Category Archives: New York

Manhattan Libs: Murray Hill Edition

The first time I was in Murray Hill, I woke up after drunkenly crashing at someone’s apartment and had to get back uptown quickly. I walked, bewildered, out of the apartment and couldn’t find a cab. Here’s what was going on in my brain:

Why are there no cabs on 3rd avenue? Is everyone going North or South?
Where the fuck is 3rd avenue? Am I in Brooklyn? Is this the ghetto?

Anyway, here it is:

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Introducing: Manhattan Libs

Have you ever wished you could talk just like a New Yorker, but the problem is that you’re from Topeka? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! To help you out, I’ve come up with some New York style Mad Libs to make your life a little easier. Just fill in the blanks, and people will think you’ve lived here your whole life!

PS – Brooklyn, I know I’m always ragging on you. It’s only out of love. Keep a look out for the Murray Hill edition in a couple of weeks.

PPS – If you’d like a printable version of this, just email me at


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Battles, part I

I would like to preface this post by informing all of you that I do not consider myself to be a violent person. I’ve never been in a fight, and I like pretty much everyone ever. All that aside, every so often I experience violent feelings towards certain groups of people or individuals. In those moments, all I want to do is battle. Here’s a list of battles:

BATTLE #1 – Tiffany VERSUS Models (aka – Waify bitches)

Weapon of choice – My Sam Edelman spiky heels

Venue – Cobblestone streets of the meatpacking district

New York is chock-full of waify bitches. Most of the time, the sight of one or two waify bitches riding the subway or staring hungrily at the bottle of water in my hand doesn’t stir violent urges within me. My general disposition towards skinny New York women ranges from, “Wow. I really need to workout more,” to, “That bitch anorexic!” These are totally harmless emotions, but when I walk around the meatpacking district and I see perfectly dressed, delicately styled models in droves, my immediate instinct is to kick off my shoes and chase after them, stiletto first. I feel the need to protect my ego from their impossibly tiny waists and inner thighs that are so far from touching.


BATTLE #2 – Tiffany VERSUS People who are too big for their airplane seat

Weapon of choice: Brass elbows or, if necessary, my deformed tailbone.

Venue: The airplane

I just love this movie, so any excuse to bring it up is good with me.

I get that some people are bigger, and that’s totally fine. I, however, don’t appreciate big people using their bigness to overpower my tinyness and get some of MY airplane seat. Sure, you have really broad shoulders. I don’t believe that they render you incapable of crossing your arms at any point during the flight! That is not a recognized medical condition! Do you really need to completely spill over into my seat so that I need to lean INTO the aisle to accommodate your elephantine frame? This does not seem fair, given that I take up approximately 3/4 of my seat space, and very willingly concede the armrest to my fellow seatmate.

Yes, I am familiar with the adage, give them an inch and they’ll take up the entire airplane, but every time it happens I am nonetheless incensed. What the behemoth seated next to me doesn’t know is that in 8th grade, someone pulled a chair out from under me and I fell on a concrete floor. I didn’t break my tailbone, but instead I distorted in in such a way that sitting in the same position for any extended period of time is agonizing. Every moment that the mammoth extremities of my seatmate cause me further discomfort, every cell within my compact form is filling up with venemous rage.

Yes, in theory, the projected winner of this battle is the bigger person, who could easily squash me. IN THEORY. In reality, once squashed, I will roll over and my deformed tailbone will unleash a world of spiny and confusing hurt. Also, I’m considering getting brass elbows for international fights. I don’t THINK I’d get in trouble at security and as a Ludacris fan nothing would be more exciting than actually throwing some bows.

BATTLE #3 – Tiffany VERSUS People who look at that chair I’m saving like they’re going to take it

Weapon of choice: The chair, duh

If for no other reason than to justify my usage of the chair. It’s rare that anyone gives me the stink eye for holding a chair, because I think the awkwardness of being in a busy place and holding a chair is a universally recognized feeling. But every so often, someone starts circling, opening their mouth as if they might ask… Or, even worse, inching towards the chair like they could peaceably take it over.
I want to be like, dude, I am sitting here holding a chair waiting for someone. That is my only activity. There’s no other activity that could possibly take my attention off the chair.

That may also be what makes me want to battle in these moments. At least battling wouldn’t be boring.

This post got too long. To be continued…

Peace, Love and come back soon for some more battles, 


PS – Update: You can read Part II here.

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What Granny Wants

My love of the subway grows with every passing day. It’s so full of gifts… Or, in this case, gift suggestions:

This Christmas, why don’t you give granny some dick? Satisfaction guaranteed. 

While I’m pretty sure that wasn’t meaning to insinuate that we should all go out and get our Nanas laid, it certainly looks like that’s their suggestion… Am I right?

So, a couple things here:

1. Taking pictures of subway ads is harder than it looks, y’all: PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS SITTING IN FRONT OF THE GOOD PICTURES! And do you know how hard it is to be like, “Oh no, don’t worry, old dude who doesn’t speak English, I’m not taking a pic of you but I can’t explain that to you. No, woman who is clearly more conservative than I am, I’m not interested in a pic of you, it’s just that the poster above your head… I can make a crude sexual joke with it – don’t you see that it’s… no?” 

2. Also the people who believe that taking a picture of them will steal their soulThis is really a sub-point to point one, but I’m writing this on a Friday, so I don’t care. I think I learned about these people from an episode of Batman: The Animated Series when I was in like 8th grade, because I watched children’s cartoons until an embarrassing age, but every time I take a photo I am terrified that one of soul stealing religious people is going to attack me or something. And you thought YOU had irrational fears…

3. WTF is Not what you think it is, I can assure you of that. It’s like a TimeOut knock off or something. Right now its number one story is that Santacon is this weekend. Thanks… Are you my Facebook minifeed?

4. Salami is the #4 thing grandma wants? Oh my god, what kind of degenerate grandmothers do the execs at this agency have?

Here’s what’s happening in my brain right now:

Chris says this isn’t really what Enron did… but whatevs.

Yeah, that’s right. Powerpoint doesn’t recognize glock as a word.

At a certain point even the darkest of Grannies has to want an age-appropriate gift… Right? 

Peace, love and get your Memaw something reasonable you weirdos, 


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No, Bowlmor. Just… No.

As you know, subway posters are an endless source of entertainment to me. This morning as I was riding the train and feeling angry about the fact that I didn’t win last night’s $550 million dollar lottery drawing, I suddenly realized I was staring at this terrible advertisement for Bowlmor.

Who goes bowling in a cocktail dress?

Ohhh, look! They’re having so much fun bowling!

BUT WAIT. Take a closer look –


“Getting jumped in an alley has never been THIS much fun…”?!?!?!

I’m pretty sure this conversation has never occurred in the history of anything EVER.

Guy walks into a bar, guy has a black eye and his jacket is ripped up. 

Guy’s Friend – “DUDE! What happened?? Are you ok?”

Guy – “Yeah, I’m fine. I just got jumped in the alley on my way here from work.”

Guy’s Friend – “Oh, shit man…. So… How was it?” 

Guy – “You know, I’ve had better.”


I am using a lot of exclamation points, I know. But that’s because this ad is a total fail and I’m still pissed about the fact that I didn’t magically become a millionaire last night. I’m directing my anger towards Bowlmor. They deserve it.

Bowlmor people, if for some reason you happen across this post, I’ve designed a new poster for your Spring campaign.
I think you’re going to LOVE it.

Original photo courtesy of I think your site is serious, Krav Chicks, I’m sorry.

Angry, angry, and still angry about the lotto results, 


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Survival backpacks

Sunday, 11/4
Email from my dad:

So, now that you’ve lived through a real storm, my supplies don’t seem so nerdy, do they?

Goddamnit. I hate when he’s right. When I was in high school, my dad came home one day with four red backpacks, one for each car.

“Put this in your trunk and DO NOT take it out.” He then unloaded one of the bags onto the kitchen table. He pulled out a rope, water purification tablets, vacuum packed astronaut food, a flashlight, flares, a space blanket and a book with a picture of someone’s butt in 90’s mom jeans and The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive! splashed across the cover.

My father had purchased survival backpacks for us to keep in our cars in case we ever ended up stranded somewhere. It’s super sweet and fatherly, but at age sixteen I was like, “OMG dad. We live in Sandy Springs. What am I going to fall into a ravine in between McMansions and lose cellphone service?”

He explained that it was better to be prepared than not and then I asked him if he included the book for some reading in case I got bored in the ravine. He did not laugh. A brief tutorial on items most necessary to our survival followed shortly thereafter… My little brother and I had way too much fun provoking our father during the tutorial.

“What is the number one reason people die in the wild?”
“Because they don’t have a space blanket!!!”
Giant sigh, “No, because they don’t have rope.”

There was a reason the number one cause of trapped-in-the-wild deaths is lack of rope, but I don’t remember it. All I know is if I’m ever in a fight-or-flight situation, I’ll be all, WHERE THE FUCK IS MY ROPE?!?”

My dad was totally serious about these survival backpacks. Any time he’d find one in the garage he’d immediately figure out who’d tried to ditch theirs and reprimand us. I didn’t ever see the value in the bag, but found it to be a great conversation piece anytime someone opened up my trunk, and I figured at some point astronaut food could be cool so it stayed there until I finally sold that car.

Last week I got a brief taste of what it’s like to need a survival backpack. Sure, the situation in Manhattan was in no way dire, but realizing that I don’t so much as own a flashlight was a reminder of my complete lack of disaster preparation. Living in a city doesn’t make you conscious of the elements. I’m conditioned to hold my keys in between my fingers late at night so I can stab an attacker in the eye, but the closest thing I have to a “wilderness” skills is my ability to light a cigarette with a match when it’s windy out.

Ok, enough about how I need to ask my dad to mail me that backpack so I can wear it everywhere… In other news, completely dark lower Manhattan was eerie, but for me (who had power), it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Chris and I sat on the steps of a church on 7th street and drank wine in the dark while watching the cops circle the block.

Blacked out Flatiron building

After that we found a ramen restaurant that was open and running in candlelight.
We made friends with four other people and hatched a plan to meet up anytime there was a not-so-dangerous natural disaster.

Pork bun by candlelight

We spent hours debating whether or not it was ok to open the freezer and hung out with all my friends who took refuge at our powered, wifi-equipped apartment.

As with any storm, memories were made, like the renegade West Village Halloween parade. Powerless Manhattan is one of my first experiences here that made me feel like I’ve lived a piece of this city’s history.

Of course, while Manhattan is nearly back to normal, there are still so many people who need help and I would be remiss to not remind everyone of ways to support those in need of disaster relief from near of far. So here are some links:

Red Cross
NYC Service

Also, for anyone in need of survival backpacks, I found this link. It’s not my dad’s exact backpack, but it’s close…

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Sandy is terrible name for a hurricane

“The storm is supposed to be here in like 11 minutes.”

As if on cue, the power cut out. After realizing that I also didn’t have cell service and couldn’t update parents/coworkers/etc, Chris and I switched to drinking our bourbons neat (does opening the freezer door let all the cold out? We’re scared to open the freezer. Please advise…). For the second night in a row we fell asleep to almost silent New York City streets, save for the sounds of fire engines and ambulances.

Waking up without power, cell service and a radio is an eerie thing, especially when your window overlooks an alley. We had no idea what was going on outside and no way to check without venturing out. I figured zombie apocalypse, but still kinda wanted to see the zombies so we eventually left Chris’ place.

We’re currently sitting in a bar north of the power outage, watching the wreckage on the news and still trying to figure out the opportune time to open the fridge/freezer. I took some pics today that I intend to post when I can update from my computer instead of my phone, but for now I have some Best/Worst things to mention about Sandy:

Best- The way it smells after a storm. It’s the kind of fresh air that reminds me of home.
Worst- Massive Lower Manhattan power outage that is supposed to last for days.

Best- The video of the ConEd power center exploding. Shit looked like an action movie.
Worst- The fact that I still keep trying to turn on lights even though they don’t work.

Best- Finding an open bar that’s NOT totally packed.
Worst – The bar you’ve chosen recognizing that it does not need to offer its normal daytime specials and charging you weekend prices for drinks.

Best- Making new friends because you are sharing the same power strip at a packed bar.
Worst- Despite New York City being declared in a state of emergency, those freaking tour guides in Times Square still trying to sell tours.

Also, can we talk about what a bad name Sandy is for a hurricane? She sounds like a nuisance, not the instigator of the end of the world. Like, “Oh, darn! We went to the beach and now the car is Sandy! We’re gonna have to vacuum.” Remember Irene? That shit SOUNDED intense… Like a librarian that was deffffinitely gonna fine you for returning your book one day late or some frigid bitch who works in your HR department and gets on you for the appropriateness of your work attire.

Can we all agree to change Sandy’s name? I can’t take her seriously. Any new hurricane name suggestions are welcome.

Enjoy your electricity bitches,

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“Real” New Yorkers

If I haven’t told you before (I probably have because, let’s be honest, I tell you guys everything) I’m pretty obsessed with How I Met Your Mother. Nina introduced me to the series early this year when I was going batshit crazy from my job at The Flower Company and I was so taken with the show that I used a solid stream of all seven seasons and calzones to self-medicate. See also, those six weekends in a row that I didn’t go out.

Ever since then, Ted Mosby, Robin Scherbatsky, Lily, Marshall and Barney Stinson hold a special place in my heart for getting me through a tough time.

I love you guys

Today I was thinking about the episode where the gang outlines the things you have to have experienced in order to qualify as a “real” New Yorker.

  • Seen Woody Allen
  • Stolen a cab from someone who needs it more than you
  • Cried on the subway and not given a damn what anyone thinks
  • Killed a cockroach with your bare hand

Now that I’ve been here two years, I’m starting to notice changes in my behavior that reflect a transformation. Sure, a born and bred New Yorker would scoff at these changes but to me they represent my joining the ranks of so many who’ve come before me. Those once fresh-faced transplants from the Midwest, the suburbs, or any other place on this whole planet who now consider themselves New Yorkers.

While I haven’t done everything on the HIMYM list and I can only hope I’ll never have to kill a cockroach with my bare hand, I do have my own set of experiences and skills I’ve acquired living in New York.

Here’s a list of ten of them:

1. Learn to sleep through the night, despite how ungodly loud it is outside always.

In my opinion I think the real reason this city never sleeps is because outside our windows is freaking insanity. On any given night, I can expect to be awoken by any or all of the following sounds:

  • Greyhounds and tour buses
  • Screaming couple fight (“I love you” “NO! I LOVE YOU” “NO YOU DON’T” “FUCKKKKK YOUUUU”)
  • Ambulances/ cop cars/ the exhaust pipe from a car that could only have been created by the mechanics of Pimp My Ride.
  • Jackhammering. I want to meet the dude with the 11PM to 3 AM jackhammering shift. Shit seems rough.
  • Above, below and side neighbors moving furniture, learning how to salsa dance with elephants, having some sort of orgy, getting tortured/ killed – ok, I get scared sometimes when I wake up to weird sounds.

This is a very recent skill I’ve acquired and I’m particularly proud of it. Sure, when I go anywhere else the first night I go to sleep with that buzzing in my ears that you normally only get after going to a concert because my ears don’t understand silence anymore, but as of late I’ve been waking up in the morning and feeling downright well-rested. Hell yes.

2. Actively select where you board all your subway trains in order to minimize time spent walking through your destination station. You’re welcome.

3. Know how to walk over grates in stilettos without falling/ getting stuck/ breaking an ankle.

I wracked my brain for the male equivalent of this and came up with nothing. Guys, any ideas?

4. The ability to recommend restaurants in every Manhattan neighborhood below 96th street.

Extra points if you know their happy hour special.

Double extra points if you didn’t read about it on New York Mag/ Gothamist.

Triple extra points if you places above 96th street.

5. Have your go-to source for NYC-specific news.

Mine is Gothamist. I read that shit erryday. I’m sure there’s a more hipster one, but I’m not that cool.

6. Knowing which supermarkets are the best for specific items and building your purchasing habits around that knowledge.

  • Wholefoods for meat and produce (unless you can go to the Green Market)
  • Trader’s for basic ingredients/ frozen food/ wine
  • Pre-made deliciousness comes from Westside. Just don’t buy their maraschino cherries (Thanks to Clare for that nugget of wisdom!)
  • Zabars for Cheese… the list goes on

7. Fall in love.

OMG you guys this one is SO good. If you can pair it with things like a promotion at work and a post-date cab ride down Park Avenue when the Empire State building is lit up extra pretty, you’ll be updating your FB status to something obnoxious like, “Maybe I CAN have it all…” in no time.

8. Learn that you can’t have it all.

And accept the fact. No, you can’t be the next up-and-coming executive under thirty and have an awesome body and have a perfect relationship and have an awesome social life. There’s a line in Sex and the City that perfectly describes this point – “ln New York, you’re always looking for a job, a boyfriend or an apartment.”

Anyone who tells you otherwise IS LYING. You people know who you are… Thanks for trying to make the rest of us look bad you jerks.

9. Have a no good, very bad, shitshow of a day.

Lock yourself out, throw away your unlimited monthly metrocard two days after forking over the $104 to buy it, step in something that may or may not be poop/piss/semen/blood, order lunch from that place you’ve been wanting to try and have it suck so bad you whisper curses under your breath and contemplate writing your first Yelp review ever because of the principal of the thing, talk to your ex on gchat at work and then cry in the bathroom after he mentions the girl you’re positive he’s now sleeping with, and then finish it off by getting stuck with one of those super talkative cab drivers who’s intent on teaching you the meaning of life.

New York is a great place to be happy, but it’s also a great place to be upset because it’s full of fuel for your fire and having a massive public blow up is occasionally necessary, and cathartic. I once told a guy who was being rude to me at the deli I went to every day to “HAVE A TERRIBLE DAY” in front of 15 people and stormed out.

10. Start to imagine that you just might alter your life plans so you can stay in this fantastic metropolis a few more years… or you know, forever. 

You definitely can’t have it all at once, but if you stay long enough you might be able to have all of the pieces you want at different times.

What are the things that make you a “real” New Yorker/ Atlantan/ Botoga-vien (Robin is that what you call it?)/ San Franciscan?

Peace, Love and Bagels that you can’t get anywhere else, 


PS – One more thing about How I Met Your Mother and how much I love it: I recently woke up and discovered that I had drunkenly purchased the entire seventh season on iTunes because it wasn’t on Netflix. I’m gonna go watch some episodes. Right. Now.

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Subway Surfing

Do you guys pay attention to the MTA advisory ads? Here’s a new one that I really don’t get:

Subway surfing? Really? I’ve heard of all sorts of dangerous teen fads – vodka eyeballing, robotripping, butt chugging… Planking – but I’ve never even once heard of subway surfing. How would that work? Is this something they do in one of the boroughs I’ve never been to? Queens?

After two years of living in the city, I’m beginning to doubt the MTA safety advisory board. It’s not that I think the subways aren’t safe. I’m pretty sure they injure significantly less people than the T in Boston (just google MBTA accidents and look at how many of the results are MBTA accident attorneys) AND you are less at risk of getting stabbed during your daily commute than you are on MARTA, Atlanta’s adorably terrifying attempt at public transport.

I take issue with these advisory signs, other than the one that’s like, “Hey you, drunk person, don’t check to see if the train is coming.”

Now THIS is an effective sign

I feel as though they haven’t correctly identified the key sources of danger to most subway riders. Let’s use this subway surfing campaign as an example. I can’t even imagine how this is physically possible or why anyone would attempt to do this. I’m guessing that there was some freak accident that happened once in 1996 and the MTA board promised to create yearly anti-surfing campaigns in order to not get monumentally sued by someone. Kinda like a cup of coffee that says “Drink at your own risk” on it. No shit, McDonalds.

Why else would there be what I’m guessing is at least 500 (I really have no idea but 500 seems impressive, yet reasonable) MTA posters dedicated to the mythical act of subway surfing and yet there are absolutely no posters that say “Hey, dumbass, don’t stick your fucking extremities in the train doors while they’re closing; we would prefer not to drag you across the platform and then slam you into a wall accidentally,” posters? Ok, I looked it up, there are a few about holding the doors and that making people late using the picture below. I prefer my proposed copy on the ad:

I think this would be effective.

You never hear conductors be like, “Hey, guys, you really have got to quit grabbing onto the completely ungrabbable metal surfaces of the train doors and taking a joyride down the platform. Someone might get hurt one day,” but they are like, every second of every day, yelling over the speakers, “LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ENTER THE TRAIN WHEN THE DOORS ARE CLOSING,” because everyone does it all the time… Except for me because the one time I did do it my coffee flew everywhere and spilled on this girl and she looked at me with totally justifiable hate and was like, “Really?”

Ok, onto another example. This one is a bit more of a stretch, but hear me out. You know how I feel about the If You See Something, Say Something campaigns… The MTA is soooooo worried about bag bombs even though the likelihood of that is pretty small, and yet they never mention anything about seeing something and saying something if you happen across a mole person. I’m still compiling all of my conspiracy theory evidence in order to write a well-researched post about the mole people (I promise you, it is coming), but I have definitely seen where I think they are living and it’s at the end of the platform of my subway stop and because of where I get on at the station downtown I have to exit really close to what I’m certain is their lair and I would REALLY LIKE TO SAY SOMETHING.

SO YEAH. I’m doubting the MTA safety people and if I don’t see some mole people advisories real soon I may have to stop taking the subway entirely. Which is difficult considering the fact that I don’t have money for cabs and that I regularly get hit by things on my bike.

One last thing… I really love that the person in charge of Spanish translation of this ad clearly did not value the whole surfing/wiped out metaphor enough to attempt to recreate it in the translation, and instead stuck with a very straightforward, “If you ride on the outside parts of the train, you are at risk of having a fatal accident.”

Get there alive NYC,


PS – For all my research (see: googling ‘train surfing subway’ right before completing this post), I’ve only found two instances of subway surfing in New York. One is not at all as depicted by these posters but instead someone riding on top of the train and the other is this douchebag. Keep on surfin’, bro… You’re headed straight for the Darwin Awards.

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27 Thoughts I had while taking the L train home last night

Every time I go to Brooklyn, I get all OMGICOULDLIVEHERE THIS IS SO HIP, and then I walk back to the subway and have to wait for the L train…

  1. I wonder if throwing myself on the tracks, getting hit by the train (but not fatally) and rushed to the hospital will get me back to Manhattan faster.
  2. The couple behind me arguing over the pronunciation of Fette Sau is sooooo textbook couple who decided to venture out of Manhattan to Williamsburg for the night.
  3. I really wish I’d admitted to the fact that I initially attempted to order two slices of pizza when the guy looked at me said, “Just one, right?”
  4. Why is pizza in New York so salty?
  5. Is it really because of the water?
  6. The water doesn’t seem so salty.
  7. That couple over there is making fun of me eating my pizza. No, Tiffany, you’re not being paranoid. They are. THEY ARE.
  8. Having to transfer trains is one of the worst fates known to man.
  9. I really wish I had more pizza and/or alcohol.
  10. This is why going to Brooklyn should be reserved for the weekend… or never.
  11. There is no trash can on this platform.
  12. Can I throw my paper plate on the tracks? Will it help the rats?
  13. Will they build little homes with it?
  14. There’s a guy leaning dangerously over the tracks. If he’s the next person to fall and get hit by the L train, do I gain some sort of life points for having witnessed that?
  15. Really, when is this train fucking coming?
  16. Worst club ever.
  17. “Sweet rats, dude.” Is not a phrase I ever want to hear again.
  18. If I lick the grease off my paper plate, will it taste like pizza enough to be worth the scorn of judge-y couple?
  19. Seriously, is this train coming from Jersey?
  20. If I take the train that’s going in the opposite direction until it turns around and heads back this way, will I get home at the same time?
  21. Finally! Holy hell that took forever and I am now sweaty from standing down here forever.
  22. God this train is packed.
  23. Stepping into the mass of people on the inexplicably, perpetually packed L is what I’d imagine stepping into the armpit of any member of MGMT is like.
  24. This thing I’m using to grab onto is not something people should have to hold onto to stay upright on the train.
  25. This is definitely some sort of super cold pipe meant to punish me for ever going to Brooklyn.
  26. What is the train honking at mid-tunnel? Other trains?

And finally, at the 3rd Avenue stop.

27. Why the FUCK was this giant rolling fan on the train?

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