Tag Archives: Randall DeVallance

The Commute, Part 8

5:10, Queens Plaza: You can feel your ears plug the moment the train passes under the East River. A sucking of air, as if we’ve passed through a wormhole into another dimension. In fact, the entire character of the train has changed–gone are the tourists (other than the aforementioned, unlucky Germans) and the panhandlers and […]

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The Commute, Part 7

5:05, Fifth Ave – 59th Street: “DBD?” I look up. An elderly, Chinese woman is leaning over in front of me, holding an array of DVD cases which she fans out like playing cards. “DBD?” she says again. There are a few big-budget movies from last summer (“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”, “Captain America: The […]

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Commute 6

The Commute, Part 6

5:00, 49th Street: A group of four girls in Fendi sunglasses and mini dresses who had just boarded at Times Square exit here. It occurs to me that the distance they had to walk – down the stairs at 42nd Street, through the cavernous, labyrinthine Times Square station, across the platform to wait for the […]

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The Commute, Part 5

4:53, 34th Street: Herald Square, possibly my least-favorite place in the entire city. Those snapshots you have in your head of New York City streets as being seas of people pressed shoulder to shoulder and stretching off into the distance for miles have their origins here. It is a shopper’s paradise, or nightmare, depending on […]

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Commute 4

The Commute, Part 4

4:49, 23th Street: A twenty-something man and woman, seated across the aisle from me, proceed to have the following conversation- Girl: Who was that guy that stopped by the bar last night? Guy: Who, Marco? Girl: The guy you were talking to when Kim and I were at the jukebox. Guy: Yeah, that was Marco. […]

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Union Square, NYC

The Commute: Part 3

4:44, 8th Street: Two young, black kids enter the train holding cardboard boxes. They’re a classic Mutt-and-Jeff pair, one tall and lanky, the other short and squat. I have trouble placing their ages, but it’s doubtful either one has reached high school yet. The tall one stays near me at the front of the car, […]

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The Commute, Part 1

4:31, City Hall: I get downstairs just as the uptown R train is pulling away. This is a scene that has repeated itself approximately seven hundred times since I moved to New York. Accordingly, I curse out loud as I swipe my metrocard and push through the turnstile onto the now-deserted platform. The 4:30 R […]

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Why New Yorkers Don’t Care

Cynicism, in ancient Greece, was a philosophy that valued Virtue above all else. It preached the necessity of living in accordance with Nature and the adoption of an ascetic lifestyle, shunning material desires like wealth, power or fame. The term “Cynic” derives from an Ancient Greek word meaning “dog-like”, referring to the Cynic’s propensity for […]

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R Train

Seen on the R Train

As the train screeched to a halt at the 46th Street station she looked out the window and smiled at me. That was disconcerting enough. Then the doors opened, and I stepped inside and found a seat. When I glanced over she was still looking at me, a wide, goofy grin plastered on her face. […]

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Greetings from the Monkey House

Three and a half years ago I made the move from Pittsburgh to New York City. My decision was made for the same reason almost everyone moves here – money. I did not come to New York dreaming of becoming a famous writer. I did not come to New York to soak up its culture […]

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