Postcard from New York: Superheroes in the Subway

One of the things I love about New York City is that you can walk as much as you want. If you’re late for where you’re going, you can always jump on a train. It’s usually faster than a taxi. If your destination is too far to walk for the amount of time you have, (figure a block a minute for uptown/downtown blocks) you can walk part of the way and take the subway the rest of the way. Who needs a gym? And the subway is fun. The people watching is out of this world.

When I moved to New York, I had a bicycle. That’s a whole other post to file under ‘reckless behavior’. For today I’ll just say that this bike saved me the 50¢ subway fare every time I went anywhere. Today, the same ride costs $2.75.  

In the past few years, the 4,5 and 6 subway trains on the Lexington Avenue line (East side) have developed a bad reputation, with the #5 distinguishing itself as one of the worst trains in the city for its mechanical breakdowns and delays. Sometimes the platforms for these East side trains are so crowded that you have to wait your turn as three or four trains fill up before you can even get on one.

The Union Square subway station at 14th Street and Broadway is busy and, from the looks of this video, dangerous (though I have to admit I’ve rarely felt the danger). It’s great to know we have back up patrolling the corridors …  but I felt just a little less safe when I noticed their tip box. Aren’t superheroes supposed to be above that kind of thing?

Go Big or Go Bust: On Learning the Importance of Play from Brené Brown and Settlers of Catan

Happy New Year! I hope you had as restorative a break as I did!  

If you're a regular here, you know all too well that my focus is always on work. But over this holiday it was anything but. I cooked up a storm (including not one but two pies, pumpkin and a fruit-sugar-only mince which even the chocolate fiends seemed to like) and I went as far away as Toronto. But the crowning highlight of my break was playing two rounds of the board game Settlers of Catan. Mr. Green remarked to our eldest (who’d given us this game aka 'Settlers' for Christmas) that he should be duly flattered as, in thirty-one years, Mr. Green had never once seen me play a board game. Damn straight he hadn’t. Me playing a board game? As if.

The game of Settlers is pretty complicated but the gift-giver so wanted us to want to play that he swallowed his considerable spirit of competition and coached us, all the while under-playing his own hand. And so, by the second game, I was winning. 

And oh boy do I like to win. With my modest accomplishments career-wise in a life devoted to work, being on top in this game was frankly at the level of what I’d call intoxicating. I was cackling, I was shrieking with delight. Naturally, unhinged as I was, I was also callous and merciless to my fellow players. 

Mr. Green leaned over and muttered to our child, his comrade in defeat: “You see what I have to live with? This is what she’s really like!” 

For reasons I don’t totally understand, this remark may well have been my highpoint of 2015.

I won't tell you the whole long boring story of how I *forgot my passport* and had to spend two and a half days solo *going to get it*. Let's pick up the story with me at the wheel, burning a diagonal from Toronto to NYC, listening on headphones to Brené Brown’s audio book The Gifts of Imperfection. (Mr. Green does not share my enthusiasm for self-improvement, hence the headphones.) Wasn't I surprised to have Brené confirm my recent experience with the board game! Everyone, including people who passionately love their work, benefits enormously from play. In fact play is actually as important as breathing. (something like that). ??? Seriously??? I’m determined to not forget this. 

Route something or other halfway between Toronto and New York City

Route something or other halfway between Toronto and New York City

And so 2016 is starting off on an exciting new foot.

Please check back Wednesday for the next installment and, if you want a special New Year's treat, click the Like button at the bottom. You'll have more fun than watching the ball drop at midnight in Times Square surrounded by a million people and a security alert. Tell me if I'm wrong.  \o/  

P.S. That is not a crazed version of 'LOL' or 'lol' there at the end. It's my homemade emoticon for a hug. I hug you. 

Go Big or Go Bust: Getting Ready for a Flurry of Activity (BONUS: hear Mr. Green learn from Matthew McConnaughey)

It's the season for hibernation ... but I'm going in the other direction - I'm coming back to life! After almost a year of thrashing around and trying to figure out the next step, I've got a plan

Here's a (2:00) clip to start the ball rolling.  More soon.   (Please click the 'Like' button and be instantly rewarded for your big heart.)

Go Big or Go Bust: Day 142 (on opportunities falling in your lap)

It's feeling like I'm in some kind of crazy dance with my life, a dance that I normally wouldn't have even been aware of.  Instead of scowling at the person who plopped down in one of the three subway seats I'd sort of figured were 'mine', I smiled at her.  She was pretty in a very unpretentious and open way and she even apologized for 'crowding me'. Before long we were talking and soon after that I sat down beside her so I could hear better and not have to shout. 

Remember when something falls into Louise's lap on the subway?  (ep 23)  Kind of happened to me today.

Remember when something falls into Louise's lap on the subway?  (ep 23)  Kind of happened to me today.

She'd gone to a 'Conversation' with Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer last night, the creators and stars of Broad City which, in case you don't know, is a hugely fun and funny show on Comedy Central but which started out as an East Village web series with a very small audience.  Ever curious, I popped the question: "Did they have some pearl of wisdom to share?"  According to my new friend, the gist of what they said was : "We kept taking the next logical step."

That's it. 

It sounds sort of like Victoria Trestrail's response to my plea the other day HOW DO YOU DO IT?  "One task at a time."

Combine Victoria's and the Broad City team's wisdom with Dr. Kumar's unforgettable: "It all comes down to luck and destiny" and hey, the pressure just evaporates. BOOM. 

PS Neither my new friend nor I had business cards on us but she told me her very unusual last name.  Funny thing she didn't mention that she's kind of a big deal. Crazy who you can meet on the subway if you don't have a sizable "I'm too busy" chip on your shoulder.