When It Rains, It Pours

rain

In case you haven’t guessed by now, I love this city in every light, season and weather condition.

Except.

Except when it’s pouring rain, and you have to get on the subway. On Wednesday after work, I headed to meet Le Boyfriend to see an early IMAX screening of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Normally I would walk from my job to Lincoln Center, but after considering the monsoon, I decided to hop on the 1 train uptown just one stop. I left a half an hour early to make sure I’d have plenty of time to grab popcorn and get a good seat.

The problem is, when it’s raining, every other New Yorker has to do the same thing. Nobody is walking, and it’s impossible to catch a cab—so everyone slams into the subway salty, sopping wet, and smelling like wet dog. But despite the underground crowd, my spirits were high: I had a date, and my journey would only take five minutes. At least, that’s what I thought. Behold, a peek into public transportation life on rainy days:

6:35 PM: A train goes flying by, doesn’t stop.

6:40 PM: Another train flies by, doesn’t stop.

6:45 PM: People start pushing up behind me. I convince myself a mob is forming with plans to push me onto the tracks. Sweat forms under my raincoat, steam fogs up my glasses.

6:50 PM: Thankfully, a train pulls in and opens its doors. I let out a sigh of relief and make myself semi-comfortable next to a pole. Then, as the doors are closing, a gaggle of French girls come giggling onto the train. The car is now beyond packed; I’m praying the pointy thing poking my behind is a man’s umbrella.

6:51 PM: Train hits the brakes. And sits. And sits some more. I look at the time on my phone anxiously because the screening starts at 7 and my Spidey senses are tingling. The tourist teens continue to titter and chatter in française. In a previous life, I adored everything remotely Parisian, but suddenly I hate French people.

6:58 PM: I fly out of the train station and pop open my umbrella. A gust of wind blows the umbrella out of its handle and into the crosswalk. Left holding only the handle, I run into oncoming traffic to retrieve it. A car comes to a squealing halt and honks at me; I give him the finger, scoop up my umbrella, and sprint to the theater. (Did I mention this was the gorgeous “Le Chat Noir” umbrella I purchased under the Eiffel Tower?! See Exhibit A, below. Admit it, you would’ve run into traffic, too.)

Exhibit A.

Exhibit A.

7:08 PM: I burst into the doors, breathless and blind, glasses covered in rain. I assume the tall, dark, and handsome figure in front of me is Le Boyfriend, so I thrust my umbrella at him while I wipe my lenses (Good thing it was in fact him and not a serial killer). Our auditorium is all the way on the top floor, and I fear I’ve already missed some major Emma Stone moments. Luckily, whoever runs screenings knows that in the rain, every New Yorker will be late; we made it just in time.

The moral of the story? If I lived in Maryland, Pennsylvania, or basically anywhere else in America (except for bumper-to-bumper LA) getting somewhere on time in the rain would be much simpler. Reader, you might ask, Wouldn’t it be much easier to quit your whining and leave New York already? But what can I say? I love the pizza and the sparkly lights too much. And so, my adventures will continue, rain or shine.

PS: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was really entertaining—definitely better than the first one. I’d recommend seeing it in IMAX—it made me feel like I was a superhero, jumping from building to building and taking over Manhattan. Wait, what am I talking about? I already am a superhero, taking over New York City one day at a time. Right?! 

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The Headphone Jammer

Photo courtesy of Frederatorblogs.com

New Yorkers have all seen them. We either hate, love, or are just plain amused by them.

I’m talking about the Headphone Jammer.

You know, the Headphone Jammer. The seemingly normal guy (or girl, but in my experience, it’s usually a guy, which maybe is a part of the problem…) who gets on the subway, in their only little world sporting headphones. But before you know it, you are startled away from your commute-daze by the HJ belting out lyrics at the top of their lungs, complete with intense head bopping and hand movements to punctuate each line.

Case in point:

While riding the train a few nights ago, I barely noticed the tall, dark-skinned teenager that sat down across from me. When I did glance up, the only thing that seemed out of the ordinary was that he was carrying a large, gray Walkman. Yes, I said Walkman, as in, the cassette player that is an entire generation more ancient than the Discman. But, other than a general observation of the outdated technology, I went back to my conversation with my friend.

Next thing I knew, I almost jumped right out of my seat at the sound of the HJ’s first note–a loud, booming deep voice in another language. This deep, off-key singing in a foreign language at the speed of light continued as the HJ appeared to be attending his own, private concert. Even as we all stared right at him, it was if he didn’t realize the rest of the train could hear or even see him, and if he did, he clearly just didn’t care. He sang to the ceiling, to the floor, with his eyes closed, opened, fists clenched, smiling, frowning, grimacing.

While this particular HJ was probably one of the most passionate and unabashed Headphone Jammer I have encountered yet, it definitely wasn’t the first time I had come across this interesting social phenomenon. As his voice echoed behind me when I got off at my stop and the subway doors slid shut, I found myself wondering. I mean, what is this point of the headphones if you are going to sing aloud and bring your music into everybody else’s peace and quiet? Actually, what is the point, period? Are you trying to make sure the world knows about your male bravado? Do you think that you are just an incredible rapper or singer and you want to share your talents with the rest of New York? Or are you just REALLY feeling that music and don’t care who knows it?

So are these Headphone Jammes just New York subway dwellers, or are they in cities across the country?