Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Month Three

The least eventful, so far, of the months, which means I'm getting into the groove. I've come a pretty long way from the guy who drove down the wrong way of one way streets to the guy who can now navigate Queens like a pro. I once got called in to work on an emergency situation and when I got there, my GM said, "Wow, you are faster than Ghostbusters!"

I owe it all to lots of walking and mass transit, which has given me a sense of where things are, so even if I get lost I just have to find one key road and I'm back on track. And driving, well, you just gotta be the aggressor.

I went to another Mets game, watched the Phillies beat them 5-3, and saw Chase Utley's 35-game hitting streak come to an end. El Duque got called for two balks, one forcing in a run, and he looked completely bewildered. It was not that exciting a game, but it was fun listening to the Mets faithful chant "M-V-P!" whenever Carlos Beltran came to bat. And seeing lots of fans get kicked out for drinking alcohol in the non-alcoholic sections. And getting free hot dogs that the vendors couldn't sell by the end of the ninth inning. And it's strange watching former Brave Tom Glavine on the big screen inviting people to experience Queens.

Before I came up here, one area I was told to avoid was Jamaica, Queens, which is 2 miles south of where I live. I'm one of those people who just has to know. I've been there a few times, and I can see where the average white person could feel uncomfortable--it's mostly black, Hispanic, Indian. But I've walked through the area, and never really felt unsafe. Now, it could be that at night the place gets out of control (I have driven through there once at night with no danger), but really, all it seems like to me is a place where white people don't usually go. And funny that it works out that way since Jamaica is home to a great many starting/ending points for subways, buses, and the Long Island Railroad. It has a ton of places to shop and eat. Jamaica does pop up in the news now and then. South Jamaica is where 50 Cent came from--now, I've never been there and have no reason to go, but perhaps this is the "Jamaica" everyone refers to when talking about places to avoid.

Characters. There are many characters. It seems like every time I go to the Applebee's here in Fresh Meadows, I sit at the bar and there's some older guy who talks to everyone. One guy started talking baseball to another older guy who had a Boston Red Sox cap on. I heard this exchange: "So, you root for the Yankees all year except for when they play Boston?" and the Boston guy said, "Yeah." Then the other guy asked the Boston guy, "Who's the best player you ever saw?" Boston guy said, "Ted Williams." Other guy said, "No. No. Joe DiMaggio," as if the question considered pure fact. At some point he started to talking to me and he mentioned that his heart was broken when Bill Mazeroski hit the Game 7 HR in the 1960 World Series. Eventually, I mentioned I was a Braves fan and mentioned that Jim Leyritz' home run in the 1996 World Series broke mine.

Comical exchange on a bus: Black girl says to another black girl, paraphrasing the Kelis song of a couple years ago, "My stuff is better than yours." There's a guy sitting between them, and the Kelis girl says something like, "When I give it to him, it's always fresh." There's all sorts of innuendoes flying about, and the guy in the middle says, "I feel like I'm on 'Room Raiders' right now."

Black girl wearing a T-shirt: "I like to f_ck, all that's missing is U!"

That's all that's fit to print at the moment, until next month.


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