Why????

Why?, is quite the appropriate way for me to start this entry. The story will show why the question is asked. The other reason I’ll explain right now. The events in this story took place on December 30th, 2005 & now is when I’m writing about it!!! Today is February 4, 2006!!!

I felt like shooting that day but had no concrete plans on where I would achieve this goal. I got a late start to the day which should come as no surprise. Since I only had a few hours left of daylight, I decided I’d shoot along the N & W in Astoria. The session turned out well. I didn’t care for the pictures @ Astoria Blvd so I never put them up for display. I really didn’t try to shoot at Ditmars.

My day of shooting is now over & I’m on my way back. I noticed I missed a call while I was shooting. I checked my voice mail when I arrived at Ditmars. The call was in regards to a NYE bouncer gig I was looking into.

I’m deciding on if I’d return the call when I get home or somewhere outside while on the train. I figured the call might not be done by time the N pulls into Lexington so I got off at Queensboro Plaza to make the call. This is where “Why?” becomes a reality.

I get off the train & am at the back of the station. I return the phone call as one 7 train came in after another. During a 2 minute stretch 4 of them came in! Anyway I am on the phone & I notice this couple or at least I assume they were. The two looked fairly young, maybe around my age if not a couple of years younger or older.

The two caught my attention as the man was verbally assaulting the woman. He seemed seriously pissed off about something she did & all she did was take it without going back at him. I now got off the phone & started to hear what this was all about. How could anyone not as the guy was that loud! He seemed angry that he was made to wait & didn’t get a phone call. She let him blow off his steam but no matter how much he did, he wouldn’t stop.

A few trains had passed on each side but I did not get on any of them. The reason why I didn’t was not because I was dying for a story but because I was afraid for her safety. I started to get a strong vibe that he was going to hit her. The man kept getting louder & louder. When trains pulled in, everyone would just stare who stayed inside & others walking by would keep looking until they faded into the background.

I noticed another gentlemen stopped & didn’t get on any of the trains either as I think he got the same vibe I did. I don’t believe in getting involved in situations like this but I would have if he hit her. She started to speak up & tell him that she got his point & he could stop. She kept asking him to calm down but he wouldn’t.

He started to raise his hand & I gave him the deadliest stare as I put my bag down. He noticed it immediately & put it down immediately. I believe he knew I was prepared to walk over & get involved so he thought better of it.

The man started to get in her face more & more. I kept staring at him daring him to try something. The only contact he made was he put his hand on her face as to pay attention to him. I started walking over to him & he took his hands off.

The N train came in & he started to get on. She just sat in the bench & didn’t move. He kept telling her to lets go, stop playing games, & get on. She wouldn’t budge so he said forget it & walked in the train. I cracked a smile that she stood her ground & wasn’t going to leave with him. I had planned on going up to her & congratulating her on making the right choice.

As soon as the thought finished crossing my mind, she got up & went on the train as the doors were about to close. She just slumped into a corner seat & the doors closed. Once she sat down, he was all in her face yelling again.

I stood there in disbelief wondering why she took the verbal abuse she did as well as why would you even bother. I know looks aren’t everything by any means but in all seriousness many would say he was lucky to have her!

Why????

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Oh Yes It Is, I’ll Bet You $50

Don’t you just hate when you have a know it all who swears he or she is right? I know I do & for all of us who do, this event will annoy you like it did me. The weather on Tuesday December 27th was beautiful. The skies were clear & the temps were quite nice as far as I was concerned. I decided I would continue my shooting rampage/field practice with my now one month old camera.

The shooting area of choice for the day was Brooklyn along the N & eventually the D & M. I had just finished shooting at Ft. Hamilton Pkwy & got off at New Utrecht Ave to continue my shooting. I departed the car & put my camera bag down on the bench. One young guy asked if this was the right side to get off at 18th Ave & I said yes.

Two minutes later, another 2 guys are walking past me when one sits down on the bench. The other guy told him they had to keep going down the platform to be close to the 18th Ave exit. The first guy wasn’t getting up from the bench until he saw the train coming.

I had finished analyzing what shots I was going to attempt so I started to pull out my camera & put it around my neck. The guy who was sitting down started saying yo or something of the sorts to get my attention. I looked at him & he goes you know that is illegal right.

I correctly told him no it isn’t. He followed that up with yes it is, & I sternly tell him no it isn’t. I know the rules & have been doing it for quite awhile now. I figured he would back off & let it go. I however was dead wrong.

The guy continues on about how it is illegal & how he got a ticket for it which he changed to almost got a ticket for. I told him even more sternly that it isn’t illegal, I know the rules. He kept swearing it was.

I was about to quote him the section of the MTA rules where it isn’t illegal & how their rules apply on their property when he offered to bet me $50. He pulled out his cell phone & said I’ll call 311 & bet you $50 it is illegal.

He asked if I had $50 which I just ignored. Thankfully the train was approaching & he got up & walked down the platform with his friend. I started taking my shots & went about my business. One thing I swear is that us transit photographers should get paid for the stupidity we put up with!

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Please Don’t Forget About Me Mr. Bus Driver

Monday December 19th was just one of those days. The type of day where you have different ideas of what you have to get done, but also have a lingering dose of laziness. I wrestled back & forth most of the day & decided not to go far.

I took a 7-8 minute walk to a store on Westchester Ave to see if they had any blinds that I could use for my bedroom window. My luck wasn’t good as the store had nothing that would fit my window.

I ended up getting some Christmas things & decided to try a store in Bruckner Plaza. Unfortunately one store didn’t sell those items & the other had nothing in stock for my size. I decided to go home.

I stroll through the Bruckner Plaza parking lot to the street so I could catch the Bx36 or Bx 39 up White Plains Rd for a short ride. Before I got to the street, I had some idiot almost run me over while backing out of his parking spot.

The bus comes within 2 minutes of me getting to the bus stop. I was the only person on the bus when I boarded & we were on our way. I decide to take the bus past the Parkchester stop & go up a few blocks to use the shortcut to my building.

As I see my stop approaching about a block away, I ring the bell. We get to the light & it finally changes. I am starting to prepare to get off when I notice the bus isn’t slowing down. The bus driver passed the stop by about 10 feet. I was about to say something but before I could, he realized his mistake & stopped the bus.

I got off, picked up a quick dinner, & went home. Thankfully I made it back just in time to catch the beginning of the WWE Raw Visit To The Troops special.

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Excuse Me Mr.

Friday December 16 was a very good day for me. I finally had the chance to meet someone I’ve been very cool with for over a year. I was on my way to The Sidewalk Cafe to meet my friend. I was running late as usual. I was tempted to hop on the express bus sitting outside my building but decided to take my chances on the subway.

I get out of my building & start the sub 10 minute walk to the Parkchester station. I get there & wait for about 5-6 minutes until a downtown 6 shows up. I’m looking at the time & knew I was sticking with the plan of attack I made before I left. I would take the 6 to 125th St & hope an express is there or is about to pull in. I would then take the express to 14th St/Union Sq & hop a cab to my destination.

The train ride to 125th St was quick & painless. My luck was good as once the train pulled in & I walked across the platform, an express was pulling into the station. I get on the first car of the 5 (6906) & take a seat in the middle of the train. I’m listening to some music & everything seems fine until we get to Grand Central/42nd St.

When the train pulls into the station, a man with very kinky hair gets on through the first door with a beverage in hand. I only glanced at him & went back to my own world I was in. I’m getting into my music & all of a sudden I heard a loud burp. The burp was very loud as my headphones tend to tone out all noises around me yet I heard this loud & clear. I thought I might have been hearing things at first but I was not. The faces of a few people across from me told the story.

I thought to myself no big deal as the shock of the moment wore off. However the man continued to produce one burp after another. I took a glance at him again & could tell this guy wasn’t all there. When I took a long look at him, his face told me how disturbed he really was. I think he was enjoying burping & freaking out some of the people around him. I guess the smell or the thought of burping must have turned off two kids who were with their family. The kids walked away from his direction & down to the other side of the train car.

My opinion is when you see someone who looks crazy or is acting crazy, stay as calm as possible & ignore them. I will never understand why some feel the need to make comments loud & sometimes directly to the person. I always notice the people who do this are so much smaller too! I guess they have a death wish.

The ride between 42nd St/Grand Central & 14th St/Union Sq couldn’t go by fast enough. I wanted to get off the train to get away from this nut & I just wanted to get to the Sidewalk. As luck would have it, the man got off at my stop. I fixed my bag & went up the stairs. I don’t know where he ended up going but thankfully I didn’t have to see or hear him again!

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Farewell & Goodnight

Friday December 2nd, 2005 was another historic day for yours truly. I decided to do something I had never done before. What might you ask? I rode a Command bus! I’ll be honest, I am really bad in regards to riding buses.

When I was younger, I used to ride them because when I was with family, I rarely had to be on a subway. I either was in a car or a bus. As I grew older & became a railfan, my dedication as leaned heavily towards the rails. So what made me ride Command you ask?

I had to take part in the farewell to Command. The MTA as part of their overall plan to take over private bus routes had Command as the next to go. I had thought about joining the fan trip some had planned but decided I wanted to go alone. I had this grand vision of riding every Command route end to end over 3 days. However I didn’t but that came as no surprise.

The first route I planned on taking was the only limited stop route on their roster which was the B103. I had to do this route as it only ran Monday – Friday. I got a late start to the day so the B103 was the only route I planned on doing for Friday. The plan was to ride it via a round trip. The timing however didn’t work out since I got out of my house way too late.

My plan of action was to take the 6 down to 14th St/Union Sq & take the L out to the Rockaway Pkwy station so I could catch the last ever westbound bus. However as I was on the L, I realized I wouldn’t make the last ever westbound bus which departed at 5:03. I now knew I needed an on the fly adjustment as far as my plan goes.

The new course of action had me jumping off the L at Broadway Junction so I could catch an A to Jay St/Borough Hall. I figured I could make one of the last eastbound buses. The last eastbound bus departed at 6:10PM. I knew that I would easily make either the next to last or last bus unless a huge roadblock came up.

I’m happy to report that my adjusted plans worked out great. I got there with plenty of time to spare & I ended up catching the next to last ever eastbound B103. The bus was scheduled to depart at 5:40PM but it left a couple of minutes earlier.

When the doors closed at the first stop & we are on our way, I took a deep breath & got ready to soak up the entire experience on bus #4925. In the end, I enjoyed the entire ride & felt happy I got a chance to say I rode a Command bus.

My only regret would be the fact I never took a picture of 4925. However I won’t let that take away from the moment that ended up being my one & only ride on a Command bus.

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