After working all day in New Jersey, I impulsively decided to leave the crew in the Bronx, where we were dropping off someone else, rather than come all the way home to Long Island. Instead, I took a 6 train into Manhattan, to catch the "Cowboy Bebop" movie, recently released in the US.
I arrived in SoHo, and killed the hour and change I had before the film by wandering around the shops for a bit. I went back to the Angelika, possibly the nicest indy movie theater in NYC, and caught the film, which any fan of "Cowboy Bebop" is sure to enjoy, but non-fans may have slight trouble following without a fan handy to explain a few things. And legendary phreak Captain Crunch gets a mention! I'll have to add this to my list of hacker movies for the next UPL issue.
After the flick, I was in the mood for a walk, so I walked up Broadway to Times Square. I stopped in McDonalds for a soda, and on a whim bought a bag of dollar menu stuff I didn't really want. I walked away with the bag, and found out why I bought it when a homeless person in a doorway asked me if I could help him out. So, he got himself a bag of McDonald's food. A few blocks later, I directed a scared foreign tourist to a subway station.
I managed to poke my head into the big Virgin Megastore about ten minutes before they closed, and grabbed a CD I've been meaning to grab for ages. VHS or Beta rocks! For those who haven't heard of them, they're a live band which attempts to sound like a DJ stringing together samples in a set. Definitely worth checking out.
I had bought a fun pass (an unlimited-ride Metrocard, valid 24 hours from when you buy it) rather than a normal card, so I figured I'd use it to take the one stop ride back down to Penn Station, rather than walk the six blocks. This was from more of a desire to make use of the card than to avoid the walk. So I strolled down to the blue line (A/C/E) platform in the Times Square Station, and as I descended the stairs, the A train was there, doors open. I started to run to catch it, but suddenly decided not to bother, since I could always get the next one. Five minutes or so later, the E train showed up, I boarded, but it didn't leave the station. A few minutes passed before the conductor made an announcement; "Due to a violent incident on the train in front of us, we are experiencing delays. We apologize for the inconvenience..."
That's why I didn't want to run to catch it, I guess.
Soon, they sent another A train across the platform for the passengers to switch over to. On that train, I started idly practicing my badly-done card-vanishing tricks with my unlimited Metrocard. At that point, another panhandler showed up. I offered him the unlimited card, and he smiled and accepted it.
I arrived at Penn, and walked toward the LIRR with my hands in my pockets. My left hand was playing with a golden dollar which had somehow ended up in a pocket I don't normally keep coins in. I passed by one more panhandler, and gave him the coin. Just then, I noticed that my train home was departing in a few minutes, and if I missed it I would have been stuck there for an extra two hours. So I ran to catch that.
On my way home from the train station, I encountered a stranger walking the opposite way. This was odd enough, since by this time it was three-something in the morning, and my town is usually dead by then. He complained that he had been walking around for two hours looking for a specific street, which was a few blocks away. After I pointed him in the right direction, he described his lousy evening, which apparently involved him making a pile of cash on a game of pool, and losing all his money in the rematches. A classic hustle to be sure, but this isn't something one is inclined to point out to strange, depressed men wandering around near one's own house at odd hours. I politely wished him good luck, and turned down the wrong street to avoid advertising where I live.
Music - VHS or Beta - "Le Funk"