The other night I was waiting for the F train at 42nd Street to return home to Brooklyn. I was leaning against a pole thinking, "damn it's hot as hell down here.." when this girl pops around the other side of the pole and says, “Excuse me, I hope I am not bothering you but I was wondering if I could ask you a question to help me do some research on an article I am writing.”
This girl or shall I say woman was in her early 20’s at the most, dressed in retro 80’s fashion, you know when they wear those uncomfortable 80’s secretary pumps with the ironic polyester business lady dresses? She had that look. I decided to kill some time and indulge her anyway.
It ends up that she worked for Conde Naste in the advertising department but really wanted to be a writer. Her “research” was regarding whether I was “for” or “against” cel phone usage in the subway. Of course I am against because people need a break from listening to other’s personal conversations SOMETIMES! The subway is too close for comfort as it is. Who needs to hear an entire train asking, “What’s for dinner?” or listen to ridiculous lover’s quarrels like I have the few times I’ve been on the Long Island Rail Road.
Well, she started in about how she can not live without her PDA device, how she freaks out if she is unable to be reached in case she has an important meeting and can’t make it because she is stuck on the train. She went on for a while, I started to think, “this girl is no writer, she just using me as a confessional for some reason. Do I look like a bartender or something?"
The train arrives. I thought we were going to end this conversation but she sits next to me like we are the best of friends. I learn that she lives between Avenues C & D on the lower east side. She lives with 5 roommates with one bathroom and that she pays $750 to live in 8x10 room with no window. She thought it was a really good deal but would really like some privacy sometimes.
Her next topic was “well the neighborhood is really changing, it's terrible.”
I’m thinking, that neighborhood changed long ago, how could it be possibly changing more? If this girl is living down on Avenue D (Avenue Death as it was called in thee olden days) and saying how good it is, what is making it change for the worse? Why is it changing?
No matter where you go, you can’t escape them. Even nutty girls on the train (yeah I know I was there too...) are noticing that they are sucking the soul out of our fair city.
This conversation took between 42nd Street and Broadway/Lafayette.