Sunday, August 07, 2011

Salvadore Dali, where are you?

I had a very unusual day today. Was awakened by a phone call about 5 am to go to work, I wasn't expecting to work until late in the afternoon. My life is full of these surprises.
Atlantic City here I come. To run a train from Atlantic city to New York. I travelled over 500 miles today on the ground. My Prius claims it got over 60 MPG. Locomotives are very energy efficient. I was happy to have a green day.
Atlantic City is very alluring, blue skies with white and pristine buildings as you approach it during the day, red accents and sleek towers by night. It wants your money, so the seedier side is not so apparent at first glance.
New York slaps you in the face and says, “WAKE up baby, you're here! Pay attention!”  Contrary to what you have heard Penn Station is the epicenter of New York, not Times Square. You will see everyone there, from the homeless, to the rich and famous, as well as tourists from around the world. Yes, it's true. I met Bill Cosby once, he was taking the train to Princeton. Places like Times Square are for tourists and the natives avoid going there unless they are going to a show. The area around Penn Station has retained a sense of the the real dirty world we live in, it's not all glitz and glitter. The Empire State building looms in the East, the neoclassic Farley Post office squats to the west, the skyline a jumble of new and old boxes and towers. Taxis and buses and crowds, oh my!
I had decided on Chinese food for lunch. The Chinese food in New York is probably the best anywhere, except of course for China. I walked a few blocks to order my lunch. There were a few people of questionable gender in the plain restaraunt, a scene I had not expected at lunchtime. My lunch was made quickly and I returned to the station and employee “lounge” to eat.
Back on the road, or rather the rails to return to Atlantic City.
I was thrilled to stop at my favorite place to a quick dinner before I went home. Many tan bodies and gold jewelry, happy families with children enjoying a relaxing meal. What a contrast between the Jersey scene and New York, New York.
I'm reeling just a bit, Dali would have loved it!