Monthly Archives: December 2013

Snow allows me breathe / 心のヒマ

雪降りて 閑のとまりし メトロかな
Train easily stops or delays in this town, especially a day with such a weather. Today NY had the third snow this winter. These days I’m packed with many final papers, presentations and exams for the semester end (and for graduation), and my research and writing works, and I’m gradually losing a room to breathe. It was also the case for today’s morning. I rushed out my home in Brooklyn, and got on the train. But, as expected, train never starts, because of snow. I and other passengers waited for more than 10 minutes, and finally changed a train from R to F line. First I felt worried to be late to the class (it takes more than an hour from Park Slope in Brooklyn to my campus at Washington Heights in Upper West Manhattan), but soon I found my mind changed. Who in the world has to be in hurry in so much in life? What is so much important? I decided, to just enjoy this train trouble, and let it go slowly. I open a book of a my favorite writer’s novel and poem and enjoyed it for a while, and when a dance performance on the train by a group of boys suddenly started, I closed the book, without feeling irritated, and just enjoyed their dance (it was good than I expected).



雪降りて 閑のとまりし メトロかな


Close to the year end / 思い出す間もなく

8th December, Sunday, 2013

As early as November, NYC had already been filled with Christmas illumination, but now December, after Thanksgiving holidays, it is the season at last. M&Ms chocolate sold with a christmas package, L’Occitane and Sabon feature christmas special gift sets (soap, oil, perfume etc.) Performers at train, platform, and street play seasonal set lists. In the afternoon today, I met a group of four middle aged guys on a Manhattan bound R train. They sang a christmas song, which I must have heard before but don’t know the name of. They had a paper bag colored with red and green, I mean christmas color, to gather tips. I felt happy to know such a tiny, but seasonal work. Every time what impress me is such train performers clearly know the time from station to station. So they start singing a song at some point between the two stations so they can timely end the one when we get to the next station. Today was also the case, and ah, genius! they got off the train and immediately rode on the next car of the same train!
While I’m lining for the skating rink at the Rockefeller Plaza with her, suddenly people cheered out. I looked the rink and found a man gave an engage ring to his girlfriend, and made the marriage proposal. Everyone and I cheered and crapped hands loudly, and the chilly ring was filled with a full of joy. こういう公開プロポーズの類は、日本でもyou tubeの動画などで話題になり、また実際実行に移す人もちらほらいるのだろうが、どうなのだろう、公開プロポーズをその場に居合わせた人々が即座にかつ自然に受け入れ賞賛するだけの文化的素地というか、空気がこの街にはあり、実際周りの我々もハッピーな気分になるのだが、日本で実行に移すとなると少しズレがあるように思う。居酒屋でのサプライズ暗転&バースデーソング&ケーキのコンボはもはや定番となっており店員のテンションとアルコールも手伝って別に抵抗はないのだが、プロポーズとなると我々大和民族が実施するにはどこか気恥ずかしさやぎこちなさが伴うのではなかろうか。リップダブプロポーズなどは一時期ソーシャルメディアでも話題になっていて、どちらかというと男性が「こういうのやりたい!」とポジティブな反応をしていたのに対し、女性の反応は半々であった印象がある。「私もこういうプロポーズしてもらいたい…!」と感動している子もいれば「まじそういう男の自己満みたいなプロポーズ無理…」みたいなこと言ってる子もいた。男性諸氏は要注意であろう。

When I was waiting for an F train back to my home, I looked a different train car from usual one the other side of the platform. A man standing next to me said to his friend, “that is an original train, only this time every year running.” When I’m back home, I googled “MTA special train” and found it here. The Vintage train runs on the M line, every Sunday, November 25 to December 30. The classic style train matched well with dim lights and dirty railways of MTA.