Posts tagged daily
Transit notes

Some people like to make a lot of noise when they get on the train—usually teenagers, but not always. Some people just want to be noticed, I suppose, or poke a hole in the air you're sharing. Same with playing loud music in a car with the windows rolled down: "I am here." Or, in the immortal words of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, "I won't be ignored, Dan."

Tonight a man and a woman boarded at the 57th Street station, both a little raggedy-looking. Like times were hard. He was carrying an enormous wrinkled shopping bag, the kind that discount mall Santas lug their presents around in. They couldn't find seats together so they settled about ten feet apart and hollered back and forth to each other all the way to Columbus Circle, with him rooting around in that bag on the floor the whole time, clearly not finding what he needed. At Columbus Circle they both made their move to the open seats at one end of the car, opposite each other. She spread out and stretched her feet across the seat next to her and he shuffled through his bag again, pulled out a book, and handed it to her across the aisle.

Homeward bound
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I took this picture while sitting on the train back from DC this afternoon (I've been trying to take more pictures lately: it's good for the brain, I decided). The station looks vaguely European to me, but of course it's only Newark.

Public spaces
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The next time you're in NYC (p.s. nobody calls it "NYC"), keep your eyes peeled for these "privately owned public spaces," which you will find everywhere—they exist as plazas, pass-throughs, indoor seating areas, etc.—and which are, as advertised, public spaces embedded in private buildings, "in exchange for additional floor area." Meaning our sad, grimy, proletariat presence buys them more floors (peasants! ick!). I walk through approximately five million of these on my way to work in the morning. Some are okay but this one, as you can see, is what might generously be described as "charm free." That's America!

According to this info page I found on NYC.gov (only .gov calls it "NYC"), these spaces must adhere to the following design principles: 

Open and inviting at the sidewalk

  • Easily seen and read as open to the public
  • Conveys openness through low design elements and generous paths leading into the plaza
  • Visually interesting and contains seating

Accessible

  • Enhances pedestrian circulation
  • Located at the same elevation as the sidewalk

Provides sense of safety and security 

  • Contains easily accessible paths for ingress and egress
  • Oriented and visually connected to the street
  • Well-lit

Provides places to sit

  • Accommodates a variety of well-designed, comfortable seating for small groups and individuals

p.s. again: there are several of these POPS inside Donald J. Trump buildings, although of course they are very ugly. I sat in one and had coffee once—the ugliest one, on Fifth Avenue—because it was approximately 9º outside and my feet were frozen like fish sticks and I had to pee badly. It was a mistake, I'll admit it, but in my defense it was also 2004.

NYCKari GdailyComment
The good place
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Today we had brunch at a not-great place, followed by rooftop bloody marys at a lovely place, followed by a beer at one of the best places (The Ginger Man). Truly the last was a respite for a band of weary souls on this, another putrid humid summer day, when as we all know FOR THE LOVE OF GOD IT SHOULD BE AUTUMN.

NYCKari GdailyComment
The Corner
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I read this piece about non-marriage in the Times (yo) today where the writer mentions a recently divorced friend who estimates that she was happy in her marriage about 3% of the time. This sounded terrible to me, as most marriages do, and naturally led me to reflect on my own happiness levels since I have the luxury of thinking about myself 97% of the time, which not coincidentally is one of the many reasons I'm not married. Surprise!

Overall I would guess that I'm happy approximately 65% of the time. And I say this as a very crabby person who is crabby right now. I worry about a lot of things, but that just seems like part of the overall life deal, and for the most part I've been lucky. It would be criminal negligence not to blame most of my happiness on pure dumb luck and a lack of true hardship: while I can manufacture outrage at just about any idiot thing in a hot second, I actually don't have that many legitimate beefs against the world. Sorry to disappoint you, people who want me to be miserable! You have been outfoxed yet again.