Apr 23, 2017

Selfie in the Subway

West Fourth Street Station New York City
Roto-Scope Style Selfie at West Fourth Street Station, Manhattan
So. I was exploring the city the other day. I took off from the 45th Street Station in Brooklyn. It's my home station. The one I depart from most often. For the commute, for everything. It's my everything station. Lulz. And by the way, there are two entrances,  one on the west side of the avenue and the other on the east side.

Did you know the station is not deep? - in fact, it is like many subway stations in New York City built according to the cut-and-cover method of subway infrastructure building. It is crazy to think that construction on this segment of the subway system underneath Fourth Avenue started in 1906. It took a couple of decades to complete the final project but now - today! - you have a one-ticket ride from Bay Ridge in Brooklyn to Forest Hills in Queens.

On this particular excursion, I, a straphanger with a 30-day MetroCard, took the Sixth Avenue bound express train at 36th Street and ended up at West Fourth Street station in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan. Hence the selfie - notice the rotoscope-style photograph. I noticed Facebook added cool animation layovers to supplement the iPhone's camera function.

Hence - this filtered selfie shot makes me look way younger than I actually am.

Which made me reflect on modernity.

Not really.

But I did watch a disturbing video about youth and violence: Baby Shark. In one scene, kids lay about laconically without affect - all emotion washed away. The camera does not move. We hear the cacophony of a video game. One kid tries to break the monotony. He asks for oral sex. He's rebuffed - and the scene cuts to him staring listlessly at the television - but then he gets up and fatally smashes his friend's head with a skateboard. Has modernity really taken us this far where youth has been relegated to the use of violence as the only means to "be woke"? 

It reminds me of a quote from Flannery O'Connor - and I am paraphrasing - where she says the reason she includes violence in her short stories is that she realizes that violence is the most potent way to get people's attention.

In other news: I ate a colossal ham sandwich entitled "The Bomb" at a deli near Ditmars Boulevard in Queens.

If you squint, you can barely make out my wrinkles.

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