Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Train-ing Days

To be a commuter in the true sense of the word, is to be a warrior of sorts (commuting 4 miles to work, no matter that it takes me 45 minutes to traverse the distance, does not actually count). Setting off each morning for a long, arduous day bettering the world one pair of shoes at a time is a daunting task in and of itself most days. But add to that a crowded train, 90 degrees, 80% humidity, and a gaggle of New York's un-finest, and you have quite a war of attrition.

I may be in the minority in some of my style views, but I just can't understand how a person shoe-horns themselves into a pair of snug, airless denim on a hot summer day. The sausage casing becomes engorged with flesh as the mercury rises, and the sight is painful for both wearer and passersby alike.

After a short 10 minute ride into Manhattan from my office, and a lovely dinner with a college friend at Lugo Cafe, (the only acceptable restaurant near NYC's Penn station, location chosen to ease her commute home to Hoboken and mine to Forest Hills) I had the displeasure of sharing a snug train car home with some disgruntled, disheveled, and dogged Long Islanders. (If that is what suburbia looks like after a 12 hour work day, do not sign me up for life out of the City.) I'm not sure I've seen that much polyester in one place since the time I rented Studio 54 from Blockbuster in the 90's. The odor of cheap take out and the sight of red and white grease soaked paper bags caused the Aperol Spritz to rise in my throat. The train is not only where synthetic fabric and faux leather hand bags go to die, apparently its also a dinner table and fully stocked wet bar rivaling that at a basement fraternity party.

As the woman next to me in a head to toe acrylic turquoise jump suit with black Reeboks audibly munched on her Taco Bell Gordita, I couldn't help but wonder when exactly the generation gap swallowed all sensibilities whole, without a single chew (much like the feasting lady to my left).


  1. This is a very apt post, considering that the entire Northeast is currently suffering through a heat wave. I too am bewildered by those who choose to wear denim during these disgustingly hot and humid days. Think about it - we all wake up early in the morning and look into our closet to determine what to wear that day. Yet, during this miserable heat wave when the sun beats down on the pavement and the air is so thick you could cut it with a knife, there are still many people who, when making this everyday decision, consciously reach into their closet and say to themselves, "I think I will wear my denim jeans today." I don't mean to sound hysterical, but that has to make you wonder how these people function.

    I also share your grievance with commuting in the city during the summer. I will say, however, that, thus far, the trains (and I ride three everyday) have been well air-conditioned, thereby keeping that well-familiar smell of body odor to a minimum.

  2. Wonderful post, Christina! I just hope the sweaty guy standing over me wolfing down the Sbarros's jumbo slice can read upside down!


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