W4D2 …and now you know the rest of the story.

OK, please tell me you didn’t think the story from Sunday was over when I went to the museum. People, I have to milk this thing! It’s not that stuff hasn’t happened since Sunday, it’s just that, well, it hasn’t come together into some kind of cohesive whole, yet.

You’re probably thinking, “He’s gonna write about the mani/pedi now.” Nope. It was remarkably unremarkable. I did watch more NASCAR than I’ve seen in a long time. Do they alway kiss the track before a race, or is that only some teams? There was quite a montage of that. Also, the pit crews are damn fast. Wow.

I left the salon, and headed uptown to go to the farmers market, which was located just outside of Columbia University. It was scheduled to be 2 blocks long, like the 79th street market I went to a week or two ago. Plus, it was rate five(!) stars on Google (only 4 votes though). I was pumped! I got there about ten after four, which should’ve been OK, since the market is listed as taking place from 8am to 5pm. Plenty of time. Imagine my chagrin when I got there, and many of the booths were packing up (to be fair, 9 hours is a long day). More than half the booths were already gone. I quickly purchased some potatoes (patriotic red, white and blue), grape tomatoes and a couple of zucchini. Eventually, these were part of a delicious dinner, but I digress.

I decided to head home. Only one problem: the 1 train, which literally passes under the farmers market, was only running up to 137th. I knew that both the A train and the 1 train stop at 125th. I also knew that I was only a few blocks away from the Hudson River (to the west of me), and that I boarded the A train up at 207th to the west of the the 1 line. I figured, all I needed to do was walk a few blocks west, and I could pick up an A train headed home. I googled it, and Google said 18 minutes of walking to 125th.

Bathrooms are really hard to find in New York, though I think there’s an app for that. Before I started out, knowing that it would be almost an hour before I got home, I decided to look for a bathroom. I will say that I am willing to become a customer of a place in order to use the bathroom. Seems fair, although I realize that’s a privileged position on my part. Many people can’t afford to become customers, and businesses don’t want to become public restrooms. Tough call there.

First stop in the bathroom search – Columbia University Book Store. I can become a bookstore customer easily. I didn’t, because they had no bathroom. So I headed up Broadway toward 125th, hoping to find a restaurant or something with a restroom. No luck.

I did, however, overtake a man walking in the same direction as I was as I neared the 125th Street 1 line station. This wasn’t too great a feat, since the man was rather older than I am and was walking hunched over, pushing a kick scooter. You may be thinking, as you picture this in your head that he was hunched over because he was leaning on the scooter. Let me provide a few more details to clarify things. The man was wearing dark jeans that looked unwashed – they get this kind of brownish color and look permanently damp. He had on a dark blue pullover sweater with a brown button down shirt underneath. His hair was dark and wavy with a few grey strands, and his skin was deeply tanned and wrinkled. There was a large white cockatoo with a white screw-on type bottle cap in its mouth perched on his shoulder. Oh, did I forget to mention that? I think that may have been why he was hunched over. He spoke incessantly to the bird, and gently scolded it when it dropped the bottle cap to the sidewalk. It seemed as though the bird had dropped it several times, and this was the last straw, because the man looked at the bottle cap and said “You broke it.” (There was a chunk out of the side of it, which goes to show how strong their beaks are – I couldn’t have replicated the damage to the cap with a pair of pliers.) He continued to walk along, talking to the bird, reaching up and trying to extract the small bit of plastic from the bird’s beak.
I got to the 125th street 1 train station, and looked off to the west to see if I could find the A line station. There’s a clear view down to the Hudson at that vantage point, but no sign of the A line. Back to Google. The A line station at 125th is several blocks (and about 10 minutes walking) to the east of the A line. Who knew it passed under the 1 line?

I walked down 125th, rather than taking the bus, because I was still looking for a restroom. Traveller tip: No restrooms on 125th.

When I finally got to the station, I had to wait for a while for the train, so I started a conversations with the person standing next to me. She was wearing a grownyc.org T-shirt, carrying a ton of produce and some fresh flowers, so I asked her what market she had been to. It turns out that she is the manager of the Columbia market I was just at. The produce was a perc of the job – she gets the stuff vendors don’t want to take back with them. She also told me that some of the vendors start packing up as early as 3pm. Duly noted.

Eventually, I made it home, but not until after helping out a woman at the 207th Street station. She was the mom of four children under five years old, one of whom was still in a stroller. When I first spied her, she was climbing a set of stairs with a toddler in one hand, the stroller hoisted on her opposite hip, somehow corralling the other two kids with just her voice, and doing all this in high heels. Typical mom, right? She was not familiar with the station or the free shuttle replacing the 1 line. When she saw the number of stairs we had to climb to get out of the station, she agreed to let me lift the stroller. We just missed a shuttle, and had to wait a while for the next one. When it came, it stopped at an intersection about half a block away from us. I was determined that she was not going to miss that bus, so I stood in front of it until she got on. I did eventually to the bathroom when I got home.

I apologize for grammar and typos in this post. I just got an email that a teacher is out sick today, so I’m going to go help out in that room, so I am not going to have time to reread this before I post. Cavil as you will. *winky face*

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