MTA

A trip to the Track

Springtime in Memphis would normally mean one thing for us. Frequent trips to Hot Springs Arkansas to bet on the horses at Oaklawn. We hadn’t been to any of the tracks up here so this past weekend we decided to head into Queens on the A Train for a trip to Aqueduct Race Track.

For those of you who have never played the horses Aqueduct runs from early November to mid April and their big race is the Wood Memorial. Typically those horses that win the Wood will be running in the Kentucky Derby so it attracts some good horses and jockeys. Having never visited Aqueduct but hearing all kinds of opinions we were wide open with our expectations.

For you Memphians who play the horses think Southland Greyhound park but with Long Island accents. We found what I would equate to as the Jockey Club in Hot Springs but with an overpriced buffet and a very expensive beer list. We had a good time and thankfully the racing Gods were good to us and we broke even.

It is nice jumping on the Subway to head to the track.
Slow crowd on a Saturday
From the Jockey Club(ish) area
Having all these be Maiden Races is hard to handicap so I went with Names, Pink Silks and Grey Horses. Beach Access was a winner!
Chuckles let me down!
Damn Chuckles!

It was a good time and we were able to check this off the list. We will probably be back for the Arkansas Derby.

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Carbunkle Trumpet’s Friendly Suggestions for Tourists Visiting Gotham This Winter

Please note that I am trying to clean up my act because there is enough ugliness on Twitter right now. I mean would you have really clicked on this worthless dribble if the title were “You will probably get called an Asshole by a New Yorker if you do this.”  Do you recall way back to the first Holiday Season when I posted about some ladies who stopped short in Times Square? Sadly I have turned into more of a bitter New Yorker and Marathon Sunday was the tipping point. 

Marathon Sunday we were to venture up to Woodlawn in the Bronx for Wee Fi’s “Wizard of Oz” Seventh birthday. In order for us to get Metro North we have to get to Grand Central so we have to jump on a 4 Train at Nevins Station. Normally that isn’t a big deal but on this Sunday the 4 Train was packed tighter than a pair of pants at an all you can eat buffet. The train is full of Marathon Spectators who are in deep need of reading this list. Rather than have a full on Fucking-Come-Apart on a jackass who thinks that wearing a packed backpack doesn’t bother anyone else…..so I chose to come up with this list. 

Below is the short list of suggestions that I would like to extend to anyone who is thinking of visiting New York. AKA – Don’t be this Asshole or you may get yelled at.

  1. Walking on our City Streets, Subway Stairways,  and Common Area Walkways  – please remember these Two Fucking Rules; NEVER EVER stop in the middle of the above mentioned while in New York. I assure you will get run the hell over by a New Yorker who is walking at top speed. Second, and this goes without saying; LEAVE YOUR FUCKING PHONE IN YOUR POCKET! You don’t text and drive in your hometown, why do you you think you can text and walk up here? Too many people get yelled at on the streets for updating their Facebook updates. Step to the side if you have to text your cousin that you just saw someone famous. 
  2. While in cramped spaces (Subway, Elevator, walking into the Garden) take that backpack off of your back and just hold it in your hand. I promise that it may seem foreign reading this in Memphis or other parts of the US but it is a major No-No here in New York. Especially on the Subway! You will get yelled at. 
  3. While walking on our streets do us other people don’t walk side to side if you are a family of four. Want to really piss off some folks on the streets? Walk hand and hand. Oh and if you have strollers, you can only do that in Park Slope not in Manhattan during holiday season. 
  4. Asking Directions – Again this is going to seem foreign but try to know where you are going before you step out onto our streets. It isn’t so much about addresses it is the cross street and what direction is this sucker on the dividing line aka 5th Avenue. In other words know the lingo; East = East side of 5th Avenue. West = do we really have to do this? Uptown = North of 60th street. SoHo = South of Houston Street. Also Google Maps is your friend when trying to negotiate the subway. Trust me.
  5. Be a Boy Scout – aka – be ready to act. This applies to when swiping your Metro Card at the Subway Turnstile. You don’t want to be digging in your pocket while at the turnstile. Ordering a bagel at a bodega….let me tell you that you will get a Soup Nazi comment from the deli worker or a “Can you hurry the Fuck up” from someone standing on line behind you. 

 

Getting Around The City on Marathon Sunday Can Be Difficult
See The Disdain on the Face of The Woman Exiting The Subway? She is About To Break Bitch on These Picture Taking Tourists. Its a Fucking Coffee shop!
This Makes My Ass Twitch Every time I see it! I Want To Play Red Rover/Red Rover Send Carbunkle Right Over! 

Trust me when I say that It isn’t that New Yorkers are Rude, we are just in a Hurry. Hope that you had a good laugh and please don’t be “That Guy/Gal”!

Darling, For Good Health, Please Wash Your Effing Hands!

So last week I sent my favorite vegetarian, overcharging office manager and general “Girl Friday” from my former dentist office a link I found on TimeOut NYC. It mentioned how Touching a Subway Pole is equivalent to shaking hands with 10,000 people. She and I joke about that she could never be around the large crowds that we have in NYC and I love to give her grief when I can. After reading the article it started to think about all of the germs and how I use hand sanitizer religiously after exiting the subway. Many of you know that Mrs. Trumpet works in the healthcare field and she gets onto me about using sanitizer rather than soap and water. Don’t get me wrong, I love the smell of Liquid Dial soap but when in NYC, you got to do what you can. Thankfully I am not a germ freak because if I were, well I would probably lose it when I get sneezed on or when I touch the subway pole and it is still warm from the previous person.

Now I am venturing out on foreign territory here but I think that the overuse of hand sanitizer, super antibiotics, and people’s infatuation with using bleach could be the cause of a lot of weird food allergies.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not opening up the whole anti vaccine or flu shot debate here but come on, didn’t I read that Polio is making a comeback?  I am a fan of letting kids eat dirt and taking chances when you skin your knee and don’t have any Bactine.  Back a couple years ago I got a mosquito bite that got infected. No big deal but the bite occurred in the US and my ass was in Belize when it got infected. I went to the doctor (who was the town OB/GYN) and you know what he gave me a shot of? It was good ole fashioned Penicillin. It worked like a charm and now I can say that my favorite Belizean fishing guide and I have the OB/GYN as or doctor.  So I guess I can add dying of a super bug to my blog post from last  August.

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New York’s subway is way, way dirtier than you think

You’ll definitely want to grab the nearest bottle of Purell after reading this new study from Travelmath.

The travel logistics site sent teams to five major cities to gather bacteria samples from the handrails of public transportation systems. While most of cities turned out to be surprisingly clean, NYC definitely, definitely did not.

Just how dirty is the subway? Measured in “colony-forming units” per square inch NYC finished at the front of the pack of the filthy five. San Francisco’s trains had 483 CFU, Boston’s had 10 CFU, Chicago’s had 180 CFU, Washington’s had 30 CFU and New York City had 2,000,030 CFU.

I’m sorry, what?

Yep, the subway had far more bacteria than any of the other cities combined. In fact, the subway’s handrails had 900x more germs than an airplane table. Touching one is equivalent to shaking hands with 10,000 people.

But hey, at least we’ve got to be immune to pretty much everything by now, right? Right? Just trying to see the positives here.

So next time you take the subway, make sure you lick the pole to clean it for your hands.

 

It took 157 days to become a potty mouth

Well friends and neighbors, it finally happened after living here on this island called Manhattan. If you took the under then congratulations as you are a winner on Powerball Saturday. I am not particularly proud of my actions and probably should be heading down to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to throw a couple bones into the offertory rather than entering this blog post. Let me first paint you picture of what happened after living here 5 months and 4 days. 

Picture a jam packed and jelly tight 6 Train heading uptown to Pelham Bay Park, in the 5th subway car is yours truly. I am standing in the middle of the packed car minding my own business and trying not to think about the fact that I have to pee or the annoying guy with his ear buds so loud you can hear it in New Jersey. We arrive at the 68th Street Hunter College stop, I start my way to the exit of the car as people are moving in the direction to the open door. I am 5 feet from the exit when an older gentleman decides that he wants to secure a spot on the rail and reaches his arm up to hold the rail. The man is blocking my exit so I look at him and say “excuse me, I am trying to get off.” The gentleman doesn’t budge. I again say “excuse me sir, I am trying to get off” and dude doesn’t move or express any emotion. As I meander under his outstretched something like you see kids on the playground do during recess it happens. Forgive me Father for I have sinned. Ladies and Gentlemen Carbunkle Trumpet issued his first “Are you Fucking kidding me? What an Asshole!” while I am passing the guy. I am assuming with my accent and the fact that the now christened F-Tard was clearly in the wrong I get a couple laughs from the packed subway car. So there you have it. It took only 157 days for Carbunkle Trumpet to issue his first public F-Bomb! I guess the only thing left for me to do is now master how to order sushi and not look like an asshole.

3Yep, you are number 1!

4They say that New York is full of Freaks and Weird People. No wonder we love living up here so much! Sadly we are going to see Boo at Ginny’s Supper Club tomorrow so we won’t be able to go No Pants. The Carol let me know if you want to crash on our couch if you are going to come up here for it.

 

Have a good Saturday!

“Well that doesn’t feel natural” #twss

To get to my new job selling Tour Bus tours to the Tourists I have to take 2 Subway lines to get to Times Square. The office is on 7th Avenue so I have to exit the subway at Seventh avenue & W40th or walk through the throngs of tourists in Times Square. There are roughly 15 different subway entrances/exits for Times Square because that sucker is a vast maze of tunnels and steps. I have been making this trip now 9 times and still haven’t gotten it right. One trip last Friday when it was Africa hot I ended up at 8th & 42nd so you can understand my frustration and need for Gold Bond. On this day we had one of those annoying cold NYC rains so I wanted to get this right.

Well I nailed it, turned at the right post, took the correct stairwell by the elevator and exited at 40th & Seventh. I was pumped! I exit the subway and make the 1 block trip to the office and let me tell you folks things were going good for Carbunkle Trumpet. Then it went to shit……I am walking along and feel something unnatural on my right foot like I was dragging toilet paper so I glance down. My freshly repaired $150.00 Bostonian lace ups had a blow out from the sole to the shoe. I keep walking along and naturally it falls off, so I throw the sole in the trash and limp into the office. After some select curse words I find a shoe store a couple blocks South of the office and limp there now, with a wet sock.

Guess that will teach me to claim a victory against the NY Subway system.

  “Hey Gloria, I need to be late to my 10AM meeting. Also can you direct me to the nearest Men’s dress shoe store?”

 Closest store that was open at 9AM was Sketchers. I was desperate as my sock was literally poking through the bottom of the shoe.

 Not my first choice but I got them and thank God they have good arch support for my walking. The sales rep did laugh when I told her I didn’t need the box and could she dispose of my old shoes.

I hope you had a good laugh and thank goodness I didn’t have a fart that failed me!

Be there in 45 minutes to an hour – traveling by NYC Mass Transit

Back in Memphis we used to joke that it took only 15 minutes to get from point A to point B by car. Seriously, you needed to get to the airport from downtown – 15 minutes. Needed to head across the bridge to grab a 30 pack of beer at Walgreens from South Bluffs – 15 minutes. When we moved up here we were told by a couple friends that your normal travel window went from 15 minutes to roughly 45 minutes to an hour. This applies not only to driving/riding in a car/cab/uber but also to taking mass transit busses/subways/light rail trains. I here to tell you that I have tried this theory out and it stands true. My current job requires me to travel to LaGuardia Airport and the easiest and cheapest way is via the MTA buses. To get to work I grab the M15 n/b bus to 125th & 2nd Ave in Spanish Harlem and then transfer to the M60 Select Bus to LGA. Door to door is roughly an hour. I have made it in 35 minutes on a lucky day and also got delayed by traffic for an 1.5 hour trip.  Thankfully because of my OCD practices I always give myself 15 minutes so <knock wood> I haven’t been caught late.

Like with anything, there is always an exception to the rule. Exception Rule #1 – On the weekends the subway lines could be delayed/not running due to scheduled maintenance. This will really screw you up because if you forgot that a particular line isn’t running then yo ass is running late.

This past weekend I put a trip to see my Asian Fireman and his family to test; 

Started the clock when we hit the lobby

 Closest subway station to our house is at 68th & Lexington so we zig-zag the blocks on green lights to get there.

 Heading west on 70th street

 Crossing 2nd Ave @ 70th and here is our 86% completed 2nd Avenue Subway station. When completed, our walking commute will be cut in half. *Stop laughing J.M., M.L., D.S., J.L., & B.M. It will get completed before we all die, the Mayor told me so!

 Here is our station at the corner of 68th & Lexington Ave closest to Hunter College

 Took is 12 minutes to walk to the subway station. Granted this will go longer in rain, swamp ass heat or snow

 Thankfully this station is a one horse station (only one line) so today we need to head to 125th street & Lex to catch Metro North Light Rail


But you said that only the 6 train stops at this station, this says that the 4 & 5 trains stop here too? Did I mention the weekend exception earlier?


On the weekends the 4 & 5 trains run local so a normal 15 minute ride is taking more like 30 minutes

 We get to the Metro North Harlem station at 125th & Lexington and wait on our light rail train

 So far we are at 45 minutes, I am kinda glad that I factored in those 15 minutes.

 This can get tricky because if you don’t know the end destination you can end up on a train that is running express and you would bypass your stop.

 This is why I love those Mass Transit apps. It takes the guesswork out of this.

 All aboard the choo choo! Right on time!

 Metro North trains are nice and have comfy seats. Here it was pretty packed as Fordham was playing a home football game and the alumni were heading to the campus. I bit my tongue as these folks had just enough time to get to the stadium and not tailgate.

 18 minutes later we are in Woodlawn located in the Bronx and start walking to the Asian Fireman’s residence.

 Walking down Webster Ave

 And we have arrived!

 Like I said, it takes an hour! I ridden in a car to the same residence and with traffic it took 45 minutes.

*Editors Note – We were able to get to the Garment District from Woodlawn later that evening in under 40 minutes. Go figure!