Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Riding the Bus: Only In New York City

What I love about having the opportunity to take a bus partway to and from work is the ability to look out the window. (That as well as the relative comfort of the seats and silence the of a bus ride, compared to the subway.) I wouldn’t necessarily claim that there are more interesting sights to be seen above ground than below—because for certain you would miss the calf-less man scooting from car to car rattling his tin bucket for change; the traveling Spanish mariachi group who, I discovered by listening to them practice at a stop once, knows exactly three chords which they play continuously in each car until people give them money; excited-looking foreign tourists who can’t stop taking pictures of one another and at seven-thirty in the morning; and the like—but sites above-ground involve setting variety in addition to character variety and are, therefore, simply a nice diversion.

Riding a bus in New York is also a very different experience from riding a bus in other cities. For instance, the sites are not always the same, since because the traffic is so horrendous, the bus takes a slightly different route every day.

I have certainly seen some Only In New York City sites while riding the bus. For instance, one morning, as I was looking out the window, I discovered a trapeze artist practicing inside what appeared to be a netted high ropes course . . . all constructed above a parking garage.

Another Only In New York City site appeared on a more remote street, farther from the city center, where the buildings were spaced farther apart. There, a flat, single-story building was flanked by light brown two-by-fours around the base of its perimeter, and no semblance of decoration could be found anywhere else on the entire building. One would assume the building was vacant, except that over one small, squat front door, a green and pink neon sign declared “Tequila Sunrise.” This could very well have been an outdated advertisement, except right below, hanging from two grayish strings, was a tarp-style poster proclaiming “We’re Open!”

When someone comes and visits me, I want to take them to that bar. I’ll save money from my first paycheck, and we can drink Tequila Sunrises, on me.

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