Monday, December 27, 2010

Sisco's Snow Adventure December 2010

For all of you out there in the NYC tri-state area who were hoping for a white Christmas, you're wish almost came true. The cold white stuff came en-masse the day after and it is here to stay for a while. 

Starting during the morning of the 26th and mercifully coming to an end sometime during the early part of the 27th, NYC received over a foot and a half of snow. Guess who was on the move during the festivities. Yup, yours truly, the humble narrator. See, as a bar worker for a bar that NEVER closes, there's really no snow days. Sure, I could have called out but why should I lose out on making money. In my line of work, no work=no pay. So in the middle of the storm I bundled up and went on my merry way. As you can see in the video that follows this paragraph my trip down was a bit intense but somewhat manageable. Heck, I got downtown in such a speedy fashion that I was able to make a detour at Best Buy in Union Square. For the record, the place was busy...and the economy is bad, but I digress. 



Throughout the night we were visited by many poor souls who for one reason or another were thrust outside in the snow and came to our oasis-like doors for some warmth and nourishment of the liquid kind. In and out they came and the snow continued to fall at a steady pace. As the hours ticked on by, Mike and I wondered how bad our respective commutes would be. He was going to the Upper West Side while those of you who have read this blog before know that I live in the Bronx, over a mile from the subway. That little tidbit will loom large later on. As you will see from the next video, getting downstairs to get the train would prove to be hazardous to the most hardiest of souls. Lo and behold, I made it down unscathed and was told by a mysterious oracle that my very moves were being watched. Interesting indeed.



As I mentioned in the last video, my ride on my favorite Philly Iron Horse #6 would indeed be the proverbial quiet before the storm. Having arrived at the Morrison-Soundview Station at 4:57am, I figured that I could catch either the Bx27 or the Bx4 buses. To my surprise, Lady Fate threw me a curveball. There were no buses. AT ALL. To make matters worse, there were no cabs to be seen. So after 25 minutes I gave up hope of relying on automotive transportation and started hoofing the over one and a half miles to my humble abode. Videos #3 and 4 brings my epic journey to a close. Odysseus had nothing on me. A man-eating Cyclops? Bah!!! Amateurish. Try walking the mean streets of the Bronx at 6am with the wind whipping snow and ice from every conceivable direction. That my friends is EPIC!!!!!! LOL.





Anyway, have a laugh at my adventures. I know I can now especially since I'm writing this while on the train heading back down to work after having walked another mile since the buses STILL aren't running and I am anticipating another mile walk home at around 5am. Thanks to the lord for giving me the strong legs and the strength that I use to plow my way through the snow. Until my next adventure folks. Stay tuned

FH

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The First Snowfall

The first snow of the season fell lightly to the ground casting soft silhouettes in the halogen lights of the waiting cars as they descended from the clouds above. Footprints of different sizes littered the now white sidewalk going to and fro. The slick and shiny street played a direct contrast with the white covering on the surrounding sidewalks. The ebony asphalt shone like polished black leather against the seemingly pure white bookends of the powdered sidewalks. Light crunches of a passing pedestrian interrupted the imagined soft muted sounds of the flakes landing one on top of the other. The fate of these shiny little flakes lies in being crushed under the footsteps of those whose footprints would be littering the sidewalk in the hours to come thereby ending the first snow flakes to land during the first snow of the season.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dudes Walking on the Tracks

Never let it be said that I get surprised while waiting for the trains but this morning caught me with my mouth open. As I waited for the 5:14am train at Bleecker Street, I see these two guys just strolling on the downtown express track.

Now mind you, I see men and women on the tracks on a regular basis but those people are supposed to be there with their hard hats and safety vests. These two fools (and what else would they be) were just strolling on by and (at one point) skipping along. The few of us that were waiting for the now approaching train were yelling at the dudes to get off of the tracks. To which I yell at these two knuckleheads to do so on the downtown train and not in front if my train. 

I really wish that I could have taken a picture or video of those dudes but I was taken aback with the balls these dudes exhibited by walking down the track. Jackassery at it's best or worse depending on your point of view. Wow, simply wow.

FH

Friday, November 12, 2010

Littering and Saying Something

I often find that I bite my tongue and shake my head when watching people litter. There are times that I want to say something to these litterbugs but every so often something happens that makes me realize that silence is the best way to deal with these pigs.

I was heading down to work on the 5 express after having dropped the kids off with my wife. As the train is letting passengers on and off at 86th Street, I notice a man yelling out the door to my right. I can't tell why he's yelling and who he's yelling at but I notice that he's holding the doors open while they are trying to close. The bespectacled man finally lets the door close when a pair of hands interrupts the closing and pries the doors open again. Another man steps on the train, says something to the bespectacled man and swings at him hitting him on the left side of his face and gets off the train. His punch sent people scattering across the train car to the "oohs" and "ahhs" of a few teens on the train.

The bespectacled man said to no one in particular: He was littering on the platform. There was a garbage can no more than 3 feet away from him. 

I wonder if getting popped in the face was worth opening his mouth. Could have been worse for him. Hence why I bite my tongue and just shake my head when people litter. I'm really getting tired of this city and the bullshit.

FH

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wanda Sykes Is Right

So I'm approaching my stop on the Bx39 bus and I notice an older woman moving towards the section of the bus where I was seated. I motioned to her so she could take my seat and she came in my direction. I got up to let her sit down. As she got near the seat, I see a flash behind me and this little old dude who was sitting behind me snuck into the solo seat that I was previously occupying. I was stunned. What a slick little fucker. The woman ended up taking up his old seat next to another guy.

I tell the old dude that I got up to give her my seat and not him and at first he ignored me. Since he looked like my old departed grandmother, I knew he was Dominican and I spoke to him in Spanish. Again I tell him that the seat was for her not him and he answers me in gibberish and waves me off. 

I could barely understand him but I got the gist from his body language that since I was getting off it didn't matter who took the seat. The woman just shook her head and I told her in Spanish that I guess all the gentlemen sank with the Titanic to which she chuckled. The old dude must have taken exception with my statement and said "Fuck You" to me in clear old English. 

I looked at him and laughed. I told him "Tu si tienes cojones" (You surely have some balls) as I walked off the back of the bus. Guess Wanda Sykes is right: OLD PEOPLE DON'T GIVE A FUCK.

FH

Friday, October 22, 2010

Turn out the lights. The party's over

As the final innings tick on by on Game 6 of the Yankees-Rangers game, I couldn't help but notice that it has gotten colder outside. Man is winter going to suck until February 15 when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. The only thing I have to say to old man winter is: Go Fuck Yourself!!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Baseball Ends and the Weather Sucks

So the regular season of the 2010 Baseball season has come to an end and is just me or has the weather tanked as the season came closer to an end? LOL. Yes folks, the season ends, the trees lose their leaves, the days grow shorter and colder and the night longer and darker with the end of Baseball. Other sports step in to fill the void but to no avail. We ardent fans start to count down the days on our calendar to events known as Truck Day and the reporting of Pitchers and Catchers to replace what we are missing during the cold winter months: Baseball. Goodbye warmth. Hello Cold. Brrrr. LOL.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Immigrant Paranoia Hits The BSB

I get tension from people in different ways when it comes to my asking them for ID as they enter the bar. This particular time I had a strange experience with a gentleman regarding his status here in the country.

This man comes in, sometime after 1am on Sunday morning. If I was to guess he was Mexican. As he approaches me, I ask him for his ID. As he reaches for his passport I can literally see the defensive wall being built. The first thing he says is "I'm on vacation", I answer "Ok, welcome." And he hesitates to show me his passport. I'm thinking that maybe its not his and he's stalling. Then he says "Its my first time in New York". I just nod and look at his passport. I see that he was born in 1985 and that it was him in the picture. I notice that he Mexican and that his English is pretty good but he keeps carping and complaining that I had asked him for his ID. Mike and I figure maybe its because he's had a few drinks.

A few minutes later a friend of his comes in and as I'm asking him for his ID, the tense feller says "He's with me", to which I answer "Ok, I still need to see his ID". The second guy shows me it without any issues but the first guy is starting to get pretty aggro. I decide to take a different tact by talking to him in Spanish. He refuses to acknowledge my Spanish and continues to bitch and moan in English. Again I talk to him in Spanish and say the following:

I notice that you are feeling some tension here with my asking you for your ID. I don't care if you are here on vacation, here legally or illegally. The only reason that I ask for your ID is that I have to make sure you are of legal drinking age.Most, if not all bars he'll go into will ask for ID as a proof for age. It has nothing to do with anything else.

I see that he finally gets my message. He says to me in Spanish that this his first time in New York and that he didn't know. He pologized by offering to buy me a drink which I politely refused.

I guess the stress that is being applied to immigrants and foreigners in this country are starting to be felt here in New York. I wonder how often I'm going to have to deal with this in the near future. Guess time will tell.

FH

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Man I'm Tired of Complaing About the MTA

One day I'm going to end up in prison for assaulting an MTA Bus driver. I have friends that drive buses and I know their jobs, like mine, can be stressful but a little understanding on their part can make everyone's ride easier. Allow me to elaborate.

With the 6 train station, downtown side at Parkchester under construction those of us who ride the bus to White Plains Road and Westchester Avenue have to get to the 6 train station to St. Lawrence Avenue. The walk is short but the time between Parkchester and St. Lawrence Avenue can be cut to about a 2 minute ride by transfering for the Bx4 bus. So here is the reason for my anger.

I get off the Bx39 and see the Bx4 bus waiting for the light to change while it is sitting in the bus stop. 5 of us get off the bus and run to catch it. As I knock on the door, he freezes us out. Someone on the bus says something to him and he turns to us and shakes his head to tell us he wasn't opening the door. He shows us with his hands that since the bus was sitting in the crosswalk he couldn't open the door though he moved the bus up into the crosswalk while the bus was in the stop. The light turned and he just drove off leaving the 5 of us looking at each other in astonishment.
I'll tell you folks, there was a reason I left the house without cash. I take it as a sign from wherever. Had I had cash, I'd have taken a cab and caught up to the bus and given that fucker the ass beating of his life. I work in a profession where people bait us to see if we get into a fight with them so they can sue the bar for monetary gain. So to say that my patience is plentiful is an understatement. But what that motherfucker did was just wrong and bitch slapping worthy.

Assholes like that guy are the first to try to sway public opinion in his favor when they threat going on strike for their raises. How about working with the public that EMPLOYS YOU for once. Fucking Jackass. Karma will give him his just desserts and I hope I'm there to pass along the seconds.

FH

Monday, September 13, 2010

Subway and the Water Bottle

I'm at the Subway restaurant by the Hunts Point Train Station waiting on line to place my order when this thug walks in off the street with an empty plastic bottle. From my point of view it looked to be a liter. The thug just walks to the fountain soda section places the bottle under the nozzle for water and proceedes to fill his it. The person behind the counter looks at the guy in disbelief and tries to get his attention to no avail.

After filling the bottle, the thug looked up at the counterperson and started cursing at him. How dare the employee of Subway dare say anything to him for just taking water. In his words: Its just fucking water son. Get the fuck outta here with that shit he says "eloquently" as he leaves the store. It reminded me of how people get mad at me when I refuse to let them into the bar to use the bathroom without buying a drink. As if I have all the nerve in the world to tell them no.

Getting back to the Subway scenario. What happened to society that there are those who think that they are entitled to anything they want and fuck everyone else. That's like saying I'm going to walk into a bodega and take a bottle of water from the refrigerator and leave with it saying its only fucking water. People really have a lot of nerve.

What's the poor guy to do? Get into a fight with the thug and risk his life over a liter of water? And people have the nerve to say we live in a civilized age. Whatever.

FH

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

More E-mail Scams

I decided to break from what seems to be a trend in adventurous rides on the MTA to bring you some more e-mail scams. Ready folks? Here goes.

The first one comes from a Mr. Derick Richard

International Certified Bank Draft

Dear Friend,

How are you today?I Hope all is well with you and your family? I hope this mail meets you in a perfect condition.

I am using this opportunity to thank you for your great effort to our unfinished transaction and transfer of your international bank draft cheque to you from the bank,i am sorry for presenting and using someone else in your name to get this transaction successfull. Due to logistic reasons and your inconsistance to the other best known to you.

Right now, I want to inform you that I have successfully cleared the bank draft check fund to someone else account who was capable of assisting me in this great venture that have been over and successfull.

Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trustworthiness you showed at the course of the transaction I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of $500,000 Thousand United State Of America Dollars.

I have authorized Mr. Robert Mark whom I deposited the money to issue you a international certified bank draft, cashable cheque at your bank or anywere as choice felt. My dear friend I will like you to contact Dr James Douglas for the collection of this international certified bank draft.

His name and contact address is as follows:

COMPENSATION HEAD QUATERS

NAME: DR James Douglas
Email: james.douglas@rogers.com
Phone Number:+2347095040650

Contact Dr James Douglas At the moment, I?m very busy here in the united kingdom because of the investment projects which myself and my new partner are having at hand In London Finally remember that I have forwarded instructions to Dr James Douglas on your behalf to send the bank draft cheque of $500,000 Thousand United State Of America Dollars to you as soon as you contact him without delay. Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart.

Thanks God bless you and your family. Hope to hear from you soon as soon as you've gotting my compensation and please do not get angry because that is what i have for now till i finish my project.

Best Regards.
Mr. Derick Richard


Ah, those Brits are so friendly and personal. So for my efforts to aid Mr. Douglas I am to receive a sum of five-hundred thousands in U.S. Dollars. Very Nice. Too bad Mr. Richard can't spell. I think the vaunted British education system failed him. LOL. Next!

Here's one from the United States Internal Revenue Service that says I am entitled to a tax refund:

After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity, we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of 1563.38 GBP. Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 2-3 days in order to process it.

Click Here to submit your tax refund request

Note : A refund can be delayed for variety of reasons, for example submitting invalid records or applying after deadline.

Best Regards

HM Revenue & Customs
©2010. IRS.gov | Internal Revenue Service | United States Department of the Treasury


Maybe I am just skeptical, but why would the United States Internal Revenue Service say that I am entitled to a tax return of 1586.38 in Great Britain Pounds. Wouldn't the notice have come from whichever governing body in Great Britain that regulates taxes and refunds? Nice try. Be gone!

This one is a new one. It supposedly comes from Facebook, who wants me to click on a link to fill out a survey:

Subject: Facebook Request


Hey,
You have been invited to participate in our short Facebook survey and receive a gift of your choice (click for list of gifts). Participation is required, see offer details

http://crinal.hightechquestions.com/index.aspx?274118-82529047-1714922


This one might have gotten me if it was sent to the email that I have on record with Facebook. Another one bites the dust. Peace!

This one says I may be eligible for G.I. Bill grant money:

Attention:
Re: Veterans Only - GI Bill Info.

You may be eligible for $1321/month for school from the GI Bill

Please register here to claim.

You could receive:
? Online- based Classes
? Knowledgeable Counselors
? Credit for Service
? Flexible Scheduling

The Montgomery and Post 9/11 GI Bills are worth over $49,000. Don't let this valuable benefit doesn't go to waste. Search for military friendly schools today.


This is all well and dandy but for one little detail. I never served in the military. Enough said!

This one says I am eligible for money from the United States Government:

PENDING: Government money may be available for you.

To see if you qualify, Click Here - it's FREE*

Receive $25,000, $50,000 or more!
Ticket ID #746R-XESI7085 will expire soon, please act now.

To see if you are eligible: Please Click Here

You have been selected to receive this ticket because you may be entitled to government funding. The US Government must find recipients in order to distribute over $360 billion dollars to organizations and private individuals.

Sincerely,
Government Funding Solutions Team


Listen, the US Government knows how to find me. They can just send me the check if they are so desperate to give away over three-hundred and sixty billion dollars. Really Now!

And this last little nugget comes with the label "Online Hookup" and comes straight to the point:

There Waiting
http://www.wiveswaiting.com


Keep waiting, my clicking of the link is imminent. I'm outta here.
FH

Saturday, September 4, 2010

MTA: An Adventure on Every Ride Part II

Here is today's adventure on the #6 train. Due to a police investigation at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue the #6 train was stuck in between 68th Street and 59th Street. The conductor announces that for those that want to exit the train at 59th Street they should walk towards the front of the train where they would TRY (Notice the capitalization, bolding and italicization of the word) to get the front of the train into the station so they can open one door to let everyone off. Ah the good intentions of the conductor and train operator to facilitate out ride. But we all know which path is lined with good intentions. Right? I'll try to refrain from the sarcasm as I continue with my tale.

For all my train riding, this was truly a new experience. As I walked the length of the train through the conductor's inner sanctum into the front of the train, I had the feeling that I was a lamb being led to its slaughter. Ah public transportation. Nights like these make me want to reconsider my decision to not have a car.

As we sit and wait for the train to inch closer to our percieved freedom, the conductor announces that the police investigation is almost over and that the train will soon be moving. Happy Happy Joy Joy. In the end, after we all make the trek through the train to the front, it pulled into the station as it would usually do and continued on its way Downtown. No apologies, no reason, Nada, Bupkis. By the way, thanks for nothing MTA. Oh, by the way, I still have to get off at 14th Union Square since construction is making my get off at Bleecker Street an impossibility.

After the train stopped again at 23rd Street I decided to get off and take a cab. What can go wrong. LOL.

Like I said last week: MTA An Adventure on Every Ride.

FH

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The MTA: An Adventure on Every Ride

I swear the MTA's slogan should be "The MTA: An Adventure on Every Ride" It seemed like deja-vu with my ride down to work this evening. In a trip similar to the one Myron and I took a few weeks ago, I had a similar odyssey in the opposite direction.

My ride started out standing on the 6 train that was full of the loud beach-goers from Orchard Beach. Thankfully I have only two or three more weeks of dealing with that until the beach closes and the trains on the weekends in my neck of the woods gets quiet. But I digress.

As the train goes express from Parkchester to Hunts Point Avenue (due to ongoing construction) the ride is swift and smooth. Lo and behold it was not to remain that way. Upon arriving at Hunts Point Avenue, the conductor announces that "We are being held at the station due to the dispatcher. Please be patient". I really must say that I hate to be told to be patient, especially if the train is stuck in between cars. As if I can go anywhere. Again, I digress.

I really don't want to be late to work so I get off the train and decide that I'll take the #2 train at the Simpson Street stop about 3 blocks away. Lady Luck seems to pity me a bit and has the Bx5 bus sitting there waiting for me. The Bx5 bus makes the four block or so walk from Bruckner Boulevard to Westchester Avenue go by in a snap. As I run up the long set of stairs I hope that there is #2 train service that is not being interrupted by construction. Yeah right.

In the way that Lady Luck look favorable on me, that fucker Murphy, whose law seemed to rule this particular part of my ride, screwed me over. A big sign in green letters said "No #2 trains" and the token booth clerk was letting people know that there were only #5 trains running and there were signal delays. Yeah yeah yeah, I knew that already. Down I go to make the next leg of my journey.

On the corner I waited for the same Bx19 that Myron and I took. As the bus arrived, I got on a bus that sounded like Bleecker Street Bar on a Friday night. It was loud and full, but unlike the #6 train I was able to get a seat opposite a woman with a young child in a stroller. Why do I mention the young woman and her child. Well, here goes.

The woman is texting on her phone and listening to her jams while the kid is going absolutely bonkers in the stroller. She's standing, jumping, twisting, leaning over the edge almost hitting her head on the floor (before I catch her) and the woman has no clue as to what is going on since she's engrossed in her phone and music. It finally took the kid taking her sandals off and throwing them halfway down the bus before the lady looked up and gave the kid a smack on the arm. It seemed like the kid has gotten a few of those before since she shrugged it off and kept twisting to an unheard version of Chubby Checker "Twist". LOL. Really folks, I wish I could make this up.

Finally, the bus crosssed the bridge from the Bronx into Harlem Heights where I get off on 145th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue to catch the Downtown D train. Why the D train? Well, the train leaves me at the Broadway-Lafayette Street Station which is a block away from the bar. My ride should be easy some part of the way, Right? The irony of where I stood hits me and causes me to chuckle. I am currently reading Ian Fleming's Live and Let Die, which is his second James Bond book. In this book his adversary is Mr. Big, the crime boss of Harlem who is an agent of SMERSH. Funny that I end up in somewhat the general vicinity of where I am reading. I really need to look into the nightclubs that Fleming describes in the story.

I go down the stairs of the station, swipe my card and help a young woman with a stroller down the stairs (a different one this time). As I'm waiting for the D and writing this post, I just shake my head. The electronic sign says in bright orange letters: All D train service will run local from 125th Street to 59th Street. In someone else's world the ride would be smooth and uneventful without any further interruptions. But I am not someone else and not surprisingly it doesn't end there.

As we approach 47-50th Streets-Rockerfeller Center Station, the conductor announces that the last stop on the D is 34th Street-Herald Square. So to continue my trip Downtown, I need to transfer to the N or R train which is upstairs or to the F which is across the platform. Since I'm tired of stairs, I decide to take the F and get off on the 42nd Street-Bryant Park Station to wait across the platform for (the hopefully arriving soon) F train. Being the train fanatic that my son is, he would truly get a kick with the amount of buses and trains that I have taken to get to work. So that gets a dry laugh out of me. At this point the ride is going on past two hours and counting.

As I wait for an F train that seems not to be coming, I start to second guess myself on not taking the D to 34th Street to change for the N or the R. But as a native Astorian I've had my fair share of delays on the N (For the Never Train) and the R (For the Rarely Train) to last my whole life, thank you very much. My gleaming chariot arrives in grand style into the station with nary an empty seat in sight. Surely I couldn't have expected to get a seat on every part of my ride, Right? LOL. Off I go towards the Broadway-Lafayette Street with 5 stops to go hoping nothing else happens to delay me even further.

The remaining ride is smooth and I go upstairs exiting the station on the corner of Crosby and Houston Streets. The time on my phone says 9:20pm. A forty-five minute trip done in two and a quarter hours.

Thank you MTA, my ride this evening was divine. Truly, it was an adventure on every ride.

FH

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Myron and Sisco's MTA Adventure

Myron and I left the BSB Saturday night/Sunday morning on our adventure home. Myron has convinced me to take a cab with him to the Bronx. Reason for the cab is that I have to attend a BBQ with my family at my wife's boss' home in Bellerose Village later on in the day. Taking a cab would get me home faster. But there was a small problem, there were a bunch of people waiting for cabs, so we weren't able to catch one. We decided to take the train. And away we go.

The 6 is under construction at the Uptown Bleecker Street station. In order to go Uptown, a downtown train must be taken to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall station. You cross to the Uptown platform and take the 6 back up express to Union Square and the rest of the stops to the Bronx. This has been happening for a few weekends now so it is not a surprise but here is where the inevitable monkey wrench comes in. As we're waiting, we hear an MTA employee telling the waiting passengers that there is no 6 train service. Apparently someone was hit by the train and they had no clue when service would resume. Myron and I decided to take the 2 on 7th Avenue. The problem with that was the 2 train is under construction from 96th Street on and the only way into the Bronx from there was via shuttle bus service. We were briefly sidetracked by this man rolling on the ground on East Houston Street trying to remove something off of his body. Whether he had something on him or not was unknown but it was sure intersting to see. But back to the business at hand

Off we walked down West Houston Street towards 7th Avenue. Even as we walked we noticed that there were a lot of people trying in vain to catch taxis. So we resigned ourselves to our fate on the train. After a quick stop at a deli for water we arrive at the 1 train station at Houston and Varick Streets to hear the rumble of an arriving train. Running down the stairs go Myron and I catching the Uptown 1 train in the nick of time. As we're riding Uptown, we notice that someone had left their phone behind. It was a Motorola from like 2000 with the big antenna coming out from the top corner. Definitely old school tech. In a pure stroke of genius Myron comes up with an alternate plan.

His plan called for us to take the 1 train Uptown to 145th Street where we could catch the Bx19 bus into the Bronx. The bus would leave him off on 149th Street near where he lives and I could take the bus to Hunts Point Avenue and Southern Boulevard where I can catch the Bx5 bus to my neck of the woods. Luckily for us there was a 12 minute wait for the bus and a shish kebob stand on the corner of Broadway and 145th Street. I highly recommend the kebobs from this gentleman. On Point!

The bus arrives at 5:38am and off it goes down 145th into the Bronx and down 149th Street. I feel that I have a chance to catch the 6:03am Bx5 but I could only ask for so much luck. I arrived here at 6:05am having just missed my bus. Alas, I would have to catch the next Bx5 bus which is due to arrive at 6:33am. And at 6:33am here came the Bx5 and off I continued with my best Odysseyus impersonation. Luckily for me, the Bx5 only takes about 12 minutes from Hunts Point to the corner of White Plains Road and Lafayette Avenue. After an uneventful walk I arrive home. I notice that my ride home took over two and a half hours to accomplish. I left the bar at 4:27am and I walked in my door at 6:56am and all I could do was wonder about a particular question that popped into my head.

The question that I asked myself was this: How the fuck do tourists manuever through this city when shit like this happens. Myron and I are native New Yorkers who know our way around town. But I see these tourists walking around during the day with their thumbs up their ass imagine them at night after a few drinks in a bar. God Bless them. After all we went through I'm glad to say this: Home Sweet Home.

FH

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Miriam Miriam Needs My Help

I must be a magnet for the email scams these days. This time I received not only one email from a "young lady from Ghana named Miriam Miriam" but three. She must be special to have the same first and last names. She really must have something important for me since she's trying to hard to contact me. Well here's the first one she sent me:

HELLO,

I AM MIRIAM FROM ACCRA,GHANA. MY PARENTS AND MY ONLY BROTHER WERE KILLED IN AN ACCIDENT. SINCE THEN I HAVE BEEN WITH MY UNCLES BUT THEY HAVE MADE THING TO BE MORE DIFFICULT FOR ME BECAUSE OF THEIR EYES ON MY LATE FATHER’S PROPERTIES. BEFORE THE DEATH OF MY FATHER, HE HAS $5.5 M USD IN A FIXED DEPOSIT DOMICILIARY ACCOUNT WITH A BANK IN ACCRA, GHANA, WHICH I AM THE NEXT OF KIN. I HUMBLY NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE IN TRANSFERRING THIS FUND FOR INVESTMENT AND I WILL GIVE YOU 20% FOR YOU EFFORT .ON HEARING FROM YOU I WILL GIVE YOU MORE DETAILS.

SINCERELY
MIRIAM


I guess since I didn't answer her first request, she decided to be a bit more familiar in her second email to me:

DEAREST ONE
I AM VERY SORRY FOR APPROACHING YOU THROUGH THIS WAY KNOWING MY MESSAGE WILL COME TO YOU AS A SURPRISE SINCE I DON'T KNOW YOU OR MET WITH YOU BEFORE BUT AM OF THE BELIEVE THAT YOU WOULD BE OBLIGED TO COME TO MY ASSISTANCE AFTER HEARING ABOUT MY SITUATION.I AM MIRIAM ,18 YEAR OLD GIRL, I WAS FORMERLY A MEDICAL STUDENT OF UNIVERSITY OF GHANA.LATE LAST YEAR OCTOBER 2009,THE REBELS IN MY COUNTRY STRUCK OUR TOWNSHIP AND KILL MY PARENTS BECAUSE MY FATHER WAS A POLITICAL LEADER IN MY COUNTRY GHANA.BEFORE HIS DEATH HE HAS $5.5 M USD IN A DOMICILIARY ACCOUNT WITH A BANK IN GHANA WHICH I AM THE NEXT OF KIN.PLEASE I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS,TO SERVE AS THE GUARDIAN OF THIS FUND,PROVIDE A BANK ACCOUNT WHERE THIS MONEY WOULD BE TRANSFERRED,MAKE ARRANGEMENT FOR ME TO COME OVER AND LOOK FOR A GOOD VENTURE WHERE THIS MONEY WILL BE INVESTED,I AM WILLING TO OFFER YOU 20% OF TH TOTAL SUM AS COMPENSATION OF YOUR EFFORT AND 5% FOR ANY OTHER EXPENSE YOU MADE AFTER A SUCCESSFUL TRANSFER

THANKS AND GOD BLESS YOU
SINCERELY
MIRIAM


So now I am being address as "Dearest One". Very coquettish Miriam. You must be a real minx LOL. Not waiting for me to answer her, she sends me a third email a minute later:

Dearest One

I feel quite safe dealing with you through this medium (Internet) has been greatly abused, I choose to reach you through it because it still remains the fastest, surest and most secured medium of communication.I know that this mail will come to you as a surprise as we have never met before, but still i will want you to take me like a friend, and glance through my short letter.I am Miriam, 18yrs from Ghana,the only Survived child of Late Mr Robert who was murdered alongside my mother and only brother last year by rebels. I am Presently in an orphanage because of wickedness of uncle's and relatives. Before his death he had a domiciliary account here, up to the tune of (Five Million Five Hundred Thousand US dollars).Please I need your assistance to get this money transferred to you for my education, investment and to be my guardian before my uncles will get hold of me and the money. I shall forward to you with the necessary documents on confirmation of your acceptance to assist me for the transfer of the money to you. I shall be glad to reserve this respect and opportunity for you, if you so desire, but i do urge you to give the matter your immediate attention it deserves. If this proposal is acceptable by you, please do not make undue advantage of the trust i bestow on you,and your urgent reply is highly needed today. I am willing to offer you reasonable percentage from the total money as compensation for your effort. May God touch your heart and use you to bring back happiness and joy in my life

Your Sincerely
Miriam


Again with the Dearest One Miriam? This Miriam sure is persistent and capable at pulling at the heart-strings. She needs me to help her with a money transfer in the sum of Five Million Five Hundred Thousand US dollars to be used for her education, investments and to be used so I can become her guardian. This little 18-year old almost made me crack a crocodile tear.

Are people really that gullible in cyber-land? I must be in the wrong line of work if these scammers are actually successful in their attempts to bilk money from poor saps. Amazing, simply amazing.

FH

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Guess It Was Bound to Happen Sometime

For the first time in my life I was stopped by the Police while in the subway. I just finished closing the bar with Rhea and after walking with her to catch her a cab, I walked over to Han's Deli and got a Snickers Ice Cream bar. As I walk back towards the Bleecker Street Station I see the police pull up to the corner. I don't think anything of it and I walk downstairs to the train station.

As I swipe my Metrocard I hear the police radios as they are coming down the stairs. I'm finishing the ice cream bar and as I am throwing the wrapper in the garbage can I hear "Excuse me sir" being said towards my direction as I am approached by four police officers. One of the officers I recognize from the routine community checks the Police conduct in the neighborhood where the bar is located. One of the other officers asks me "Where are you coming from".

Imagine my surprise, I have four officers standing in a semi-circle around me while I have the remains of a Snickers Ice Cream bar in my mouth. LOL. I mumble out past the caramel, ice cream and peanuts that I just closed the bar on the corner, the Bleecker Street Bar. Then the officer asked me what I do there and I said Assistant Manager/Head of Security (After all, I had to make it sound important). The lead officer asked to see my ID, which I willingly provided and asked if he could check my pockets. I said sure since all I had in there were my keys and some cash. As they were checking my ID, I apologize to the officers for answering their questions with ice cream in my mouth. That got a chuckle out from them. The main officer told me they had gotten a call and that I fit the description. Must have been some handsome dude who stole a pretty lady's heart. LOL. (Ah levity is a beautiful thing).

Once they were satisfied that I wasn't who they were looking for, my ID was returned to me and the officers apologized for stopping me. To which I responded "No Worries". The one officer that I recognized from the community checks nodded to me as she left. I continued to walk down the platform when a young man that was seated on a bench looked up at me and said "They're not supposed to do that" to which I responded "I'm not worried about it, I have nothing to hide".

It is like I tell the people that come to the bar without any form of identification: ALWAYS HAVE YOUR ID. Imagine if I didn't have my ID on me, I would have probably been taken to the Ninth precinct to establish my identity and gotten home really late and super tired. I understand what the young man was telling me about the Police not being allowed to stop me in the manner that they did. In all honesty, I don't have anything to hide. Never had and never will. The way I see it, why should I be hostile to the Police when all they are doing is their jobs. They were polite and never disrespected me while asking their questions and since there weren't any guns drawn I didn't feel threatened in the least. I guess after 37 years of living in New York City, I'd have to get stopped by the Police at least once. LOL.

In the end, I caught the 4:13am train as scheduled and I'm on my way home.

FH

Monday, August 9, 2010

When Fear Teams Up With Gut Instinct

For the first time in a long time I felt fear. As I walked from the St. Lawrence train station towards White Plains Road, I spotted a few guys hanging out by the corner. As I walked closer I noticed that it was actually five guys in total that I saw on both corners. There could have been more hiding in the shadows.

Immediately I go on the defensive by taking off my headphones to have a better awareness of the situation I might be walking into. There were two men walking a few feet ahead of me and these gentlemen seemed to be the object of attention for the group.

As the men crossed the intersection, one of the five darted towards them and they ran into the middle of Westchester Avenue. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Westchester Avenue, the 6 train elevated section runs above Westchester Avenue so there is often a decent amount of traffic under the "EL". Luckily for the two men, at 5:00am, the traffic on Westchester is limited. Getting back to the story, as the men ran to elude their pursuers their actions caused the men who were hanging out to laugh loudly. The man who initially made his way to the pair was shouting "Yo, they suspect my nigga. They suspect", which caused the other men to laugh even louder. Then I approached the corner.

Seeing how the pair ran and were jeered, I just decided to keep walking straight ahead past the guys. After I had passed then and walk down a bit further down the block I looked back to see if I was being followed. Luckily for me I wasn't. Now, I don't want anyone to think that I am a tough guy based on my decision to keep walking straight instead of crossing the street away from the group. I am a Bouncer in New York City and after having done so for 15 years I believe that doing so for that length of time has allowed me to learn to analyze situations in a swift manner and to be able to act accordingly. So in deciding to just keep walking, I felt that I would attract the least amount of attention, which is what happened. Plus my size can be imposing and I try to use that to my advantage whenever possible. Not to disparage the two gentlemen who chose to flee from the situation but compared to me both of those guys would not have filled my 6'1" and 300lb frame. I guess they were deemed to be easy pickings.

You may be wondering where my fear comes into the equation. It is like I tell people who ask me while at work if I am a tough guy because I am a bouncer. I tell them that I'm not a tough guy. I just work my shift and hope that I can get home to see my kids in one piece. Luckily I work in a bar where incidents are rare (BTW, knocking on wood as I write this). That's basically it in a nutshell. I see at least five dudes who are looking for trouble and I know that no matter how well I can handle myself, I would be outnumbered. I just want to get home in one piece.

Thankfully I didn't have to see the scenario play out in any other way, shape or form. Hopefully, it didn't play out differently for somebody else.
FH

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ladies, Your Chariot Awaits

The Bx 5 approached the bus stop at White Plains Road and Lafayette Street this evening. The stop was full of older ladies and the driver lowers the front of the bus to help the ladies get on the bus. As I wait with them to get on, it seems as if they think the bus is lowered to let off a handicapped passenger so they just stand there. No one gets off and no one gets on.

I hear the driver say to the ladies: "Haven't you ladies ever seen a good looking older gentleman before. Your chariot awaits". He punctuates the line with a hearty laugh as the ladies get on the bus giggling like schoolgirls. Most NYC city bus drivers can learn a lesson in personality and friendliness from this gentleman. Bravo!!!!

FH

Friday, July 9, 2010

General Wallace Needs My Help

I got this email today and really wanted to post it. Here goes:

My name is General William S. Wallace, the former United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

Actually, I acquired 17.3 Million US Dollars from an oil business I did in Iraq with an Iraqi citizen. I need a good partner who I can trust to assist me in receiving the consignment on my behalf.

All arrangement to bring out the consignment from Iraq have being concluded with a United Nations diplomat. I need someone who can receive it since I cannot receive it directly due to my status. I am offering you 20% of the total sum for your assistance and the 80% will be transferred to my account which I will instruct you in my next email to you on how it will be transferred to my account.

Your own part of this deal is to find a safe place where the funds can be sent to. If you are interested I will furnish you with more details. But the whole process is simple and we must keep a low profile at all times.

The best mode of communication to me is through email. I look forward to your reply and co-operation, and I thank you in advance as I anticipate your co-operation waiting for your urgent response.

Thanks for your understanding.

Best Regard,

Gen William S. Wallace (RET)
(williamwallace@web2mail.com)


Ok, so I'm a little skeptical about this email. Can you blame me? What would a retired four-star general in the United States Army who served as Commanding General, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Fort Monroe, Virginia from September 5, 2005, to December 8, 2008 need with me? I mean really, like the Zimbabwe Email scam that I blogged on roughly two months ago, do you expect me to fall for it. Even worse, are there really people out there gullible to fall for this shit. Like my dad says: Pobre America. LOL.

FH

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mr. James Goes to Miami

So the hype surrounding LeBron James' destination for the 2011 NBA season is over. On his hour long special, James announced that he would be signing with the Miami Heat. In doing so, he joins Dwayne Wade and newly signed Chris Bosh as a formidable trio on the hardwood. While the fans in Miami celebrate through the night, the fans in Cleveland burn the James #23 jerseys. Let me not forget the Knicks and Bulls fans who feel like a jilted bride left at the altar.

Allow me to address the Cleveland scenario first. This city hasn't had a professional championship since 1964. It has been a long 46 years in a city that has no hopes for the Indians, Browns and now Cavaliers. I empathize with the fans. They feel betrayed by one of their own citizens (James is an Ohioan from Akron). I see where their anger comes from. They feel betrayed and to a certain degree they were. James should have told the team directly that he would no longer play for them in person and in private. It showed a lack of respect for the Cleveland Cavaliers organization. My friend Jonathan said it perfectly: I just blame Lebron for doing that to Cleveland on prime time-that's like going to Yankee Stadium and breaking up with your girlfriend on the jumbotron. Bad form.. Agreed.

Now for the Knicks and Bulls fans, here it gets tricky. The Bulls have a much better team in place for the upcoming season so their fans have something more to look forward to than the Knicks fans do with their team. In place the Bulls have newly signed Carlos Boozer, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng while the Knicks have their own free-agent signing Amar'e Stoudamire and center Eddy Curry. To be honest, I'm not sure if the Bulls fans were placing their hopes with the signing of LeBron James as the Knicks fans were, but to be mad at LeBron for signing with Heat instead of the Knicks is the kind of situation where you shrug your shoulders and say "What Can You Do". There was never a guarantee that LeBron was coming here to New York. As fans tend to do at times, they sold themselves on the idea that LeBron would definitely be playing in Madison Square Garden. Oh, just one last thing to you fans of all the free-agent teams LeBron didn't choose: Would you be still be upset on how LeBron delivered his news if he had chosen your team? I don't think so.

LeBron said it clearly in his post-interview comments that he didn't sign with the Heat for the money. He signed for the chance to win a championship. His chances for a ring are definitely better with the Heat than they are with the Knicks. I know people calculated that LeBron would make double the money in New York City with his contract and endorsements than in any of the other free-agent markets but as I said a few days ago it wasn't all about the money but the opportunity. Sure some of you will say "He's a traitor to the Cavaliers and Cleveland for leaving". That may be true, but let me put this in a certain way: If you got the chance to get a better job with better opportunities for success wouldn't you take it? Haven't you ever taken a job for less money than others that you had because you felt the lesser paying job would be better for you? If you can say yes to either one of these questions, then you did the same thing that LeBron James did, just with small figures. LOL.

Where I would say that he erred was in the way he went about in telling the world his decision. It smelled of ego and unnecessary spectacle. As Some say he undermined the sport of Basketball and has dented his legacy. I mean who knows. I didn't feel it was he right way for him to go about it but if I were to find a silver lining in all of this was that the proceeds from the commercials would be donated to the Boys and Girls Club (a reported $2.5 million in donated revenue from the telecast of The Decision). ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski puts it best in his article named LeBron's unsavory 'Decision' spectacle.

Only time will tell if LeBron's move from Cleveland to Miami will be a successful one. Who knows, maybe the big three of Wade, James and Bosh will make the necessary sacrifices to their games to ensure a championship. Like I said before, time will tell.

FH

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Now I'm In The Heartbreaking Business Too

Aside from being a ballbuster and an asshole, now I am a heartbreaker. Trust me folks, this has nothing to do with the ladies. LOL. For the last year, people have been buzzing about the chances of LeBron James signing with the hometown New York Knicks. The talk seems to overshadow the World Cup, Wimbledon and dare I say it the New York Yankees. This is no different at the Bleecker Street Bar. Conversations rage on nightly debating whether or not Mr. James is coming to lay his roots in New York and I have to get caught in the middle.

There's this regular (who shall remain nameless) that has been utterly harassing me about James. For the record, I didn't think a that he would come here a year ago and I don't think it today. People like to say that he can make more money here in New York City than in any other market. That's true. But look at Michael Jordan, he wasn't the highest paid player during his time in the NBA. He could have been but I believe that he felt his best chances to win championships (which they were) was with the Chicago Bulls. So money isn't everything. I feel that with LeBron James, he's that kind of person that puts loyalty for his home state of Ohio over the potential money of New York. Plus, there are too many questions with the Knicks. Aside from the recently announced signing of Amar'e Stoudamire they have no one signed but do have the money to spend. To me it seems like there are too many "Ifs" to count on. But back to the harasser.

So last night he comes in and I know he's itching to ask me about LeBron. I avoid him like the plague. After 3 or 4 shots of Jameson, he catches me at an off moment and comes in with the question: Is LeBron coming to the Knicks. As usual I say no. Flabbergasted he asks why and I go into my usual explanation about why I don't think he's coming here and the regular says that I am breaking his heart. Really? You're a grown man of 50+ years of age and I'm breaking your heart. Come on, grow up. I decided to let it go and ignore his statement and change the games that are on the TV's.

Again he rails into me as to why I don't think why LeBron isn't coming here and he's really annoying the fuck out of me. Again he says I'm breaking his heart. So I tell him that if he doesn't want to hear what I have to say then don't ask me. I mean really, I don't mince words with this guy since prior employees at the bar have coddled him. For example, he would get downright ripped the previous night and come in the next night and ask how he was the night before. The former employee would say "No, you were ok". He'd ask me and I'd say "Dude, you were fucked up". I don't have time to baby grown men.

I told him in regards to LeBron, that I didn't really care where LeBron or any of the NBA free agents signed. It doesn't help me out any. Then he asks why do I hate the Knicks. I don't hate the Knicks, I just hate what they have become through mis-management and incompetence. Its like I tell him, you ask me an honest question and I'll give you an honest answer. Period. I'm not Picasso and I don't paint pretty pictures with my words so at times my opinions go against the grain. I'm not someone who marches with the status quo. I'm my own man and really don't care if people don't like what I have to say. In the end its my opinion and that's all it is. My opinion.

To make matters worse, he wants to bet with me about LeBron and I tell him that I don't wager. Why make matters worse. Again he can't believe that I don't want to make a bet with him. Don't feel bad, I say, I don't want to be against anyone. Its not personal. With that I go into the office and he turns his drunk ass to leave.

I tell Mike, I wish my wife was here so she could see with her own eyes why I don't like socializing with people on my free time. See the shit I have to put up with?

FH

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Innocence Lost

What happens to us humans that cause us to become such skeptical and distrusting creatures. What event in our little lives leads us to go from innocent to jaded. I could fill the many pages of a book with all reasons that I can come up with. But why did I come up with that.

I saw this woman fanning herself while on the train. Sitting to her right was a man with a young boy in a stroller. He had to be about 2-years old and was watching the woman as she moved fan back and forth. She looked down at him and saw that he was watching her and she smiled at him. He smiled back in a coquetish manner. It was fun to watch this little boy's interaction with the woman. She played peek-a-boo from behind the fan and the boy would just cover his eyes in tune with her movements. The dad just shook his head, apparently this is a common activity for the boy on the train. LOL.

Allow me to go back to my original statement: What happens to us humans that cause us to become such skeptical and distrusting creatures. Look at the boy who at his young and innocent age is interacting carelessly with the woman. Then look at those of us who ride the trains with the "look-through" stare of strangers who seem to look through the people who are sitting in front of us on the train. We make eye contact briefly before quickly breaking said contact to avoid anymore personal contact. The way we pretend not to hear the homeless people who walk the length of the train asking for money and food as if they don't even exists in our periphery. Sucks doesn't it.

FH

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The U.S. Falls and with Ghana, Africa Rises

2-1. That was the fateful score that saw two countries take different forks on the crossroads of the World Cup. The United States played admirably bowing in defeat to the African nation of Ghana today in Rustenberg, South Africa. Where in tournaments past, the United States played above expectations by tying European powerhouse England, tying Slovenia and beating Algeria. Though they will not continue in the tournament to play Uruguay, nothing but praise should be showered on the U.S. players. In the global view, there is something larger here.

As I spoke to my friend Samuel yesterday, he seemed to be at odds with the match. Samuel is African, having been born in Liberia but has lived in this country for a number of years. He said he liked both teams but would have to root for Ghana. The reason being was that Ghana was the lone African team remaining in the field of 16 in a World Cup that is being played on African soil. The way I see it, the whole of Africa is resting their hopes and dreams for a World Cup champion on Ghana's shoulders.

As it is, the very idea of a World Cup being played on African soil shows how small the world has become and how important all the continents have become within the world system. What would further cement Africa's rise within said system than a victory of the cup by Africa's lone remaining representative: Ghana. Can it happen? I'm not sure of the odds but Futbol seems to me that it is a game of timely breaks and opportunities. Ghana plays a very tough opponent in Uruguay on July 2, 2010 so anything is possible. What I would believe that is more realistic is that the whole of Africa, regardless of religion, class, tribe, language and ethnicity will wrap itself within the flag of Ghana for at least the next week if not longer if Ghana continues to win. And that is why the game of Futbol is truly the world sport. It transcends all barriers.

FH

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

If A Tree Falls in the Forest, Do the Finns Hear It?

This guy walks in to the bar and I approach him for his ID. Now, I tend to stand out due to my size especially in an empty bar. The funny thing was, as I'm talking to him saying "Hello" and "Excuse Me" he just walks by me as if I wasn't even there. Now I know people have of late told me that I look as if I've been losing weight but really now folks. Three times I call to him and nothing. Ben steps in and tells him that he needs to show me his ID, he turns and looks at me as if I was Green and had 4 eyes. Here is how the conversation went:

"Did you not see me as I stood next to you saying Hello and excuse me"

"I'm from Finland"

"Ok, does that mean that people from Finland can't hear?"

"Oh, I don't understand very well"

"Dude, you're talking to me in English, what don't you understand. Your ID please"

"I only have a credit card"

Since I realized that he was only coming in to use the bathroom, I bid him farewell in a clear and concise voice that he could understand. Lucky for him I didn't put my foot up his Finnish ass. Douche.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Overheard Conversation of the Weekend

I overheard this conversation while walking on the platform of the Uptown 6 train at Bleecker Street.

Man 1: I got a dick just like you got a dick. I don't go that way. You don't have a vagina.

Man 2: It don't matter that I ain't got a vagina.

Man 3: Cause he's got a Booty-gina.

I had to bite on my tongue to not laugh out loud while walking to where Myron and I wait for the train, while Myron just shook his head while we walked. The stuff I hear during my travels.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Big Foot at the Pedi Shop

This story comes from my wife who had me laughing out loud at the diner during lunch.

Brigette was getting her manicure done when this woman walks in with a teenage girl who was bigger than she was. She asks for a manicure and a pedicure for the girl. The owner, Brian, was telling her the price for the work and the woman balked at the price. She claimed that since the girl was a teenager, she should have qualified for the child's price. For the record, the difference in price was $4 bucks. Brian, the owner, said that the price was for small children with small feet. Big feet paid the big foot price, LOL. I can see Brian now showing the woman with his hands: "Little Feet" and "Big Feet", apparently homegirl's daughter had some big hoofers.

So the argument goes on and on until Brian tells the woman to leave his store. And off she went with her big foot teenager in tow. Wish I was there to see that shit show.

FH

Friday, June 4, 2010

How Desperate Has New York City Become

Is it me, or does the new media campaign to lure Lebron James to New York City sound desperate. With it's new Website C'Mon Lebron, the city, led my Mayor Bloomberg is practically begging and pleading with Lebron to come sign with the Knicks. How pitiful is that. Last I saw, the city I lived in was called New York City, not Whiny City.

I mean c'mon (pun intended), this is New York F'N City. We don't need to have our politicians and celebrities shilling to get ANY athlete to sign with any of our professional teams. It comes off as despaerate and cheap. Let the teams do the wining and dining.

Like Alan Feuer says in his article named To Lure a Star, A Big City Beckons, Cleveland Begs:

one could make the argument that the “C’mon LeBron” onslaught in New York is only the latest example of the city’s puzzling descent into boosterish antics that are perhaps better suited to less sophisticated towns.

Its just pitiful.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

#1
These two young dudes come into the bar and beeline towards these two women who are sitting talking among themselves at the bar. "Papi chulos" that they are start kicking it to the ladies. The ladies are obviously older than they are and really don't want to be bothered but are nice to the guys.

After a few minutes, Mike tells me that they haven't ordered anything. So I tell him to ask them if they want something, to which they respond that "We're thinking about it". I show Mike 3 fingers meaning that if they don't order in 3 minutes I would step in. Even before I hit the 3 minute mark, one of the dudes gets touchy feely with one of the ladies by touching her on the lower back. This caused the other one to snap at the young buck to keep his hands to himself. Seeing the opening, I stepped to the guys and said "you guys have to order something or you have to go". They respond but we want to play pool. I repeat my last statement to them without flinching. They fidgeted for a minute and got up and said goodbye to the ladies and quietly left the bar.

I tell the ladies "You're welcome for getting rid of them" to which they respond in unison "What took you so long". And they didn't even buy the ladies a drink. I mean, I know I've been retired from the game for a while now but I don't think that not buying a lady a drink while at the bar will mean that you'll hook up with them any faster. Cheap fuckers.

#2
And talking about cheap...No more than 5 minutes after the young bucks left the bar than does the playa of the night show up. Decked out in a Hot Pink suit with matching tie, shoes and sash on a white fedora, this playa strolls into the bar with his hard strut. If he strutted any harder he'd break into pieces. LOL. I ask him for his ID, which he shows me and walks to the end of the bar.

He asks the bartender what the cheapest drink is, to which Mike says $6 dollars causing the playa to turn right back and hard strut his way back out the door. Guess the playa had no cash to drink since he spent it all on the suit. In a side note, one of our regulars named Gizmo tells me that he knows the playa and he has other suits like that one in Lime Green and Orange. To quote Stevie when he saw the playa walk in: "Whooooo". Whoooo is right. LOL.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Anxiousness on the Iron Horse #6

So the 6 that I was on was stalled at 42nd Street Grand Central Station for a few minutes due to the "Train Dispatcher Holding the Train". No biggie. Here's where the scenario takes a weird turn.

Unknowingly, I was moving my legs while seated listening to my tunes and apparently that was bothering a woman seated at the end of the car. She came up to me and asked me to take my headphones off. Which I did. She proceeded to say something similar to this:

"I'm sorry to ask you this, but do you mind not moving your legs. Waiting here on the train is bad enough but the moving of your legs is irritating me. I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't be asking you this but I'm getting off in a few stops."

Wow! My friend Leslie yesterday commented to me on Facebook that I really have strange experiences and this one can't even be blamed on the late night. I guess I can understand her point. Maybe she suffers from anxiety and waiting for the train to move can be trying. I told her that I would try my best to avoid moving my legs. She profusely apologized. She was embarrased since I guess she reacted without thinking about it. Lucky it was me and not another anxious person. LOL.

True to my word, I stopped and true to hers she got off on 28th Street. Another glorious evening in NYC.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The NFL and the Cold Weather Superbowl

The selection process for the 2014 Superbowl is underway and for the 1st time, a cold weather city that does not have a domed stadium is under consideration for the bid. The home stadium of the Giants and Jets that is set to open this upcoming season is in line for a rare superbowl. Its funny to me how there are objections to playing the big game in the cold when the game of football is a cold weather game.

I laughed when reading of the plans to have hand warmers for the fans in the stands and fire pits for the tailgaters. I hate to tell those worry warts within the NFL, but fans have been going to cold games and tailgating before and after those games for decades. Why is it such an issue now? Maybe the fake corporate fans are afraid that their little fingers will be cold. This is a joke coming from a league that prides itself on parity. Parity would be that everyone got a shot at a superbowl, not just those cities that are situated in warm weather climeate and/or have a dome.

To me (and I say this as having played the game) a football game is one that is played in the elements within the mud, rain, snow and ice. Nothing defines a football player as how rugged he looks after a game in the elements, a-la Y.A. Tittle after the NFL Championship game of 1958. The images still have an effect today of the fog rolling over the icy field on the "Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field" referring to the Ice Bowl between the Packers and Cowboys in 1967. Today, players barely have grass stains on their knees and it sucks folks.

So here's how I would do the Superbowl if I was Commissioner. The locations would alternate between conference, one year cold weather and warm the next year. Everyone gets a shot to host a Superbowl. The weather is a crap shoot. Denver, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Green Bay and the New York City area among others will be able to benefit from the revenue a game the magnitude of the Superbowl can bring as opposed to the usual few benefitting. So the corporate cronies will be cold. Well Boo hoo to you.

Let real fans who can take the weather sit in those seat instead of wimpy suits who barely know the difference between their thumb and their elbow. Real fans can enjoy the game played in the cold.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Unplugging and Privacy Settings

So I recently unplugged from Facebook (specifically) and the web in a general basis. Why you may ask? Well, to be perfectly honest, I was tired of having to pull my battery from my phone. The Facebook app on my Blackberry is such a damn memory hog that it was such a drain (pardon my pun, LOL) on my phone.

In addition, I enjoy commenting on the status updates of some of my friends. But man, some of their friends have some of the most stupid comments. It gets annoying when someone says something ignorant and just plain dumb in a otherwise lively debate. What's even worse is those people who choose to interrupt said debate by asking and commenting things that surely belong in a private message. The nerve of some people. So that's my rant on the unplugging from Facebook.

Now on to the new privacy settings. People love to blame Facebook for their changes. I hear people say "Facebook is making my information available" or "Facebook is making my pictures available". Well folks, herein lies the rub. See the simple little two letter word I have in both quotations? Yes, the word MY people. It was you who chose to join Facebook and put your name, email address, private phone number (which for the life of me I can't understand how any person with a shred of common sense can do) and other private information not to mention pictures.

Listen chicky, if you don't want people seeing the pictures of the time you were on vacation and passed out from drinking too many Long Island Iced Teas and your flabby cottage cheese ass was showing past the way too short and way too tight skirt you were "supposedly" wearing with the bra and blouse/top that were obviously 3 sizes too small for you then YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE POSTED THEM. Don't blame Facebook. You're the ones to blame. People can only see and know what information you provide. In this case: don't tell, don't know.

Am I wrong? Here goes the re-plugging. Ah, I'm in. LOL.
Later
FH

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Zimbabwe Email Scam

So I get this email the other day which made me laugh out loud. Why is it so funny? Well read what it said and then I'll tell you why:

Attn; Sir/Madam,

My name is as above stated, the wife of Mr. Thomas Kabo from the republic of Zimbabwe. I know that this mail might come to you as a surprise. During the current war against the farmers in Zimbabwe from the supporters of our President Robert Mugabe, in his effort to chase all the white farmers out of the country, he ordered all the white farmers to surrender their farms to his party members and his followers.

My husband was one of the best and successful farmers in our country but he did not support the idea of dispossessing the white farmers of their Farm Because of this, his farm was invaded and burnt by government supporters. In the course of the attack, my husband was killed, and the invaders made away with a lot of items from my Husband's farm.

And our family house was utterly destroyed. He drew my attention to the sum of US$8.5 MILLION, Which he deposited with a security company in South Africa when this incident was going incase if something happens to him. My son and I decided to move out of Zimbabwe for our own security, because our lives were in danger. We decided to move to the Republic of South Africa where my Husband deposited this money. Till date, the security company is not aware of the content of the consignment because my husband used his diplomatic immunity as at that time to deposit this consignment as important personal valuables.

I decided to contact you to assist me to move the money out of South Africa. This becomes necessary because as political asylum seekers, we are not allowed to own or operate a bank account. If you accept this proposal, you shall receive 25% of the entire amount for assisting us to move this money out, 70% of this amount shall be for us, and the remaining 5% shall be mapped out for expenses incurred in the course of the transaction. As soon as I get your response, I will give you more details on how we can proceed. Thanks for your anticipated cooperation.
Urgent response waited.

Best regards,
Petunia Kabo


Ok, so why did I laugh. It is actually quite sad that email hoaxes as these are still traveling the web. Are people that gullible that they would fall for it? Apparently so. Even in all my contact with different people in New York City, I can only say that I have checked the ID of one or two people from Zimbabwe, let alone know a white farmer from that country.

If someone is sad enough to fall for this scam then maybe they should have their money taken from them. Me? No way. It ain't happening.

Later,
FH

The Rainbow Plumed Saxophonist

This truly uniquely attired gentleman boarded the 6 train that I was on at a random stop in the Bronx. Wearing rainbow colored Indian feathers with multi-colored cornrows to match was this old gentleman with a dull looking saxophone.

Fiddle fiddle fiddle with his instrument did the musician do for most of the ride. Suddenly off went the mouthpiece with a thud. Tick tick tick went the keys of the brass instrument as the man checked each one in succession, then silence. And off he faded into the distance of my reading and music. Sometime later came the boom!

Stealthily placing the instrument to his lips did the musician let rip with musical notes which sounded like a goose's neck was being wrung within his hands. With the smile of a satisfied kid, the man proceeded to play the same notes. I guess the instrument was being played to satisfaction, well only his. The other passengers all looked at each other with bewilderment and astonishment, with some even covering their ears to blot out the sounds.

As the train pulled into Union Square, the man took his bag, plumage and instrument in his hands and exited the train leaving silence once again on the car. Ah, New York. Truly unique.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Weekend Conversations

Conversation#1
I decided to shave my face with a razor for the 1st time in 7 months. It caused quite a stir among some of the regulars at the bar. This one woman whose name I really can't recall commented on my lack of facial hair and was quite complimentary about my clean shaven look. Here's how the conversation continued:

Her: So why did you shave.

Me: My wife was complaining about my beard. It was time to go.

Her: I know how it is, going down on her with the rough beard can be uncomfortable.

Now, knowing this woman like I do, she's strictly a hardcore lesbian. Guess come up to her to "kick it" with her and she promptly tells them to take a hike. So my question to Justin after telling him the story was:

Did she have a hairy dude go down on her before or does she's have bearded chicks go down on her?

I guess thats one of life's greatest mysteries.

Conversation#2
My friend who has gluten issues was bragging and quite excited about how Citi Field has gluten-free beer and gluten-free buns for their hot dogs and hamburgers. And I turn to her and say "I'm happy for you, nothing like having gluten free buns to put your meat in." Yeah baby, that got a good laugh.

Later
FH

Friday, April 30, 2010

My views on the usefulness of e-books as the owner of a Kindle

So I finally decided on an e-book reader and chose the Kindle over the Nook. Now I won't get into the debate concerning the different machines. In addition, will not be getting into the debate on the pricing of e-books compared to books in print. I will say that authors should be paid what they deserve based on book sales (print and digital). What I did want to address was the comment that a friend of mine made (that I will refer to a SG) about my using a Kindle. Here are her exact words:

"Society is coming to an end....read a REAL book!"

Now, I know some of it was tongue in cheek (at least I believe it was) but she was serious about her preference for books over digital versions and their reading apparatus. To that I say: Cool. I mean everyone is entitled to what they like and dislike. Hey, I like books too. In her defense she never did say that she hated e-books but that she preferred actual books:

I like BOOKS....pages, binding, notes in the margin...BOOKS! Sorry...its not the same to cuddle in bed with a book as a...electronic pad. I refuse to be converted! =)

Hey, I'm not in the converting business so no worries there =P But what I find odd is that fellow historians (in general, not SG specifically) would be against the use of an e-book. I can see the objection of people who work and make their living in the publishing field. But for those of us who are in the field of information, the digital preservation and distribution of material is not destroying society. On the contrary, by taking old books and manuscripts that due to their age are in limited use can now be accessible to more people. Books will no longer be a victim of time and be only available to only a choice few.

Will e-books totally eradicate print? Personally I don't think so. I think both mediums can co-exist reaching a wider reading population in their own ways. As for me, my field requires that I use books. As a historian, I need books to cite the information that will help me prove or disprove my thesis statement. What I hate is when public books are defaced by people writing in them and ripping pages out. But with the changing of the times, more and more information is available digitally (online and in different e-book formats). With having complete (and unmolested) books online, research is optimized not limited. With that said, the ways of citing said information has adapted to include online materials. In my humble opinion, it is not the way the information is delivered and presented that is important but the information itself.

What do you think.
FH.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Here's to Kindred Spirits

Just wanted to pass along this funny website that I came across after reading an article in today's New York Daily News. In an article named Take That, Subway Slime, the following website is listed: Trainpigsoink.blogspot.com

There are some funny pictures of people eating and making a mess of not only the train and themselves. Check it out and send any pics you might have of urban piggies in action.

FH

To Wing or Not To Wing

A guy was eating buffalo wings at the bar and this couple was observing his methodology when eating his wings compared to the gentleman of the couple. Here is their conversation.

Gal: See that's how you eat wings, you always leave meat on the bone.

Guy: No I don't I only leave the gristle and stuff.

Gal: No you don't. You should be embarrased to leave the meat on the bone.

Guy: Sorry I don't have the skill to eat wings like you do. Hey, I'm black and I love chicken wings but I was raised in a white neighborhood. So there.

Take that baby. LOL.
FH

Sunday, April 25, 2010

How US Steel Can No Longer Say We Can Build It

I was leafing through the Business of Green special section for Earth Day in Thursday's NY Times and saw something that disturbed me. In an article named Edging Back to Nuclear Power, the topic covered is how there is a renaissance in the demand for nuclear power and new power plants. Being a product of the 70's and 80's, I know enough about the fear of nuclear meltdown and nuclear war to last me multiple lifetimes. But that is not what bothered me. Here is what I read that did the trick:

One symptom of the national ambivalence about nuclear power is that the American industry no longer has the ability to build 100 reactors itself; the American steel industry no longer has the capacity to build the biggest parts, the reactor vessels.

Really? So when did we become pussies who found it easy to say we can't when a few generations ago all we could say was we can. What happened to the power of US Steel? It has been replaced by overseas producers of steel such as the Japan Steel Works. As the article describes it:

Most of such parts comes from Japan Steel works, which takes 600-ton steel ingots and presses them like Play Doh into the appropriate shape. It recently installed its second press and planned to be able to build 12 reactor vessels a year.

For an American company to do the same would require an enormous capital investment.


So while the proverbial Rome burns, our citizens stand by arguing about who should be covered by health insurance, how to curb the flow of illegal aliens and celebrating the rise of mediocrity found on reality TV and other media. We've allowed ourselves, through hubris and false bravado to deteroirate to the point that an island country not even a quarter of the size of our country with limited natural resources, to make products with ease in the same way we did in the 1940's and 1950's. Nothing against Japan, more power to them, but the way this country has become dependent on foreign oil, foreign manpower and foreign products, we've become a rotten, rusted and broken down shell of our former selves.

Hey, the consolation is that now the United States is part of the global economy, right?. Hello? We WERE the global economy. We rebuilt the same Europe and Japan after World War II that has vaulted past us in all aspects in recent years. Truly embarrasing.

I'm not one to be all rah rah and ultra patriotic but instead of our fellow Americans acting like petulant children in the schoolyard arguing about bullshit, we should look inward, pull ourselves up by our proverbial bootstraps take our asses to work rebuilding ourselves, for ourselves, by ourselves.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

To Drink or Not to Drink

As those of you who have previously read this blog page know what I work in a bar. For those of you who have read this blog and know me personally know that I have worked in bars and clubs for over 15 years, since November 1995 to be exact. I have met some beautiful and amazing people in my travels along the booze trail. I have also seen what the results of that walk can do to the same beautiful and amazing people.

People cease to be beautiful (regardless of what the beer goggles say) becoming ugly, contorted shells of their former selves. Loss of balance, rank breath (before and after the eventual eruption from the belly) and abrupt changes of moods from good to bad in a matter of seconds are some of the more innocent of the symptoms that afflict the drinkers that I witness and know. I mean I should know, I've been one of the Drunken Zombies that I see on a nightly basis stumbling off from bar to bar with a blank look on their face with only one thought on their mind: Booze.

I'm not painting a pretty picture here with my little reflection on my point of view. I guess I not trying to. Why am I feeling this way? I don't really have a reason for it. Maybe I'm just getting tired of seeing broken people trying to find solace at the bottle of a glass bottle. Maybe I'm getting tired of spiritless people trying to find their missing spirit by consuming varied alcoholic spirits. Maybe the years of watching overconsumption through sober eyes have gotten to me. The bodily, mental and spiritual degeneration of a human is not a pretty sight. And here I finish writing this while at the front door at work to start my shift. C'est la vie.

Spitters at the Bar

These two dudes were standing at the bar taking turns spitting on the floor. Yes folks, spitting on the floor with other patrons around them. Justin informs me that not only were they spitting, but they were also blowing their noses and leaving the snotty remains on the bar. So as you can guess what's coming next, I approach these fools and tell them that they need to leave. Here's how the conversation went:

"Guys, you're spitting on my floor. That doesn't fly so you need to leave now."

"How do you know" Douche one says in a French accent.

"Because I saw you."

"But we have full beers" Douche two says in a non French accent

"We'll give you your money back."

"The bartender has my card."

"Even better" I say motioning for the bartender to give me back their card. While I'm doing so, these turds keep sipping from their beers. I grab one beer from in front of douche two and say

"Although you won't be charged for these beers, it doesn't mean you can drink them" I grab douche one's beer and he tightens his grip on it.

"You can not do this" Frenchie says as I take the beer away from him"

"I can do what I want." I say as Stevie steps in and says "You guys have to go...Now!"

As the douches are walking out, douche one says "This is a black and white thing" while flipping the bird to us. Yeah right, this is a douchbag/asshole thing. Moron.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Self-photography and the Grim Reaper

Part I
So this guy is practicing his self-photography abilities on the Bleecker Street platform of the Uptown 6 train. Instead of posing by the Bleecker Street sign on the pillars or while seated on the benches, he decides to lie down on his back on the platform while his head hangs over the edge. He takes different pictures from different angles with and without his arm in the shot.

He stands up and proceeds to inspect his work. I guess it wasn't up to snuff so he lies down again, except this time the 5:27am Iron Horse#4 is turning the bend in the tunnel from Spring Street and is quickly approaching the station. So he decides to lie back down and take more pictures. With the dual train lights coming closer you would think that he would stop while he was ahead. Nope, no such luck. Fortunately for this wannabe Ansel Adams, the train operator slows the train down on its way into the station. The look of disbelief on the train operator's face was classic. I wish I had a picture to show you how dumbfounded he looked as he went past me. And talking about pictures, I'd have taken a picture of the poser but someone who lies down on the train platform to photograph himself might not be keen to my taking a photo of him. Not to say that I didn't try to sneak one off. Here he is sitting on the platform as the train entered the station. As my father likes to say "Pobre America" LOL.


Part II
So as I am on my favorite filly, Iron Horse#6 on my way up to the Bronx, on boards the most faithful adaptation of the grim reaper that I have ever seen in the flesh. Allow me to describe this interesting fellow to you: He had stringy greyish brown long hair that was matted with grime and who knows what else. He was wearing a long dirty trench-coat that may have been Black at some point and gave off a non so pleasant odor of must, age and good old body funk. It looked to me that he was wearing a pair of chinos or khaki pants that surprisingly didn't look too damaged or dirty. I would comment on his shoes but to be honest, looking at his shoes would make me take my eyes off of his face, which is something that I didn't want to do.

Ah yes, that face, gaunt and tight on his chin and cheek bones. His eyes were beady, piercing and moving all over the place trying in earnest to make contact with someone. His mouth seemed to be shrinked wrapped along his gums which looked to be missing all of his pearly whites. He also seemed to need some major sun as he was a sickly shade of white.

So our protagonist would pace up and down the train car occasionally stopping in front of a random rider. In doing so, he would tap his left forefinger into the open palm of his right hand and wiggle an emphatic NO with said finger at the rider. At the 59th Street Station, he raced off the train with a whipping of his trenchcoat that would make Gaston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera proud and off he went dashing into the night. New York City, ya gotta love it.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Where is Times Square?

As my wife, my kids and I came back from our Washington D.C. trip this past Wednesday night, we decided to make a quick detour through the brightly lit Times Square. We walk up 7th Avenue just talking about this and that when a mixed group of about six Jewish young people stopped us to ask us something. Here is the conversation:

"Excuse me, can we ask you for some directions?"
"Sure, what are you trying to find."
"We're looking for the Times Square that everyone talks about." His friends all nod in agreement. "We've been driving for hours and just got to New York City and want to see what all the fuss is about."

My wife and I just looked at each other with their last comment. Now granted, we were standing on 7th Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets, closer to Red Lobster. I waved my arm around and said:

"Well, this is Times Square." I noticed that the kids lost their energy when I showed them Times Square. In a quick thinking move, I pointed to the tall post with the colorful ball and noted that "Well, see that colorful ball right there? That's where they drop the ball on New Year's Eve".

Well that seemed to give them the proper perspective and all the teens started giggling and acting giddy. They thanked up profusely and ran off to see what else Times Square would have in store for them. My wife ended the scene properly by saying to me "They're going to get robbed tonight."

We both laughed and I hope they didn't get robbed. I'll report more on the Washington D.C. trip in a later post.

FH

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pretty Woman? Pretty Gullible!


So the NY Post reported (yes, I know its the NY Post, but this is a story that I couldn't resist) about a Pretty Woman scenario that went awry. So this 57-year old Tulsa businessman (who will remain nameless) saw a picture of this 26-year old woman (nameless as well) on an online dating service Cityvibe.com and fell in love with her. In a parallel scene to Julia Roberts' character, the young lady was an escort who was deep in debt with two young children (Well, Julia's character didn't have kids).

Ok folks, help me out here by cueing up the violins, the businessman wanted to help this poor woman to achieve success by helping her move from Wyoming to live with him, paying for her school and giving her more than $110,000 dollars. And, SURPRISE, unlike the movie where the businessman ends up being a hero and keeping the woman in the end, the escort just up and left with his cash. Now the man is suing for what he refers to his missing money as a "defaulted loan".

Yes folks, where it was previously money given out of love to a woman that needed help to achieve her dreams of a successful life was now a defaulted loan. Um, dude, what did you think was going to happen. Really? The fairy tale ending was going to happen for you? Read the description of herself that she posted on her Cityvibe page:

Hello Gentleman!! I am a young, vivacious sweet redhead with a VERY naughty side. I love to cater to men and give them everything they have been seeking. I always respect your time and am realiable, clean, classy and will never rush!!! I am available this today and tonight for the entire night at any time. I have recently moved back to Oklahoma from NYC where I was a VIP companion so I know EVERYTHING that a man loves but still with that sweet southern spirit of an accommodating girlfriend. I will also welcome and accomodate the activites that you would like to pursue during our time together! I look forward to meeting you! I can easily accomodate in/out call at your convenience.

The naivete some people have is astounding. The idea that this dude could be the proverbial knight in shining armor and not only save, but change the ways of the poor misguided damsel in distress. Please. Maybe I'm a skeptic and distrusting in the worse way but that tomfoolery only happens in Hollywood and in fairy tales. Damn fool.

For Further Reading:
- To read the article from NYPost.com, click here
- To check out the Lady's listing on CityVibe.com, click here