May 8, 2017

The NY Post has a long article about one man who is annoying people by taking up too much space on the commuter train from White Plains.

"Metro-North riders fed up with man who sprawls out on train." I guess somebody knows somebody who works at the Post.
“He takes up all four seats with his dirty feet up all over the seats,” said a rider who methodically took photos of the pro sleeper from the same angle every weekday morning for nearly a month. One day someone tried to sit where his feet were, and he didn’t even move....

“I messaged Metro-North several times, and they kept replying, but then I realized they were sending generic responses and no one was going to do anything about it,” said the commuter, who gets on the same car of the 5:36 a.m. from White Plains and encounters the sprawled-out sleeper every time they make the 35-minute commute into Grand Central Station.
The Post did interview the man, who obviously lives much farther out from the city than most people. He has to get up and onto the train very early, so he's able to get the seats he wants — all 4 of them — and get into his sleeping position and complete the night's sleep that got broken up by the necessary early rising.

ADDED: This is class politics, no? The man is 90 minutes away from the city, apparently because it's cheaper to live that way, or at least so the commuters who get on from closer-in suburbs must think. Based on his clothing, he does not seem to be traveling to a very well paying job. The richer folk get on, better dressed, with their blessedly shorter rides, but no good access to open seats, and they view him with contempt.

But they don't do anything directly. The petition the authorities and complain about the low priority given to their needs. And they "methodically" photograph him and pass the photographs to The New York Post to make an issue out of this one man, and The New York Post complies and serves as the mouthpiece of the affluent.

Did commuters on the train ever regard this man as a human being and talk to him? I see that "One day someone tried to sit where his feet were, and he didn’t even move," but not that anyone ever requested that he move his feet. I can see why he feels firmly entrenched in taking what he may very well feel is his rightful place.

One commenter on this post, Dust Bunny Queen writes: "Water bottle set on squirt. Works to keep the cats off of the counter." And that is exactly my point. The riders from the more affluent places see the man as subhuman, an animal.

I see in the article that the conductors on the train are doing nothing about this man who is annoying the close-to-the-city suburbanites. Have these affluent commuters considered that the conductors may feel solidarity with the sleeping man? Who's annoying whom? There are many vectors of annoyance in stratified America.

148 comments:

Gahrie said...

Someone should just pull a code red on he guy.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Water bottle set on squirt. Works to keep the cats off of the counter.

Patrick said...

Did the Times but the Post?

Owen said...

There is a special word in English for a guy doing that.

A******

Robert Cook said...

They should charge him for four tickets if he's taking up four seats.

Virtually Unknown said...

The more I use mass transportation, the more sympathy I have for United.

Fernandinande said...

Comfy chair.

Ipso Fatso said...

It is his world and you are just living in it.

Fernandinande said...

The Drudge picture for LE BIG MAC looks like "Michael Scott" from "The Office".

Stoutcat said...

Is that particular train so crowded that people are standing up because he's taking up four seats? Does he snore or otherwise disturb the other passengers?

I have a great deal of sympathy for this fellow, as my commute is even longer than his. But if he's not disturbing anyone, and not causing others to stand in the aisles because of what he's doing, then I say, leave the man alone! However: Dude, put a newspaper under your feet.

tcrosse said...

And yet we're not supposed to Manspread on the Subway.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is that particular train so crowded that people are standing up because he's taking up four seats? Does he snore or otherwise disturb the other passengers? I have a great deal of sympathy for this fellow, as my commute is even longer than his. But if he's not disturbing anyone, and not causing others to stand in the aisles because of what he's doing, then I say, leave the man alone! However: Dude, put a newspaper under your feet."

His feet on the seat strongly communicates what is true regardless of whether his particular feet are on the seat: The seats are not clean.

This points the way to a neat solution to the whole problem: The annoyed people should get over it by realizing that they shouldn't want to sit down. It's not clean.

I was just reading an article (in the NYT?) about a couple with household rules for each other and one of them was you're not allowed to sit on the bed in the pants you wore on the subway. Just don't sit down. Keep your ass clean.

Freeman Hunt said...

Why are people willing to endure these long commutes every day?

Bay Area Guy said...

In Boot Camp in San Diego many moons ago, the August heat became oppressive, and recruits would often doze off during any classroom training from heat and exhaustion. When that happened, one of us would quietly get within an inch of the sleeping guy's face, summon attention from everyone, and yell directly into the guy's face, "Wake up!" or "Hit the Deck!"

It was hysterical to see the startled responses. I still giggle thinking about it. Some dudes would start wildly throwing punches, some dudes would practically have mini-heart attacks, some dudes would fall out of the chairs. Hilarity always ensued.

Somebody should try that on this commuter. At least, it'd get a laugh.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Did commuters on the train ever regard this man as a human being and talk to him? I see that "One day someone tried to sit where his feet were, and he didn’t even move," but not that anyone ever requested that he move his feet."

Perhaps they are afraid to. It could be that all these white commuters are frightened of how a black man will react to such a request so they stay quiet and bitch to the Post instead.

James K said...

This is class politics, no? The man is 90 minutes away from the city, apparently because it's cheaper to live that way, or at least so the commuters who get on from closer-in suburbs must think.

Siding with this guy is more like, "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs?" If he wants to take up four seats, he should buy four tickets--with some of the money he's saving by living 90 minutes away.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

"So many problems would be solved if we would talk to each other instead of about each other" ~Timber Hawkeye

People are so damn passive aggressive these days, and so incapable of person-to-person communication. I blame screens.

Balfegor said...

Re: exiledonmainstreet:

Perhaps they are afraid to. It could be that all these white commuters are frightened of how a black man will react to such a request so they stay quiet and bitch to the Post instead.

There's a photograph. He looks pretty White to me. I'd imagine that at least one person has tried to say "excuse me!" to him a couple of times, but that he's pretended he can't hear (or been fast asleep), and they've just given up. I've had that experience once or twice. Honestly, if he were a Black man, do you think we'd have seen this article? I think the sort of people who work or study in New York would be afraid to be quoted.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Althouse wrote: "The annoyed people should get over it by realizing that they shouldn't want to sit down. It's not clean. "

I stopped sitting down on the DC Metro after observing a guy with a bad cold cough into and wipe snot from under his nose with his hand and then wipe his hand on the empty seat next to him.

Fortunately, my commute was not that long.

Bill said...

As one who once worked with his hands AND had a long train commute to work I was inclined to be sympathetic to the rider after reading your take, but the article settled things for me: The dude is rude.

Virtually Unknown said...

His shit doesn't need a seat. I guess he doesn't want it on the dirty floor!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ exiled

He doesn't "look" black in the article. Perhaps he is just identifying as such in order to intimidate the other passengers?

Actually, having used public transportation, you learn not to approach anyone who looks, acts, or seems out of the ordinary, no matter what "color" you think they are. Crazy knows no bounds.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Why are people willing to endure these long commutes every day?

Because sometimes it's the least worst choice. It seems really awful to me too, but I know people who do it and why they do. They don't have careers where they can work from home or in flyover country; they have to work in major cities; they also do not have millions to spend on a home that would accommodate a family in said cities.

Matthew Sablan said...

So many problems could be solved if people just talked to each other.

I've solved so many problems (interpersonal, academic, work-related, etc., etc.) by simply sitting people down and forcing them to listen to each other and then they realize, wow. So-and-so isn't a raging asshole.

TosaGuy said...

This isn't class thing. To quote George Constanza, "Don't you know we are living in a society!"

The sleeper is a jag and those passive-aggressive who are offended have two options: Shut the hell up or confront the person directly.

The truly affluent progs who want everyone on mass transit do not ride it.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"There's a photograph. He looks pretty White to me. "

Oops, you're right. I was going by the second photograph, and didn't scroll down further, but yeah, he's a white guy. Scratch that theory.

TestTube said...

Ann, I get where you are coming from. You make a very good point. This fellow deserves some compassion.

I also get where the majority of the commenters are coming from -- this sort of behavior is difficult to put up with.

But mostly, I am glad I don't have to use public transport on a regular basis. Thank goodness for cars and telecommuting!

damikesc said...

They should charge him for four tickets if he's taking up four seats.

They they do not is truly baffling.

Ambrose said...

The trains do fill-up and people have to stand, and even if they are rich 1%'ers, that is not fair. And even if that were not the case, other commuters on later trains will have to sit where this guy's feet are - which is rude. I also can report from personal experience that it is very easy to sleep while occupying a single seat.

Michael K said...

"They should charge him for four tickets if he's taking up four seats."

The MetroLink in southern California would do that. The conductors do not allow bags on seats if the car is full.

I used to see a girl on the train which took me an hour from OC to LA. She got on in Oceanside, at least 45 minutes farther. She was in PA school and did her homework commuting. I spoke to her one morning as I saw the medical book she was reading. Later, they moved the PA school to an area which was not served by the MetroLink train.

Below that story in the Post is a link to another with the headline, "Transgender woman killed by blow to head." I would think that the least vulnerable spot but didn't read the story.

Ann Althouse said...

"Perhaps they are afraid to. It could be that all these white commuters are frightened of how a black man will react to such a request so they stay quiet and bitch to the Post instead."

He looks white to me.

I'm analyzing this as class politics, but if it has a racial politics dimension, I'll get on it. Seems to me the sleeping man is white. I don't know the race of the people who are annoyed at him.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Why are people willing to endure these long commutes every day?"

-- From talking to people, while the commute may suck, the quality of life gained is worth the trade off (or that's all they can afford because places closer in are ridiculously expensive, bloated in cost for many, many reasons.)

TestTube said...

Also, it is amazing what people will do in a situation like this -- no clearly defined chain of leadership -- to avoid confrontation.

I've been "That Guy" who steps up and does something about it. And I've been "That Guy" who goes to great length to avoid doing something about it. And, usually inadvertently, I have been "That Guy" whom every one wants something done about, but no one wants to step up to the plate.

An interesting case study in social science. Thank you, Ann

mtrobertslaw said...

He says he's an electrician. Yeah.

exiledonmainstreet said...


"Actually, having used public transportation, you learn not to approach anyone who looks, acts, or seems out of the ordinary, no matter what "color" you think they are. Crazy knows no bounds."

Yep. When I first moved back here and had car trouble, I sometimes was forced to take the bus. The thing that angered me more than anything was teenage boys, both black and white, who would take up 2 seats, one for them and one for their huge backpacks. And they'd sit in the seats reserved for the handicapped and elderly. I'd see a little old lady get on the bus and stand there and I'd give up my seat to her, while these young galoots would continue sitting. The bus drivers wouldn't say anything. There were reported instances of teen boys beating up drivers and passengers so everyone just let them get away with that crap.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Does Chicago's Metra still put out their newsletter? "On the Bi-Level" or something like that.

Commuters would write in and complain about other passengers. "To the man who boards the 7:07 at Barrington,..........".

Ann Althouse said...

"Siding with this guy is more like, "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs?" If he wants to take up four seats, he should buy four tickets--with some of the money he's saving by living 90 minutes away."

That's airplane talk. When you buy a ticket for a train, you're not getting a seat. If you have to stand, you don't get your money back.

Now, I'm sure the guy is violating terms that are part of the fare, but the idea that you're buying a seat comes from the rarefied world of air travel. This is a commuter train. It's a gritty environment, and if you can't handle it in a straightforward man-to-man, woman-to-woman, woman-to-man way, you don't belong there. The lack of belonging of you on that train is more severe than the lack of belonging of his feet on the seat.

Robert Cook said...

"This is class politics, no? The man is 90 minutes away from the city, apparently because it's cheaper to live that way, or at least so the commuters who get on from closer-in suburbs must think."

Yes...it is cheaper.

(There is a significant population of people who live in Philadelphia and other locations well outside the city who work in and commute to and from NYC every day. Heck, I live on the UWS and used to work in East Elmhurst, Queens--where LaGuardia Airport is located--and my daily commute each way by subway and bus was 90 minutes. I did that daily for 8 years.)

Matthew Sablan said...

"Actually, having used public transportation, you learn not to approach anyone who looks, acts, or seems out of the ordinary."

-- I've had several (non-violent) run-ins with people on the Metro who were... let's say anti-social. The right answer is generally never to "let it fester" for an organization. But, an individual may not have any ability to fix it.

Inga said...

"Perhaps they are afraid to. It could be that all these white commuters are frightened of how a black man will react to such a request so they stay quiet and bitch to the Post instead."

Assumes he's black right off the bat. Pretty telling. Bad scary black man, or worse a Muslim!

Ann Althouse said...

"I stopped sitting down on the DC Metro after observing a guy with a bad cold cough into and wipe snot from under his nose with his hand and then wipe his hand on the empty seat next to him."

I once rode in a NYC subway car where every seat was taken except one, which had a visible pool of diarrhea on it. It was funny to see the people getting on at each stop, thinking there was an open seat, rushing toward it, then seeing the problem and getting away from it. Finally, somebody got on who bolted right for the seat and — to the horror/amusement of all of us who'd been observing the scene for several stops — planted his ass right in the pool of diarrhea.

Robert Cook said...

"Why are people willing to endure these long commutes every day?"

They have jobs in a place where it is too expensive for them to live. Often, the place they can afford is significantly far away from the place where they work.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Ann Althouse said...

He looks white to me.

How incredibly cis-racial ( and cis-gender ) normative of you.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"There is a significant population of people who live in Philadelphia and other locations well outside the city who work in and commute to and from NYC every day"

It's also common for people who live in Racine and Kenosha, WI to work in downtown Chicago and take the train in everyday.

Lewis Wetzel said...

On my way into town, I pass a little, small fraction of an acre county park we call the "bum park." A few dozen homeless people live in the area, sleeping in their cars or wherever. The county more or less built the park for them -- a rain shelter with a few picnic tables, and some toilets. The homeless hang out there all day. There are no nearby homes and only one little store across the highway that sells the bums beer and hard boiled eggs.
One day I drove by and the bums were all sitting on the concrete inside the rain shelter. The picnic tables were gone. I figured they had been stolen or the bums burned them or whatever.
I mentioned the missing picnic tables to the wife, and she told me, no, the tables were removed at the request of a group of citizens. These citizens drove by the place on their way to work everyday and it irked them to see the bums sitting at the table and taking swigs from paper bags, while they had to go to their jobs.
I thought it was despicable to remove the picnic tables. What was the motive? Certainly not jealousy. Spite, I suppose.

MadisonMan said...

I appreciate my walk-in commute almost every day. Today I biked in.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

If he is going to bed at 10 and getting up at 4:30, that is six and 1/2 hours of sleep. Not optimal, but he could go to bed at 9:00 and get 7 and 1/2 hours. In any event, needing more sleep is bullshit. As for being bored, he isn't driving. There are ways to occupy your time.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Assumes he's black right off the bat. Pretty telling. Bad scary black man, or worse a Muslim!

5/8/17, 9:24 AM

Nope. I didn't assume that. I made the mistake of not scrolling down past the second picture, which looks pretty ambiguous to me. And I admitted my mistake once I did, which is more that some butthurt commenters are capable of.

Also, Muslims, although a favorite obsession of yours, have nothing to do with this story.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Ann, I realize that that was before you lost your sense of smell, but if there was ever a situation where anosmia would have come in handy, that's it.

BDNYC said...

Many people fear confrontation, rightfully so. That doesn't mean they view him as subhuman, which frankly is a crazy inference to make. Who knows what this man is capable of? He's obviously a selfish asshole and knows better. Every commuter knows how MTA trains get packed and you have to make room. I view him with contempt.

It's also not necessarily true that close suburbs in Westcheter are nicer than farther flung exurbs. Many Hudson Valley communities more than an hour from NYC are quite posh.

Anyway, you see this sort of thing play out on the subways most mornings. Poor people from deep in the boroughs "manspreading" (and "womanspreading" too) while affluent young whites stand. I should take a picture of that and post it so Althouse can accuse them all of classism and racism.

Lipperman said...

It is presumptuous to think that this issue is related to class politics. There are educated electricians out there who dress like that, and do very well financially. And there are also other riders with similar long commutes who are well-to-do, but have the class (there it is) to behave with some common decency. That's what this is about, really.
And the conductors have a responsibility here, also. Check the man's ticket, tell him not to put his feet up, and make sure there is room for three additional riders in that booth.
Or else he can go fly Delta.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

There was a sitcom in the 80s called "Whose The Boss?" One character was an advertising executive who commuted from Connecticut to NYC via train. This reminded me of that, and got me curious. How long a commute is it from Connecticut to NYC? According to the internets, about an hour from Stamford.

Inga said...

@ Exile,
You assumed he was black, without first seeing his skin color. Just admit your bigotry.

Limited blogger said...

Packed NYC subway trains often have empty cars. It's because the AC is broken.

rcocean said...

"Many people fear confrontation, rightfully so."

Bullshit. If this guy is doing this every day AND there's more then one person upset about it, there's no reason they can't talk to the guy.

My feeling is that its just ONE person (who knows someone at the NY Post) who's all upset about it, but of course, doesn't have the guts to actually, y'know talk to the guy.

Fernandinande said...

I see the guy as subhuman because of his attempted beard.

exiledonmainstreet said...
Also, Muslims, although a favorite obsession of yours, have nothing to do with this story.


Muslims killed the black guy that was supposed to be hogging the seats. Or was it the other way 'round?

As Pope Francis said, "Hell is other people."

rcocean said...

And if the guy had been black and the complainers white, there wouldn't have been a news story.

rcocean said...

"I've been "That Guy" who steps up and does something about it."

And I've had to do that too. I'm basically an introvert and mind my own business but it's amazing how many times I've had to "take charge" in a crowd over some minor issue when the natural leaders just hung back and refused to do anything.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Jeez, Inga, you're cranky this morning. Bad night's sleep? Or did Drago own you in the comments section again?

James K said...

That's airplane talk. When you buy a ticket for a train, you're not getting a seat. If you have to stand, you don't get your money back.

Of course, but the point is that his personal circumstances don't justify his behavior. One doesn't forcefully deprive others of a seat just because of one's "needs." (The courtesy of giving up a seat to an elderly or infirm person is the opposite--voluntarily recognizing someone else's need as opposed to selfishly asserting your own.) The attitude toward him does not reflect class differences, just a basic sense of morality.

Owen said...

"Compassion" is a loaded word. It requires an active bond, where the "giver" has to commit something to the receiver (here: what? Besides approaching in a kindly way?) but the receiver has to commit something as well (again, here, what? Moving off 4 seats or at least not putting his dirty shoes on them?).

Compassion is better than aggression, passive or otherwise. But it doesn't actually tell us what to do. Figuring *that* out is the harder and more interesting question.

Maybe this guy could reduce his a****** score by sleeping in one seat. Been there, done that. Or maybe, since it seems that he and the complainers are all regulars, they can work a deal. Sit down together and agree that he will get 4 seats as far as White Plains, then the train fills up and he has to sit up.

Interesting problem. I agree that talking is better than festering. But a lot of times, especially on subways, you simply do not want to start.

brylun said...

No word from (or on behalf of) the disabled or elderly person required to stand because this guy takes up 4 seats.

M Jordan said...

I Side with the rich people. Sorry sleeping man, but you are the epitome of selfishness. Sit your ass up, at least after your car starts filling up.

mockturtle said...

The riders from the more affluent places see the man as subhuman, an animal.

I don't think so. It's more a reluctance to confront. My husband and I were riding on the Tube out of London once where a young female sat with her boom box on her lap turned on full blast. I couldn't believe no one said anything. I asked my husband, a Brit, why and he explained that 'one just doesn't do that'. Resisting the uncivil urge to crush the offending noise machine underfoot, I calmly asked the girl to please turn it down. Amazingly, she did! It was I, however, who felt the general opprobrium.
Because 'one just doesn't do that'.

John said...

But I thought that trains were Oh so civilized. Why can't we all by like the Europeans and ride trains instead of nasty polluting cars?

This sounds like one reason.

Has anyone complained to the conductor about the guy taking up 4 seats? If not, they should STFU.

John Henry

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Part of the issue about complaining about this guy taking up 4 seats is familiarity or the daily occurrence.

If you are just riding the train for a day and a guy is rudely taking up 4 seats while you may have to stand, you just ignore it as one of life's little annoyances. Whatever, move along.

BUT...if you daily take the train and daily have to deal with the same guy, day after day after day, hogging the seats while others may have to stand, eventually you get really pissed off at his continual rudeness that affects everyone around him.

Robert Cook said...

"I appreciate my walk-in commute almost every day. Today I biked in."

I live just under 7 miles from where I work. Last year I got a bike and during the months of the year where the weather permits I bike in. (I ride along the biking/running path that runs the length of Manhattan on the West Side. As I ride, the Hudson is on one side and the city skyline is on the other. Magnificent!) It's lovely and empowering to be able to get to work under one's own power.

Inga said...

If there are enough seats for everyone, there's not really a problem. Trains and buses aren't known to be clean and luxurious places. People should mind their own damn business. If anyone is worried he's ill, get him help. The regulars apparently know he's only sleeping.

M Jordan said...

Blogger Lewis Wetzel said... On my way into town, I pass a little, small fraction of an acre county park we call the "bum park."

Thank you for using the word "bums." Your post shows compassion towards them but doesn't perfume them with the rich man's virtue signaling term, "homeless."

BDNYC said...

I wonder what effect this article will have on his behavior. A normal person would be horrified and embarrassed, but a normal person wouldn't act that way in the first place.

Robert Cook said...

"How long a commute is it from Connecticut to NYC?"

Depends on where in Connecticut. Many people do commute every day for at least a couple of hours, some even longer. Many people commute into Manhattan from Long Island, as well, which certainly involves plenty of one hour and two hour commutes or more each way.

samsondale said...

There are suburbs north of White Plains that are more affluent than White Plains (which is a city with people at all income levels) so there is no way of knowing if this is indeed a case of the rich taking it out on the working man. If I had to see this type of anti-social behavior on my daily commute, I'd be pretty torqued off as well.

And by the way, closer in does not necessarily equal more affluent.

Fernandinande said...

rcocean said...
I'm basically an introvert and mind my own business but it's amazing how many times I've had to "take charge" in a crowd over some minor issue when the natural leaders just hung back and refused to do anything.


Introverts are less susceptible to peer/crowd pressure than normal people.

Robert Cook said...

"Jeez, Inga, you're cranky this morning. Bad night's sleep? Or did Drago own you in the comments section again?"

Ha! Drago never owned anybody in the comments section.

Balfegor said...

Re: Althouse:

Now, I'm sure the guy is violating terms that are part of the fare, but the idea that you're buying a seat comes from the rarefied world of air travel. This is a commuter train. It's a gritty environment, and if you can't handle it in a straightforward man-to-man, woman-to-woman, woman-to-man way, you don't belong there.

Not a direct response, but Metro North is probably the nicest commuter rail service I have ever used in the United States. I haven't used it much, but it has a schedule and it actually runs on schedule. Metrolink in LA also runs more or less to schedule, but has a somewhat grimier feel. Not that Metro-North is all class, though -- you get the usual students shouting filth and all that. It's just the best commuter rail service in the US nonetheless. The least gritty, as it were. At least the New Haven line. Other lines might be different.

exiledonmainstreet said...

mockturtle, when I was in London in the '80's, there was an incident on the Tube which sticks in my memory. A man apparently got a little grabby with an Englishwoman and she turned around and yelled, "get your bloody paws off of me or I'll hit you over the head with my brolly!"

Everyone burst out laughing and the man was suitably ashamed of himself. Now that's the spirit which won the War!

Speaking of which, I also remember a pubkeeper chasing out a bunch of rowdy Germans who were reluctant to leave after closing time with the words, "Get out, you Jerries. We didn't win the war so you could sit here after hours carrying on."

The Brits were still a pretty feisty bunch in those days.

Inga said...

"Ha! Drago never owned anybody in the comments section."

Chuckling, thanks Robert.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Ha! Drago never owned anybody in the comments section.

5/8/17, 10:08 AM

Ah, with all due respect, Cookie, yes he did.

exiledonmainstreet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
exiledonmainstreet said...

How were you not owned Inga? Don't answer it here, but he challenged you and you failed in your response. Completely.

Hence your pissiness this morning.

Inga said...

It is to laugh. Do you need a cookie, Exile? 🍪

exiledonmainstreet said...

I think you're trying to make a witticism of some sort, Inga, but alas, you're just not very witty.

MadisonMan said...

during the months of the year where the weather permits I bike in.

It's not the weather that stops me here, it's the darkness. I absolutely will not bike in the dark. So that's from November to April, mostly.

If I were riding metro north, maybe I would sit in that spot where the plastic bag was in the picture. I would make a great effort to move it, and sit, as if my back was killing me (it actually is right now).

Bay Area Guy said...

If you commute on a train for several years, you see all sorts of societal behaviors/pathologies. 95% of the folks understand the "unspoken" rules. Keep to yourself, try not to touch other folks, etc, etc) and do just fine.

A few bad apples though can spoil the whole barrel.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I too don't understand why the guy can't snooze while sitting in one seat. I've done it on buses, trains, planes and in the passenger seat of cars. I think it's something most people can manage.

R.J. Chatt said...

That guy who takes up four seats is acting like a bully. He doesn't care about other people who also have challenges. I've found dealing with bullies that they are often self serving "sympathy warriors" when it comes to manipulating "liberals." The liberal idea is to make judgements about people based on who deserves more sympathy, not based on what is right and wrong. Oh, he has more problems so let him get away with wrong behavior instead of having an unpleasant confrontation, and our so called compassion makes us feel good about ourselves. There's very little chance that a guy who knows other people are going to be entering the train and takes up their seat anyway is going to be pleasant about being woken up and told to move his feet. But I'd love to see Ann try that. No offense.

IMO it's wrong for that guy to take up extra seats unless he's paid for them and he's just being totally selfish. Other people have challenges: maybe someone who lives closer to the city has a medical problem and needs to sit or was up all night with a sick child. Who cares how much money they have, that doesn't negate their right to a seat. Whatever happened to the idea that everyone is equal under the law and that rules apply to everyone?

Kevin said...

"This is class politics, no?"

No, when class politics collides with the daily life of upper class people, it becomes about "decency". (Link to your discussion a few days ago about the school trying to teach "decency" to the deviant kids).

Decency is used by upper class people to control lower class people. And who is upper class? Those who can define decency in society.

And when the wrong kind of people get to define decency? Like when red state upper class people run into red state lower class people? Then it is reframed as class politics. Then it is no longer about decency but about accommodation by those who are not being asked to accommodate.

Decency and class politics are simply two sides of a biased coin which is used by blue-state elites in a "heads I win, tails you lose" fashion.

Robert Cook said...

"...Metro North is probably the nicest commuter rail service I have ever used in the United States. I haven't used it much, but it has a schedule and it actually runs on schedule. Metrolink in LA also runs more or less to schedule, but has a somewhat grimier feel. Not that Metro-North is all class, though -- you get the usual students shouting filth and all that. It's just the best commuter rail service in the US nonetheless. The least gritty, as it were. At least the New Haven line. Other lines might be different."

When I head north of the City I take the Hudson line, and I agree that it always seems clean, is nearly always on schedule, and is a very pleasant ride.

Balfegor said...

RE: RJ Chatt:

IMO it's wrong for that guy to take up extra seats unless he's paid for them

On commuter trains, I don't think they match the number of tickets sold to the number of seats, though, any more than the subway matches tickets to seats. I think it's just Peak/Non-Peak and station to station, not a particular time or train. I don't have any tickets handy, and I don't recall exactly what they look like, but I'm pretty sure that's how it works.

Virtually Unknown said...

If I really needed a seat I would have that seat with the bag on it. I doubt he is carrying a weapon. This is really a story about the pussification of everybody else on the train.

Michael K said...

"Get out, you Jerries. We didn't win the war so you could sit here after hours carrying on."

The Brits were still a pretty feisty bunch in those days.


When I visited London the first time in 1977, you could still tour the House of Commons and the Parliament building. It was Saturday morning about 9 and there was a long line when we arrived. We joined the "queue" and stood there waiting. A tall man came walking along the line and told us to go to the head of the line. I had no idea who he was but he seemed to be in some authority so we did. We waited near the door and he went off and collected some others. I finally figured out he was collecting all the people he heard speaking English. Just before the door opened at 9 he gave us a little talk. He said he was a guide and we needed to stay up with him as he could give us more time if we did not straggle.

He was a terrific guide and showed us all sorts of things we would not have learned from anyone else. At one point, he showed us where the Commons had been bombed during the war and where Churchill had stood when he examined the damage. Then he said, "And I stood right there." He had been a policeman assigned to Parliament during the war,

He also told us he was picking out all the English speakers so the Germans did not get to the head of the line. He said, "They couldn't get here on their own and I'm not going to help them now."

One of my most fun experiences in England.

buwaya said...

This is typical in BART, but in that case it is homeless people taking two seats and sleeping there.

As for gritty - Late night BART can be interesting.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

While I sympathize that the guy has a long commute and has to get up early, my response would be that maybe he needs to get his ass into bed earlier than 10PM and get a decent night's sleep. I know that's common sense and common sense is anathema in today's world, but my North Carolina Baptist hillbilly parents raised me to have common sense and I try to apply it whenever I can. As far as his being bored, perhaps he could use the time to study the NY State electrical codes, get his license upgraded and maybe find a better job that's closer to home.

Bruce Hayden said...

Looking back over my working life, I am thankful how blessed I was in the commuting department. Worst commute was a bit over half an hour, from Arlington, VA, through DC, by the monuments, down Suitland Parkway to MD. After maybe a year, I moved 10 minutes from the job, living in PG County, in an apartment that was only safe because they gave special deals to cops. After that, my commutes tended to be maybe 15 minutes, until my last real job, where I would usually walk to work, unless I was flying somewhere, or I expected inclement weather, and would change up with biking, or even rollerblading. Must not have done that enough though, because I have lost the balance I used to have. Now, my commute is to the next room over at this time of year, which is my office. Unfortunately, that isn't going to last - in MT, my office is upstairs. My thoughts right now though is to by a piece of property there big enough for my own (probably outdoor) shooting range, and have a garage, shop, and office there. That will mean some commute, though I intend to keep it under maybe 20 minutes.

I find that I do need to get out of the house to keep my mind straight, and to be productive. But when your office is in the house, as it is for me in both of ours, getting out of the house means not working at real (paying) work. I have some deadlines today, but figure to satisfy my wanderlust by hitting Sam's Club during plus/business hours, and the city dump (having just found a city utility bill showing a charge for sanitation, which gets me in free). Oh, and then there is the problem that my partner calls me from downstairs, asking me to come downstairs immediately, stop what I am doing, and do something for her. Now. Like rolling up the hose yesterday that I had used the day before to spray Roundup around the backyard. Not good for the concentration I need for work work.

I have never really understood living where you have to take public transportation to and from work. Sure, my career might have gone better if I had, but it did just fine as it was. Riding the subway or a commuter train has always been a novelty for me. I remember taking the train up to NYC a couple times a year to see a friend dance back in the 1970s, and would take the subway to her loft. Until her parents started insisting that it just wasn't safe that late at night, and would put me on a cab back to the train station. More recently, I would take light rail into the main office in PHX, or out to the Airport in Denver. Fun, because it was new, and something I only did rarely. I did note to my partner that the bus that runs down the Main Street by the house here, goes all the way to Scottsdale, and next time we had to go see her doctor there, we could take it, and end up only maybe 1/2 mile from his office. She hates mass transit from the couple times her car broke down growing up, and vetoed this bright idea of mine. And trains? She still reminds me of the time I picked her up at the Oakland Airport, took BART to our hotel in San Francisco, then BART to SFO on the way out of town. Hard seats, smelly, rude people, and the sounds of the brakes was esp bad with her sensitive hearing. Oh, and the swaying. She took her son on a band trip in HS, and got motion sick on the train within minutes of leaving the station. Which is why I would rent a car at the Denver Airport, drive us home out west, then return it the next day, and take light rail back home. The Denver light rail is still new enough to be decent, and they use commuter cars on the leg from downtown to DIA, which I think is pretty sweet.

Owen said...

Balfegor: Metro-North ticket just lets you get on the train until you reach your stop. If you buy a ticket from Grand Central to Tarrytown but then stay on northbound beyond Tarrytown to say Croton, they can charge you more.

No right to a seat. I used to stand plenty of times.

MadisonMan: I can sympathize about riding a bike after dark but my impression is, the lighting systems now available are hellaciously good. People will definitely see you. Whether they pay attention and respect your right of way is, as always, another question entirely.

Robert Cook said...

"I have never really understood living where you have to take public transportation to and from work."

I LOVE living someplace with comprehensive public mass transit. I love riding the subway as it gives me the opportunity to read as I travel, (unless I am with others). I LOVE not having to own a car. I did own one for a couple of years or so in Florida, before I moved to NYC over three decades ago, and it certainly is convenient to have a car. Owning it--paying for it, paying for insurance for it, paying for maintenance, gasoline, and repairs--not so much.

I HATE the idea of leaving New York, which, for a couple of reasons, I think I will do eventually, as I hate the idea of having to acquire a car. What a waste of money!

David said...

good analysis.

The truly privileged do not give a Flyer about this though. They have their place in Manhattan and another in the burbs. Plus The Vineyard or some similar cocoon.

tcrosse said...

If this guy is an Electrician who works in NYC, he's probably pretty well off. It's just that the job doesn't require a coat and tie.

Balfegor said...

Re: Robert Cook:

I LOVE living someplace with comprehensive public mass transit. I love riding the subway as it gives me the opportunity to read as I travel, (unless I am with others). I LOVE not having to own a car. I did own one for a couple of years or so in Florida, before I moved to NYC over three decades ago, and it certainly is convenient to have a car. Owning it--paying for it, paying for insurance for it, paying for maintenance, gasoline, and repairs--not so much.

I have never owned a car, but it sounds ghastly. I like public transit -- down here in DC, it's just absurdly expensive (in tax subsidies, not actual fares) for the quality of service we get. People down here are always leaping to defend WMATA and say that the only reason it's such crap is because it doesn't get enough funding, only it gets approximately 75% of the funding of privatised Tokyo Metro (even when you try to segregate out the rail expenses alone), and runs <10% of the volume.

It's not hard to see why we're not getting our money's worth, either, when it turns out we have been paying employees to do jobs they didn't actually do:

Metro captured headlines last month when Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld announced that he was firing, suspending or disciplining 28 track inspectors and supervisors — nearly half of the track inspection department — after an investigation into the July 29 derailment at East Falls Church suggested that it was a widely accepted practice within the department to complete reports for inspections that had not actually been performed. Wiedefeld said that four inspectors and two supervisors were terminated, though he warned that more firings might follow.

Meanwhile, some of those WMATA supervisors allegedly retaliated against employees who tried to perform proper safety inspections:

Thomas, a nine-year veteran, said he never filed falsified reports — in fact, he said, on multiple occasions dating back to 2011, he tried to draw attention to egregious track defects in urgent need of repair. He said that when he did so he experienced retaliation — in one instance, he was hauled into an office for a barrage of drug and alcohol tests, for no apparent reason, he said.

Yes, Washingtonians -- WMATA's problem is that we aren't giving them enough subsidy. More money will surely fix this problem, and it's only those nasty Republicans who would suggest otherwise.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

"the 5:36 a.m. from White Plains" - the early bird gets the worm?

Freeman Hunt said...

"They have jobs in a place where it is too expensive for them to live. Often, the place they can afford is significantly far away from the place where they work."

Yes, I do realize that these aren't people who live close to work and simply ride trains for fun in the mornings.

My question is: Why do people choose lives that require these commutes? It's a choice.

mockturtle said...

Question for all you public transit foks: How do you manage to get your groceries home?
Or do you eat out or take out every day? And what if you wanted to go outside the city? No car? You wouldn't want to live here in the West.

cubanbob said...

Stop wasting highway, road and gas taxes on mass transit and let the mass transit users pay the full freight. Guaranteed you will get a better class of riders on the busses and trains.

RC I would rather spend rush hour on I-95 every day of the week including the cost of vehicle ownership in order to avoid the subways and commuter trains.

Althouse, a ticket supposedly guarantees you either a seat or a spot to stand in on a commuter train. It does not guarantee for spots nevermind four seats. The conductor should have tossed the bum out at thee next stop.

James K said...

My question is: Why do people choose lives that require these commutes? It's a choice.

It's not unlike those who choose to do without health insurance when they are healthy, and then when they get sick demand subsidies from those of us who have behaved more responsibly.

James K said...

I love riding the subway as it gives me the opportunity to read as I travel, (unless I am with others). I LOVE not having to own a car.

I am with Robert Cook on this, though of course it's a matter of taste. Plus now we also have options like Via for commuting, which I suspect is putting a big dent in subway/bus ridership, as you get a ride in a car for only $3 more than a subway ride. And there's a code of behavior on Via--no talking on cell phones, for example.

TWW said...

Just thought of a possible solution. Why not tap him lightly on the knee and say, "Sit up bub, I want a seat."?

Brando said...

Treat him like an animal? He's sort of acting like an animal taking up several seats on a crowded train.

And class politics? It's more "class politics" to assume that because this guy lives so far out that his presumed poverty entitles him to more seats than anyone else.

Ann is trolling again!

CatherineM said...

So being an electrician isn't a good job?

The guy is a jerk. My dad commuted 90 minute on the LIRR for 30 years (including a change in Huntington or Jamaica in those days) so we had good schools, trees, clean town beaches...I did the commute for a month and totally understood why dad was so grumpy when he got home. Never once would my dad spread out like a slob in public and I certainly have never done that. Even now when I have an empty seat on the express I don't spread out my feet where others will sit. Bad manners. Go to bed earlier or sit up and snooze like the rest of us.

Freeman Hunt said...

You can get a big, fancy job here that pays big bucks with a big company and has limitless upward opportunity, and unless you choose to live way, way out, your commute will be less than an hour. In flyover you spend less time on the ride over.

mockturtle said...

TWW suggests: Just thought of a possible solution. Why not tap him lightly on the knee and say, "Sit up bub, I want a seat."?

That's what I would do, as per my London Tube experience related above.

Wasn't it recently discussed here? The power of asking?

Kevin Walsh said...

As much as I hate the crowding on trains, it's one seat for one fare.

walter said...

"I can see why he feels firmly entrenched in taking what he may very well feel is his rightful place."
I assumed heavy trolling with that tripe.
But then...

". When you buy a ticket for a train, you're not getting a seat. If you have to stand, you don't get your money back."

He didn't pay for a bed either.
Maybe this guy should go to bed earlier instead.
Ridiculous.

Robert Cook said...

"My question is: Why do people choose lives that require these commutes? It's a choice."

How much choice is there in a country with an employment crisis, (sure to become worse as robots displace up to half of all American workers in the next 20 years, according to recent projections)? Don't believe the government's propaganda that unemployment is down to below 5%. The unemployment rate is surely higher than that, but even considering those who are actually employed, many work at temporary jobs, part-time jobs, low-wage jobs of all types that do not afford a livable income.

What if the jobs people have at great distance from their homes are the only jobs--or the best-paying jobs--they can find? What if they have careers and their careers demand they work in certain locations? What if they once lived in the area where they work, but were displaced further and further out over time due to rising costs in the place where they once lived? All of these are part of the reality of the American work world. More and more, vast swaths of the country outside metropolitan regions are bankrupt of good, career-track, well-paying jobs. This drives up the cost of housing the closer in to the city centers one approaches.

Balfegor said...

Re: mockturtle:

Question for all you public transit foks: How do you manage to get your groceries home?

I carry them. I have a Harris Teeter maybe a 5 minute walk from my condo, and a Whole Foods about a 20 minute walk away. Alternately, I just carry them on the metro (there are a Trader Joes and a Whole Foods near my commute). For certain things, I just order online, but pretty much all my staples I get at the local grocery stores.

walter said...

C'mon Cookie. We had multiple "recovery summers".
Obama-nomics righted the ship.

The guy was asked why he did this..he said he gets bored.
boo-frickin' hoo.
By the way, electricians, like most trades..have more options than most due to supply/demand issues.

Robert Cook said...

"Question for all you public transit foks: How do you manage to get your groceries home?"

I walk to the grocery store, buy the food I need for that day and possibly the next couple of days, and walk home carrying the bags.

"Or do you eat out or take out every day?"

Some do. That's unhealthy and gets expensive. When I do order take out, I walk to the restaurant and pick it up and walk home with it. Most probably don't do this, as they prefer to have their food delivered. I prefer not to have to pay a tip if I can pick up the food and have it back home reasonably quickly myself.

"And what if you wanted to go outside the city? No car? You wouldn't want to live here in the West."

Take a bus or train, or rent a car, if that's an available option and is the better choice for one's travel plans.

I think it's tragic that in most of the country so many people who really can't afford to expend limited resources on purchasing and maintaining an automobile have no other choice. Money they could better spend on other necessities are sucked up by their goddamned automobile! Mass transit is an amazingly freeing public utility that would benefit most people.

James K said...

Question for all you public transit foks: How do you manage to get your groceries home?

We have at least three supermarkets within a 5-minute walk. If we are getting more than is comfortable to carry, we have a little cart on wheels. Beyond that, the stores all deliver for a modest fee. And there is Fresh Direct.

mockturtle said...

Cookie, have you ever been out west? The nearest supermarket can be 20-30 miles away. Everything is spread out, not concentrated.

Robert Cook said...

"Cookie, have you ever been out west? The nearest supermarket can be 20-30 miles away. Everything is spread out, not concentrated."

I understand that, and I think it's tragic, and ecologically wasteful and destructive. If not for the automobile, towns would never be able to be spread out like that. The proliferation of private automobiles created the conditions that now make them wretched necessities in most of the country. There are certainly down sides to mass transit, but, on balance, I prefer being able to get around town by bus or train, and I repeat that I love not having to own a car.

walter said...

It probably reduces the murder count not having everyone in urban centers on top of each other fighting to get housing they can afford.

mockturtle said...

Cookie, I consider an automobile a freedom machine and would never want to be without one. Good thing you and I live in the parts of the country that best suit us. :-)

James K said...

I consider an automobile a freedom machine and would never want to be without one.

We urbanite non-car-owners also have Zip Car and the like for whenever we need to drive somewhere. Of course that's not the same as owning, but there are advantages and disadvantages.

Balfegor said...

Re: Robert Cook:

I understand that, and I think it's tragic, and ecologically wasteful and destructive. If not for the automobile, towns would never be able to be spread out like that. The proliferation of private automobiles created the conditions that now make them wretched necessities in most of the country. There are certainly down sides to mass transit, but, on balance, I prefer being able to get around town by bus or train, and I repeat that I love not having to own a car.

Look, I like not having a car too (although I eagerly await the development of my future robot chauffeur), but I can also see that my preference is not the same as everyone else's. There are millions of people in the US who wish they could afford to live in the centre of Manhattan, or the centre of San Francisco -- that's why property prices are so high in those areas. And I do mean "those areas" -- people aren't just chasing density, otherwise Detroit's property prices would be higher. It's not just the convenience of urban living that people are chasing, but the cachet of being able to say they live in a particular place. Also, even people who live in cities care about crime, even if they get a kick out of bragging about their high crime neighbourhoods.

But there are millions more who wouldn't choose to live there even if they were rich -- who are living out in tiny little towns in the middle of nowhere because they want to, or because it's how they grew up, rather than because they were forced out there by high prices and urban crime. The automobile has enabled that, and I don't think that's a tragedy at all.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If not for the automobile, towns would never be able to be spread out like that.

Bullhockey! The town (which really isn't a town but just an area) existed before there were automobiles or even roads other than dirt trails. People got here in the 1830's by walking, riding horses, following oxen drawn wagons. This is where the wheat came from to feed the people in the San Francisco area and then later other food.

Now that we have cars our remote areas can have better access to goods, easier time to get to the town. It only takes me about 1 1/2 hours to drive one way. In the 1900s it was a full day down and often two days one trip.

Cars ARE freedom machines. Like Mockturtle, I would never want to be without my own means of transportation. Go where I want, when I want, with whom I want. Freedom!

This is why the government is so keen to make it harder and harder to own and drive. You guys just want to cram everyone into your disgusting, stinking cities and make us ride on rapid transit with rude people who should be kicked in the butt :-)

The more you can cram people together the easier it is to control them.

Robert Cook said...

"Cookie, I consider an automobile a freedom machine...."

Yes, a "freedom machine" that is an imprisoning leg-iron of debt for those whose income is such that money spent on a car is money stolen from other pressing necessities.

mockturtle said...


But there are millions more who wouldn't choose to live there even if they were rich -- who are living out in tiny little towns in the middle of nowhere because they want to, or because it's how they grew up, rather than because they were forced out there by high prices and urban crime. The automobile has enabled that, and I don't think that's a tragedy at all.


I lived most of my life in the Seattle suburbs. Not exactly in the middle of nowhere, although I would prefer that to living there now. Cars are necessary in Seattle except for rich inner-city condo dwellers and the burgeoning homeless population. It is a fantasy for urbanites that most people, if given the chance, would choose to live in cities. I'd rather have my fingernails pulled out.

Robert Cook said...

"This is why the government is so keen to make it harder and harder to own and drive."

What are you talking about?

"You guys just want to cram everyone into your disgusting, stinking cities and make us ride on rapid transit with rude people who should be kicked in the butt :-)"

No, we don't, because the growing numbers of people who move to urban areas--for very good reasons--make it more expensive for all of us who live here.

"The more you can cram people together the easier it is to control them."

A dubious claim.

mockturtle said...

Yes, a "freedom machine" that is an imprisoning leg-iron of debt for those whose income is such that money spent on a car is money stolen from other pressing necessities.

There's that idealism, again. People in poor neighborhoods--are you ready for this?--prefer having a car to taking public transit. Like so many liberals, you want to project your values on others.

walter said...

"the growing numbers of people who move to urban areas--for very good reasons--make it more expensive for all of us who live here. "
Which makes the cost of automobiles more compelling.
Rinse. Repeat.

Virtually Unknown said...

I prefer not to have to pay a tip if I can pick up the food and have it back home reasonably quickly myself.

I always tip the guys in the kitchen 10%, even when I pick up a meal myself.

Balfegor said...

Re: Robert Cook:

"The more you can cram people together the easier it is to control them."

A dubious claim.


Um, why? I mean, that was the point of Indian Reservations, Concentration Camps, Internment Camps, and the Briggs Plan. And most of those worked very well, even if we don't like the policies they were implementing.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

See...here is the deal. Unlike some...I suspect Cook is one... I have an actual basis of comparison between living in the urban versus rural areas.

For years I lived in the middle of San Francisco (Mission District, Sunset and Potrero Hill) so I know urban living. I rarely drove my car then and only used it for trips outside of the city. The little mom & pop groceries were within walking distance and there were nice little restaurants and cafes nearby. We rarely had more food in the house, for more than a few days. Because....why should we when everything is so very conveniently close. Entertainment opportunities, museums galore. Those were some of the upsides.

The downside to urban living are also well known. Crowding, no privacy, crime, bums, dirt, shitty (literally) streets, expense, public transportation woes, noise, lights etc etc etc

Rural or small town living has its ups and downs too. Up is the lack of crime, openness of the area and terrain, privacy, friendly people, slower pace of life. Down, is some of the inconveniences: distances between places, shopping, groceries, fewer services,less choices. Although with Amazon Prime, shopping on line has been a blessing indeed. Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu etc who needs a theater?

We go to the local store about once a week if we are out of perishable items like milk. Once a month or every other month we do go to the BIG town 80 miles away and do our BIG shopping. Costco, Winco and buy mass quantities (like the Coneheads). We completely fill up our SUV or pickup to the maximum. Instead of a couple of days of food and supplies we have many months. Buying in bulk, freezing and storing saves money.

My life now is probably something that Cook would look at as being horrible. Well, back-atcha :-) I also would rather have my fingernails pulled out than live in the "city" again.

To each his own.

Krumhorn said...

I rode that very train every day for a number of years. There is a class element to the population of the morning and evening commute since, like me, most are professionals on their way into the city leaving the family at home in the burbs. Folks are well dressed. The trains are generally clean. And seats are scarce at the heart of the rush.

It's a good time to read or get some work done...or nap. But it's a breach of the ethos to do what this guy was doing, and the conductors should have stopped him.

Sometimes, there are cars where traditionally, folks have been able to play bridge and be a little noisy, but usuallly loud conversations are not welcome.

Krumhorn

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I also might mention the cost of living in the rural areas. In California, in a city, the cost of my home here would probably buy me a crappy 800s sp fit garage sized house with no yard, a view of a brick wall.... or a very small very old crackerbox in the worst area of town.

In my rural area for the same amount we have acreage, an orchard with apples, cherries, plums, pears, quinces. A raised garden area for vegetables. Two buildings: 1650 sq ft custom home, two story 1400 sq ft workshop office and other outbuildings. And a pretty nice view or two

mockturtle said...

Nice, DBQ! After my husband retired, we moved to a rural area, too. Gardens and chickens, 35 acres and beautiful views. Huge cedar home with outbuildings. Never missed the city. Ever.

Thorley Winston said...

There’s no excuse for one person taking up four seats on a train. The conductor should have put a stop to it and if they guy didn’t correct his behavior, kick him off the train and ban him from riding it again.

mockturtle said...

Thorley, you are right. Rules should be enforced. Otherwise, bullies will keep pushing the envelope.

AReasonableMan said...

Late to the party but I want to give Althouse props on this one. As far as I am aware this is the first time Althouse has looked favorably on the rights/problems of the 'little guy'. It's a small step, but a step in the right direction.

Titus said...

It is not about affluent and not affluent. It is about someone taking up 4 seats on a train.

How would you feel in a packed train, people standing everywhere, and seeing one person taking up 4 seats?

It is annoying. I am surprised people didn't wake him up. I have seen people in Boston wake people up for taking up two seats. Or they squeeze their ass in the second seat and just push the fuck out of the seat.

I do love public transport though. The sights, sounds and smells are always interesting.

The worst are the little Chinese women though. They are fucking sneaky when they get on the train. They run real fast when the door opens, not allowing the passengers to get off the train first, and immediately plunking down on a prime seat. I have been tempted to slap them but they wouldn't respond. You can yell at them on the street when they crash into you with their grocery carts or umbrellas and they never react, just keep on their way crashing into people. One time this old lady had live ducks on the train, they smelled.

Balfegor said...

Re: Titus:

The worst are the little Chinese women though. They are fucking sneaky when they get on the train. They run real fast when the door opens, not allowing the passengers to get off the train first, and immediately plunking down on a prime seat.

I've never seen that in the US, but in Shanghai, there's these arrows on the floor indicating where everyone is supposed to line up. And everyone lines up! It's all very civilised, compared to, say, New York or DC (and somewhat remarkable given that I saw people jumping queue all the time in other contexts). Except for the middle-aged ladies who were constantly shoving forward into the train without lining up.

William Chadwick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William Chadwick said...

I doubt that anything much will be done. All around me I see the @ssholes winning, and society running up the white flag. Whether it's noisy kids allowed to run wild by stupid parents; stinking bums in the library; Yuppies with their large mnega-pooping dogs using the rest of the world as their pet's toilet . . . civilization as we know it is in decline.

Robert Cook said...

"See...here is the deal. Unlike some...I suspect Cook is one... I have an actual basis of comparison between living in the urban versus rural areas."

Well, I was born in southern Indiana and I remember corn fields surrounding my elementary school, (as well as in many other areas of our locality). We moved to northern Florida, which may not have been wholly "rural," but it was certainly a slow, sleepy little town. I was 25 before I moved to NYC.

While there are certainly charms to rural or semi-rural areas, I will say that, after 36 years, I prefer NYC.

Robert Cook said...

"Although with Amazon Prime, shopping on line has been a blessing indeed. Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu etc who needs a theater?"

I prefer shopping in brick and mortar stores and seeing films at the theater. Watching movies at home on television is a second-rate experience, but I appreciate the option when none other is available. Similarly, shopping by mail-order is a convenience that I appreciate only when I cannot find and examine and purchase a product in store.

Balfegor said...

Re: Robert Cook:

Watching movies at home on television is a second-rate experience, but I appreciate the option when none other is available.

I would generally disagree on account of the uncomfortable seats at most movie theatres (and the occasionally sticky/popcorn-y floor) and the risk of getting a terrible viewing angle, but nowadays they have those theaters with the sofa-like assigned seating, which are wonderful. I don't know when they showed up in the US, but they elevate the theatre-going experience to a new level.

All that said, I mostly watch movies on the tiny little seatback screen on the airplane, so my standards are not high (haha).

Mary Beth said...

I think it should just be "NY Post", not "NYT Post".

RigelDog said...

Nope, he is, as we western Pennsylvania natives would say, "a Jag." Four seats, one of which is taken by his parcel when he has plenty of room on the floor, and no newspaper or bag under his feet. He could use only one seat and still sleep leaning against the window like everyone else does, or even sleep curled up with his legs on the seat next to him and only take 2 spots.

Kirk Parker said...

Balfegor,

"I have never owned a car, but it sounds ghastly."

Au contraire, owning a car--more to the point, having a car at your immediate disposal--is beautiful, freeing.

Even better, if you are like us and have an attached carport or garage, you can go from your house to your car w/o being exposed to bad weather, the very moment you are ready to travel, go exactly where you want, or as close as you can manage, in relative comfort with the music--or lack of music--you want, at the temperature you want, with the companions--or lack of companions--you want. And if car isn't completely convenient, it can still take you to the most convenient place; we frequently drive to the Tacoma Dome station if it's more convenient to take transit to Seattle or the airport (SeaTac.)

OF COURSE such convenience costs something, but in most places in the US it's worth the price. OTOH, if I lived in NYC or inner London or Boston or somewhere like that, I might not want a car either.




Q: How do you manage to get your groceries home?

A: I carry them.

Commentary: This (a near-daily trip to the grocery; how many grocery bags can you carry with you onto the bus/train?) goes hand-in-hand with smaller inner-city residences, no large pantries or separate full-size freezers, etc etc etc.

It also explains why there will be such a YUUUGE die-off in big cities in the event of an EMP or Carrington-sized natural disaster: no in-home storage of food/water of any significant size.




Robert Cook,

"rent a car, if that's an available option"

Sure, but do you have any idea how time-consuming that is? Compared with my marginal time to get into my car and head out, which is effectively zero seconds.

And no, regarding the further conversation: not everyone wants high-density. I have no problem with those who do, but an immense problem with those who want to force those of us who don't, to have no other choice.

And then you go and show your complete ignorance about the anti-car, pro-high-density, pro-forcing-high-density agenda of so many of the "elite" out west here. Let me tell you, when the revolution comes, people in WA state who worked for the DOT will be desparate to hide that fact...