Friday, August 21, 2009

The L Train Circus

So for anyone who is unfamiliar with New York City, the subway system here is vast. The MTA subway map is a web-like explosion of twisted and winding colored lines that someone, somewhere decided made sense a long, long time ago. If ever a group of people were to artfully portray the subway map somewhere, it would likely turn into a giant rainbow orgy.

You get all kinds on the subway and frankly, if I ever need a shot of writing inspiration, I know where to go. The train line where my judgy and voyeuristic eyes are most routinely spanked is the L train that runs east to west along 14th Street in Manhattan and also out to Brooklyn. It's like the circus. Except the circus cheats you out by only giving you three rings to watch stuff from your seat way back in the stands. On the L train, each train car is like its own ring where you see up close, and at times detrimentally, the most mind-boggling displays of some of New York's most interesting clowns.

Did I say clowns? I'm sorry, I meant weirdo hipsters.

What are some of these people thinking? I try not to let myself get annoyed and just enjoy the show, but there are times when the urge to ask someone, "What the fuck are you wearing?" just consumes you. There are times when it can be really fun and unapologetic gawking is completely acceptable. There are also times when, no matter how hard you may try to avert your eyes, like a bad car wreck you can't help but look...and then go into full-on judgypants mode. Plastic, colored glasses, skinny jeans, greasy hair, obnoxious jewelry, and way too much plaid are just the tip of the iceberg of the folks who corral themselves into the Brooklyn village of Williamsburg and the Lower East Side of Manhattan...both conveniently located right near that fabulous L Train.

I get it though. Like animals, we travel in packs, we play with our own kind, and we live in the same areas, and Williamsburg and the LES exemplify all of this quite nicely. Basically, you can't swing a dead cat in either of these places without hitting a least a dozen hipsters. Now, don't misunderstand, they're a perfectly nice cross-section of the New York City population, quiet, exclusive, and pretty passive. They have their coffee places and their dark, moody bars, and they laugh and have fun just like the rest of us. They just have an appalling sense of style that has infected their entire identity.

My love letters to each gender:

Dear hipster girl: Large, colored, plastic horn-rimmed glasses are not cute. They're particularly not cute with any "vintage" onesie/belt/legging combos, and little pink plastic barrettes. Please take care not to bludgeon the general population's eyesight anymore. P.S. Stop playing with black hair dye.

Dear hipster boy: Burn all of your skinny jeans. They're terrible. They look ridiculous and flatter no one. Ever. Eat a hamburger and wash your hair. Get your hair cut first, actually and have them shave off that fucking mustache while they're at it.

The picture at right is a great example of what one might encounter. What you regrettably can't see is the excessive gold jewelry and the plastic hair accessories. It gives credence to my judgments. It absolutely permits nearly every rational thinking individual to ponder, "But why?" Let's be real though, I think that while most of us can agree that her outfit is abysmally bad, who here can't possibly get a giggle at the guy's expression across from her who is no doubt receiving a nauseating, assaulting view of something much worse. Personally, I was caught in a fit of quiet laughter. I think I probably looked like I escaped from a mental institution...whatever, a few cocktails will do that to you.

In continuing with humility, I might add that today, I'm wearing a pair of jeans from 1994 because I have yet to do laundry and I look like Medusa given that I am attempting to grow out my hair. Why the attempt at long, you ask? Like any other yuppy male schmuck, I'm feebly trying to hold onto any remnants of hair and youth before it's all gone...which I'm sure someone on the subway must have been thinking when my mane temporarily blinded them as I passed by to take a seat.

1 comment:

  1. I am in love with this post.

    of some of New York's most interesting clowns LOL ! I am so glad I found your blog today.