A Gussied Up Galavant

25 05 2009

The New York subway system and I have a complicated relationship.

 Sometimes she will be my Monday morning hero, halted patiently and without reason on the tracks of the 77th street station, just waiting for me to dash through the turnstiles and spare me a fifteen minute delay, when I’m already running late.

But other days, and there have been many more of those, she forces me to journey through her urine drenched, garbage stinking, rat infested stations, only to have me wait twenty minutes for her arrival, in which I must busy myself by figuring out the best way to avoid the beggar making his inevitable way to my side.

 A sassy minx she is indeed. But like any good woman, I have to accept that in New York City, even though you can’t live with her, there’s no way you could live without her.

 This weekend my brother came to visit me in the Big Apple. It was his first time in the city, and his first time crawling its public transit web. It’s amazing to me how a fresh pair of eyes brings new light to something used and abused by someone else every day.

 Before we boarded the underground rocket for his first time, I took him through Grand Central Market – a small but impressive showcase space of gourmet delights located in Grand Central Station (Torontonian translation: NYC’s Union Station). Whenever I am required to take a subway ride for work, I pass through here to take in the colors and smells and cool my nerves… it’s basically my more delicious version of yoga.

 We passed by the seafood stand, where he stopped. He looked at the display, and then he looked at me with an invisible lightbulb flashing above his head.

“I have an idea.” He grinned.

“Really? Sometimes I wonder what that’s like…. does it hurt?”

Oh if looks could kill.

I humored him, “What’s your idea?”

“What would you think of making this subway ride special?”

He stuck his hand into the iced case and withdrew a plastic container.

You don’t have to say fancy snack to me twice!

 A few minutes later, the subway car bounced towards its downtown destination, and inside the Gryfe siblings sat happily nibbling away on shrimp cocktail… and attracting a nice collection of confused and amused onlookers.

 You see, while it may seem silly, it did turn a simple subway ride into something special. And though I ride the metro daily, and I do recognize that she is a woman with whom I (and the rest of Manhattan) share a unique love-hate relationship, for just a few stops and just a few bites, my metal maydele became a fancy lady.

 Now I’m not proposing that you go sit in a dog house and eat a filet mignon…nor should you take this as an invitation to feast on caviar beside your toilet.

It’s just some food for thought on how a little treat in an unconventional setting can transform something like a subway into a royal carriage!

Editor’s Note:

The reader should know that approximately 5 minutes after consuming the traif treat and exiting the subway car, our noble explorers walked through the halls of the Bleeker St. station and encountered a lovely gift from the subway system they had just treated so well…

a large puddle of vomit blocking the exit.

I told you…it’s complicated.




One response

25 05 2009

The shrimp was tasty, and made even better by the jealous subway watchers – Round two: Cheese wheel.

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