NYC Musings: Q Train Cowboy

Q Train Cowboy

By Fern White

He boarded the Q Train at the Sheepshead Bay Station, and like lightening the Asian girl scooted to the other end of the seat.  He glanced at her, walked past and leaned his bicycle against the silver often used by riders to keep from falling. 

It was not long before everyone realized why the Asian girl acted moved with such speed.  He smelled like a cesspit. People turned up the noses, others muttered and moved to the other end of the car.  I continued staring.

He held my gaze for a few seconds, and seemingly misconstrued my intent, starting speaking to me.  I looked away quickly.

He must have been about 6’5” – very tall, wore faded jeans a flannel shirt over which he wore a grey T-Shirt.  He wore scuffed brown boots and a cowboy hat. The pungent odor must be from riding his bike in the sun all day, coupled with the fact that he forgot to take a bath before he left home I surmised.

As the train lurched, he held up his palm in the direction of the bicycle and said “stay, stay,” and as if it heard him the bicycle remained stationary.  He took his eyes off the bicycle and began to fight with his plastic bags emblazoned with the CVS logo. 

From his bag he removed about six slices of bread, which he stuffed into his mouth.  He’s hungry I thought.  A bottle of iced tea came out next, and he drank enthusiastically making glugging sounds even oven the noise of the train.  So wrapped up he was in eating that when the train lurched again and his bicycle landed on the ground with a thud, he didn’t even move.  The Q-Train Cowboy was too happy to be sitting and eating to care.

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NYC Musings: Clearly, Jesus wasn’t a New Yorker

Clearly Jesus wasn’t a New Yorker

I like the ads on the Subway, since New Yorkers don’t talk to stranger the way people in my country do, I am doomed to reading subway ads.  The ads are not half bad, they are chock-ful of information on things I urgently needs to spend money on.  Cute luggage, men’s sneakers, a chemical peel, education at unheard of and unaccredited schools, vacations, Zip Cars and most importantly storage.

My favorite ads are from Manhattan Mini Storage – they’re all good for a chuckle. I’d like to meet the marketing team, who dreams up gems like “Why leave a city that has six professional sports teams, and also the Mets.  Storage starting at $29.  Free Move.  What a way to get noticed.

Manhattan Mini Storage’s ads caught my eyes shortly after my arrival in New York City, back then I read everything on the subway.  The ad said: “In my father’s house there are many rooms” – John 14:2 – Clearly Jesus was not a New Yorker.  Storage starting at $29.  Free Move.   

It was funny, even a little blasphemous; I still took a picture of it and posted it on my facebook page.  Manhattan Mini Storage has huge billboards all over the city; I keep pointing them out to Joel while he’s driving. Clearly he does not share the same fascination. How about this one Joel, “Hey 99’s Occupy Us.”  Or even “New Yorkers aren’t better than anyone else, we just dress like it.  Manhattan Mini Storage has a sense of humor.