is five dollars. So I should have got more than that."

"I think a pound used to be a buck fifty or so."

"No, a pound is five dollars. I always known that. So cause I have twenty pounds, they shoulda given me eighty."

The driver said, "Are you sure?"

"No, I ain't sure! But I do know that a pound ought to be five dollars. One dollar, that's a shilling."
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