Saturday, October 24, 2009

Umlauts, humidity, and the subway

Internet has, I believe definitively, arrived in my apartment, but not without the usual last-minute surprise-maybe-you-won't-be-getting-Internet-after-all-because-your-apartment-is-in-fact-cursed near-misses. But so far, so good. I went fashion-blog crazy for surprisingly not that long (although I remain star-struck from having glimpsed one of my favorite fashion bloggers in, of all places, the basement of Uniqlo - I of course was too much of a coward/blasé New Yorker to say anything), before I tired of my old-new toy and went back to Madame de Staël and her umlaut, Simone de Beauvoir and her particule. Ça continue...


The first day of the new haircut has proven that even the best of haircuts do not stand up to the tests of unseasonably warm and humid weather. What had yesterday resembled the style Natalie Portman had in the ads for "Closer" looked, after a trip to the by-then picked-over Tribeca Greenmarket, more like a particularly windswept Christiane Amanpour.


Alert the presses: I have come up with yet another complaint about New York life:

People who take the subway with a friend/relative/co-worker but refuse to sit next to that person, even when two seats next to each other are available. Such individuals insist upon chit-chat with their companions, but seem to fear that if their thighs were adjacent, they would somehow be overcome with a sexual-orientation-, incest-taboo-, or office-romance-policy-violating case of lust. Their phobias translate to a lack of adjacent empty seats for those lacking that particular neurosis, who indeed do want to sit with the person they're traveling with. But they also make it so that solo travelers have to sit in the middle of a conversation that will, like all conversations on the subway, be either in a language no one else in the car understands; about something of no possible interest to someone who does not work in that particular office/attend that particular high school; or both. Obviously the fact that these anti-socials do not refuse to sit next to strangers suggests that their fear is not touching somebody - and, say, contracting a cold or flu - but touching somebody they know. They will often even sit especially close to the stranger sitting next to them, so as to better hear what their companion is saying. Basically, this behavior has to stop.

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