This is a city without an inferiority complex.
The Europeans, they all want to go to the Jersey Shore because they’ve seen Jersey Shore. They’re all into that culture and they look like Vegas guidos, except they’re from Spain and Italy and they’re always the most hair-gelled, craziest-looking people. I just say it’s two-and-a-half hours away, rent a car and drive if you really want to go. I’m like do you think you’re going to go down there and get laid by the Situation? It’s not going to happen. You would think someone could make a lot of money running shuttles down to the Shore. No one that I know of has actually gone. I always manage to convince them to go to Long Beach [on Long Island]. There are girls whose dreams have been crushed when I tell them they can’t go to the Jersey Shore. I haven’t seen tears but girls have been very upse
The romance is gone between the El and me. In the five years that I’ve been taking it, I’ve seen it at its worst: broken down, smoking, covered in urine. I place my trust in it daily, and while it usually comes through, every now and then it leaves me abandoned on an outside platform in the winter without so much as an apology. It’s my constant companion, but sometimes, the closeness is suffocating. Especially during rush hour.
But it does its best, you know? It’s slow, but it’s steady. It’s got a good view at sunset, and no shortage of entertaining weirdos that ride it. And at the end of the night, it’s still the one taking me home.
(via Reviews of Public Transportation | The Billfold)
In Focus: Monsoon Rain Floods Manila
The capital city of the Philippines has been drenched by heavy, deadly rainfall for 11 days now, beginning with the arrival of Typhoon Saola last week, leading to mudslides and extensive flooding. About 60 percent of Manila is currently flooded, and authorities are reporting 72 deaths so far. Nearly 850,000 remain stranded or displaced, as residents wait for a break in the downpour, predicted to begin on Thursday.
See more. [Images: Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images, Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images, AP Photo/Aaron Favila, Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images]
It was 4:20 a.m. by the time my train limped in to the Buffalo-Depew station, more than four hours late — too late for the Border Patrol, it appeared. But by 9 a.m., when a train on the return journey pulled into the same station, half a dozen men in green uniforms with pistols on their hips strode down the platform toward me and a family that included two women wearing saris.
An agent with a shaved head and sunglasses stopped beside me. “Are you a U.S. citizen?” he asked.
“I don’t want to answer that question,” I replied.
“Fine,” he said, and promptly turned to the family — two children, their parents and grandmother.
Unlike me, a white woman in jeans who had spoken American English with no accent, they looked and sounded like immigrants. If they said they were citizens, would they be asked for identification? If they refused to answer, as I had, would the agent just move on? Or, as upstate immigration lawyers maintained, would the agent take their silence as a justification for further inquiry?
I would never know, because the father readily replied that they were all legal permanent residents of the United States from India. He handed over all their Indian passports as soon as the agent asked for them.
My problem with that particular circumstance was, why was it that this couple apparently seemed to think that their preference as a couple to sit together outranked this single person’s preference?” he asked.
Pay no attention to those bow-tied etiquette experts you sometimes see on CNN International, telling you how to behave while in Britain. These people are generally of dubious provenance, normally live in California and tend to peddle advice that is either irrelevant or out of date. For example, they will often say that Britons love queuing and are so fond of apologising that they will often say “sorry” even when something isn’t their fault. In reality, Britons are just as likely to jump to the front of a queue and then punch the person behind them for coughing. It all depends on how muggy it is.
As I slid onto a stool, from which I would order a glass of Gosset Grand Blanc de Blanc, a dark-haired stranger turned to me.
“I love your dress,” he said.
Was it a come-on? Or just another friendly comment?
In Chicago, you never know.
Single in Chicago
(also props to the NYT for being less “oh isn’t Chicago so quaint?” than usual)