We could scarcely contain our excitement when we saw the most recent New York City Transit statistics.
The J/M/Z, it seems, is the hot new line. It is the train of winners. This is what we have been saying.
We admit that the J train sounds a little bogus because of its close association with the definitely fictional Z (Z?) train. But do not be deterred! The trusty J will take you flying over the Williamsburg Bridge, offering a view that cannot be beat as it shuttles you from Lower East Side to Home. Also, in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, plucky heroine Francie boards the elevated train at Marcy Avenue–a stop on the J, where the tracks are elevated–making it an ideal venue for coming-of-age journeys. Score.
The J train is an ideal place to practice good subway manners, as encouraged by two recent art projects/public service campaigns. The first, “Subway Etiquette,” by Jason Shelowitz, consists of faux-M.T.A. signs banning activities like nail-clipping. The second, “Violation Report,” encourages the “real-life public shaming” of subway eaters and pole leaners and their unsavory ilk. We recently met the girlfriend of the guy behind “Violation Report.” She runs a vintage clothing shop just off the J train.
We generally preoccupy ourselves with concerns on this scale (irritating strangers, unpleasant smells); Maya Arulpragasam has other bones to pick. For example, this week MIA made a new NSFW video depicting a dystopian world of persecuted redheads. MTV called it “unflinchingly, unapologetically real.” The nudity and land mines in “Born Free” earned it a swift ban from YouTube.
Also at the intersection of “publicity stunt” and “thing people take seriously”: a peanut butter bacon hamburger. Novelty fast food went high end at Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack. The Upper West Side location announced it would test the new sandwich out last Saturday, and just as no one liked the Double Down but everyone talked about it, no one thought the Peanut Butter Bacon Burger was that great but many still stood in line.
And the floppy disk became a limited-time proposition this week. Sony announced it will stop making them within the next year. We don’t remember a time before floppy disks, so this gives us a much-needed opportunity to feel old.
We also feel old when we remember the Facebook of our youth, a Spartan site with no newsfeed and no photos and no differentiation between wall posts. Like a child, or the weather, Facebook never ceases to change and amaze. This week, Facebook took over the Internet, a development we accepted with total passivity, just like we always do. Shortly after Facebook revamped its privacy settings last December, we had an oddly compelling dream about making out with an aggressive Mark Zuckerberg. He knows we will just take this shit and end up liking it. We sigh.
Indeed, masochism comes in many forms. Our roommate, never one to pass up a harebrained scheme, has embarked upon a springtime Master Cleanse. We plan to avoid him for the period in which he is crabby and pooping all the time and resume camaraderie once he glows with newfound Beyoncé-type vitality. Good luck, friend! We will be seeing what’s up at Shake Shack.