In the 4th floor studio building while you’re eating lunch that’s been graciously provided to you by your workplace, you can see directly across the street and into Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. You spend two lunchtimes gazing across the way. There is an enormous circular windowed area that juts out over 42nd Street and looks to have been designed circa…1997?
[Ok — I paused to look up when the place was built. 2000. Not far off.]
Inside this half-circle is an exact replica of a New York City subway train, curved as if it’s taking the big turn at 7th Ave. There are subway ads, pretend window views, the orange and beige seats, the silver stainless handles. People walk through this space and pose for selfies, seated on the fake seats, legs swinging, while the real 1, 2, 3, 7, A, E, N, and Q trains rumble three stories down, under the ground beneath. Why pretend? you might say aloud, The real thing is just underneath it all!
I’ll bet it costs more to sit in that air-conditioned sham of a subway. I’ll bet it costs…$50.
[Ok — I paused to look up the ticket price for Madame Tussauds. It’s actually $36.99 which does not include entry to MARVEL Universe 4D and the Coney Island Carnival Carnage 7D shooting game. That brings the total to $50.99.]
I got the feeling today that I was nothing, that I have maybe never been anything really, and why is there a place like Times Square?
Not a bad feeling, just a bit akimbo.
For two days this week, I got to spend my precious time working, laughing, and thinking with people I love and respect. Something in here about the friends you keep reflect yourself back to you. I heard it on a wonderful podcast and it stuck. So many other things did too.
On my way to the Q train, a young man, kneeling and crying face but no sound coming out. Two police officers, 40 feet away, look on, one with one leg bent up under him propping up his lean against the wall. Across from the distressed person, another person stands facing him, hands on hips, a Century 21 shopping bag on the ground. No one’s doing anything. It’s like they’re stuck.