THURSDAY AFTERNOON – MAY 14
Landed at LaGuardia Airport.
New York City is alive and kickin’.
It’s a little after four. People everywhere.
Hustling off the plane I am looking for the nearest newsstand; I need a New York Post and Daily News, not to mention a Metro Card. I also need the men’s room.
Snatching my luggage off the belt, I head to the Hudson Newsstand for my card. I am also looking for the Q70 bus.
“Right outside my friend,” the nice man says, pointing out to ground transportation as I give him $9 for the card. I have to come clean, help at the airport is at an all-time high. People were so nice.
I walk about 50 yards and I see a lot of signs.
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign.
There’s so many fucking signs!
Oh before I forget, you should see the line for the cabs!
Forget that, just take the bus to the train.
I move to the right place, the bus pulls up to the curb. The driver has a smile on his face.
I hop on, smile back at the bus driver, insert my Metro Card and head to the back for the ten minute ride.
The bus driver is like Mario Andretti. He’s driving like you have to drive in New York, aggressive. Express bus.
One stop away in Jackson Heights and I head for the subway. The streets are packed.
F-train is downstairs and I am on my way to Brooklyn. Two swipes of the Metro Card; $5.50, not bad. As I passed through the turnstile, I notice a high school kid duck under. Two cops are 20 feet away. Kid has a lot of balls. Back in the day we jumped over.
I can sense the excitement in the city. I sure do miss it. Feel the vibe. Check my flow. Gotta get my hustle on. If you go slow, you’ll be crushed. Stay in your lane.
The Manhattan-bound F-train pulls into the station and it’s empty. I grab a seat but quickly change my mind. I decide to stand up in the back of the car. This way my luggage doesn’t get in the way.
When the train pulls into the 21 street-Queensbridge station I think of Ron Artest.
Other notables from the same area:
Mobb Deep, MC Shan, Nas, Roxanne Shante, Marley Marl and the late George Jefferson. I think Vern and Vic Fleming are from Queensbridge too.
Passing Roosevelt Island, we go under the water and into Manhattan.
Lexington Avenue, few people get on. Coming from work, they look tired.
57th Street. Wish the F-train stopped here back in the day when I worked the door at Planet Hollywood.
47-50th Rockefeller Center.
42nd street. They say Times Square has changed. Tomorrow I see what they are talking about. Maybe I will take a picture with Elmo.
34th street, the Garden. Rangers are in the playoffs and kicking ass. Knicks? Forget them for now. NBA Draft Lottery is Tuesday.
West 4th. The Village. Will spend some time here tomorrow.
By now the train is packed.
People are back-to-back. One rider was pissed that someone got too close to her.
“Better get out of my face,” she says.
Be cool Yolanda. (Pulp Fiction)
These people look like they are ready to fight. Can’t anyone smile? It’s not that bad.
Don’t forget, it’s rush hour though. I’m sure they are tired and can’t wait to get home.
I hear some interesting conversations.
People are listening to their headphones.
Some are reading. Love the guy who is singing out loud.
Some have their eyes closed. No doubt thinking of what’s for dinner.
2nd Avenue, which I will devote an entire blog entry. East Village was booming all weekend. Gem Spa.
Delancey street. Thinking of buying some jeans on Orchard.
East Broadway. Eddie Lau in the house.
York Street. It was amazing how many people got off the train and I couldn’t believe my eyes as to how many people were standing on the platform waiting for the Manhattan-bound F-train.
“You gotta see the view from my apartment,” one lady said to her friend. “I’m right on the water.”
Nice. What’s your rent?
Jay Street Boro-Hall. St. Francis College. Gerard Trapp and Edgar, former Terriers.
We’re coming out of the tunnel now. Can’t wait to look out the window. What a view.
Smith and 9th. Again, ton of people got off at this station. Many people start talking on their phone. As a kid we played Visitation in Red Hook. long walk from train to gym. Murray had some team. Ty and Keith, two good ball players.
4th avenue. Change here for the R train to Bay Ridge. Lots of steps. It’s a cardio workout.
And finally my stop, 7th avenue. Thought I was going to say 15th street for my stop, right?
Not this weekend. But I will head up to the avenue soon.
Before I head to my apartment, I stop off at Smiling Pizza for a couple of slices and a coke. The joint is packed. It’s dinner time what do you expect.
The guys behind the counter are aces. Very efficient.
It was an exciting train ride from Queens, through Manhattan and now in Brooklyn. I covered three of the five boroughs.
Boy it’s good to be back.