19 September 2009


"Ladies and Gentleman, a crowded subway is NO PLACE for unlawful sexual conduct."

So what place is? A crowded bar? Outside a street vendor on St. Marks? In line at Starbucks?

Bonus round: which of the above places have I not been inappropriately touched? This answer, and more, next time!

09 September 2009


The late night slow-down on the L train between 1st and Bedford is, for me, purgatorial. The frustrating agony is so great that I feel that I'm atoning for some atrocious sin I've committed in the course of the day, probably something in the vein of judging an innocent for "crimes" against fashion, body mass index, and/or common sense. I liken the feeling to that shuddering, teeth-clenching grating sensation you suffer when finger-nails are dragged across a chalkboard.

Occasionally, in the midst of one of these self-flagellating reveries, I'll catch sight of an MTA worker in the tunnel pressed up against the wall as the train dribbles by, and I'll snap out of it. Every time a train goes by they have to stop their work, press up against a wall and hope not to get hit or fall on the dreaded, fatal third rail. Their experience, if I may be so bold as to impose, is more like a hell than a purgatory, or rather should I say Hades, with a hint of Sisyphusness?

06 September 2009

"My sandal broke in half. This is the most disgusting moment of my life."

Overheard round 2 am on a Saturday night, outside a pizza shop on 9th and 1st, spoken slurredly, angrily, defensively by a barefoot woman to a trio at the outside pizza counter.

05 September 2009

DD and Me

My relationship with Dunkin' Donuts is a multi-faceted one. My first job was at a Dunkin' Donuts at Sand Key Beach. I was 16. I came to love iced coffee at that place. At the end of the night I would take home some of the leftover donuts, which would otherwise get trashed (not drunk trashed, but thrown in the trash trashed). I would share them with the fam, or take them to school to share with my pals. Sometimes I would sell them to non-pals for a nominal fee.

When I first moved to New York and lived in Brighton Beach, I had only two food sources: Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts. They kept me alive for almost a year, those guys. Ok them and that knish lady under the subway. She had a delish knish, believe you me.

When I first moved to the LES, I frequented the Dunkin' Donuts on Delancey, because it felt like home. I would walk past several lovely little cafes en route to DD, but on to that chain store I went. Didn't hurt that the breakfast sandwiches there were only $.99. Still are! After a few months I started going to 88 and DD became back-up.

I have, of late, been having a run of bad luck at my local Williamsburg Dunkin' Donuts. I went a couple of weeks ago and decided to experiment with an iced latte. I am frequently burned when I experiment with new things that have not been personally recommended to me. Like, "Hey you should try this Dunkin' Donuts iced latte! So tasty!" There was none of that. I was feeling like a lot of caffeine was in order, so I asked for a large, which translates into gigantic at DD. What I received was 32 ounces (p.s. that's a quart) of iced cream, with a hint of coffee flavor. You can imagine my dismay; if you cannot, then let me tell you that it was great. As a lead-in to asking for an improved version of my beverage, I inquired as to the number of shots included in this size. Two, said she. Wellllll, said I, it's a little light. Can I have another in there? She bustled about behind the counter, purportedly preparing another shot for my drink. She handed it back to me, the color approximating Michael Jackson's later complexion. I smiled, and took it away. I later went to a proper cafe for a coffee with...coffee in it.

I went back a couple of days later, as they take credit cards when no one else will. I decided to play it safe with a regular ol' iced coffee. All seemed to be going well. The young lady handed me my coffee and turned around to get something. I think I got a glazed donut that day. While she was getting the donut, I was embroiled in a battle with the lid of my cup, trying to get the straw in. Aaaaand then there was 24 ounces of iced coffee all over the counter. Slowly, slowly the girl made her way to the counter to collect my cup and make me a new coffee. Slowly, as a condemned man on his way to the chair, as the liquid spread across the counter, she took the few short steps to the iced coffee preparation station. Slowly, leisurely, she poured, as I watched, frantically, napkinless, helpless, as the coffee approached the cash register. She handed back to me a cup filled with liquid much the same hue as the unfortunate latte. I took it dutifully, shame-facedly. A man came out and started to wipe up my mess. I apologized profusely and left thinking I could never show my face there again.

Yesterday I went back, again cashless, starving, in great need of coffee. Things went off without a hitch. I asked for a little bit of cream, and that's what I got. I thought the tide had turned in my favor. Back again today, I realized yesterday was a fluke. Same cashier, same "little bit o' cream" request, but coffee delivered very nearly white. I had to ask for more. It was, quite frankly, ridiculously lacking in coffee. She poured fully half of the cup out, but see, they put the cream in the bottom, so most of what was left was just cream, no coffee. She re-filled it with coffee. It seemed to gain about .05% more coffee. I smiled, and took it away. I made tea when I got home.