New York stories

Apologies to the New York readership of Mostly Modern Media for failing to alert you before the fact, but I passed through your densely populated neck of the woods yesterday. I was only in the city itself for about an hour while transferring from Amtrak to NJ Transit, but between that and a subsequent stint in Secaucus, I think I had a good stereotypical New York experience.

First, I saw not one but two people talking emphatically to no one in particular. One just seemed to be narrating harmlessly. The other was making specific threats about how the black man isn’t going to stand for this and so forth. For a minute or two, I thought he was talking with customer support of some kind, but then I noticed he had no phone.

After venturing out to Montclair State, I wound up in Secaucus. That was fine, but everything ran a little long, and I wasn’t sure how I’d get back to Penn Station in time. After the cab company listed on the hotel kiosk bailed out (“We’re actually in Teaneck, so we’d have to go all the way to Secaucus to get you …”), I waited desperately at the front desk and scaled back my request from the Penn Station in Manhattan to the Penn Station in Newark. (Gotta love Amtrak’s flexibility.)

Enter a cab traveling maybe 60 mph in a hotel driveway. I made my train with enough time left to have my first snack of the day.

Along the way, we were stopped alongside a car with an attractive young Hispanic woman. The taxi driver: “Mmmm … Spanish p—-.”

He quickly realized the voice in his head had connected with the voice in his mouth, and he deftly shifted into a public-service announcement on the diversity of Newark.

My day was certainly productive. After writing this story Tuesday night, I wrote the bulk of this one on the train. All that while working on another story I hope we’ll see next week.


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