May 18, 2006

Pontiac Garage

What is the Pontiac Garage? I don't know. Who is Christine Milian? I have no idea.

Yet, together they made walking through the Times Square area nearly impossible last night.

In a combined effort to promote both the club and Milian's new album, a free concert was staged that blocked up people traffic for blocks and blocks. Her music doesn't really sound too much different than anything else from the Beyonce genre. Add the hammering sound of thunk thunk base and you're got the kind of Times Square annoyance that seems to happen on a weekly basis.

It was so loud I could hear it underground. My destination as always was the subway station at 47th street and Broadway, underneath the concert and all the people crowding the sidewalks. I started my journey at the Al Hirschfeld theater at 45th and 8th where The Wedding Singer is currently playing (a generally lame ass musical surprisingly nominated for 5 Tonys).

I decided to walk east by way of 46th Street, avoiding 45th because of the enormous crowd that had gathered to see Julia Roberts exit the theater. Rumour was she was going to walk and breathe proving once and for all that she is human like the rest of us. Honestly, you'd think she was an alien sent here from another universe the way people crowd to see her. I know she's famous and all, but really folks. She's a beautiful person who acts for a living. She's not some aberrant freak of nature on display in a sideshow. Give her some space. Let her leave work in peace at the end of a hard day.

Anyway, I avoided the star struck crowds on 45th by walking up 46th. I was just walking past the back entrance of the Imperial Theater, squeezing through the post Dirty Rotten Scoundrels crowd, when I heard it - the thunk, thunk and people screaming in response. Up ahead the SW corner of 46th and Broadway was densely populated with stunned tourists and rowdy youths. I was instantly annoyed and I could feel my temper starting to rumble.

And thenmy temper exploded as I got closer to the street and realized a live concert was being given in Times Sqaure by some inconsiderate assholes. As I started to realize that I was walking into a living people trap I shouted "I HATE THIS CITY".

My elbows went up and I started bullying my way through the sleepwalking visitors from Florida, Connecticut, California, France, England and from wherever else visitors come to crowd our sidewalks and make our lives miserable.

I pushed and shoved and barrelled through the crowds and onlookers like a bullet through a Kevlar® vest. It was slow going. I didn't think I would make it to the subway when all of a sudden, right before the entrance, the crowd broke and I was able to get downstairs to the platform. I could still hear the music and at some point, the station started getting smokey. At first, I thought it was a fire. It took me a minute to figure out that dry ice was being used to make smoke for the performance.

Just as the platform was filling up with smoke, the N train pulled in and the conductor of that train looked a bit confused thinking what I had thought moments earlier - that the station was on fire. To make matters worse, the MTA was working on the tracks. Men with orange vests and orange flags were helping to control (or slow down) the train traffic. Our train was held in the station for 15 minutes after I got on. That was fun. Soooo much fun.

The drunk young woman next me started talking to me out of boredom. She noticed I was reading America: The Book pointing out to me unnecessarily that the book was sarcastic. I started telling her about the shannanigans above ground. She understood and explained to me that she moved out of Hell's Kitchen for just that reason. She was funny and she smelled like liquor. Normally, I don't speak to drunk people sitting next to me in the subway but I outweighed her by several hundred pounds so I thought if worse came to worse I could take her, so no worries there. I got home around 11:30 or so.

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