Tag Archives: Manhattan

Larry From The South

Mulberry Street

November 28, 2008

Greyhound Corporate Headquarters

350 N Saint Paul St # 300

Dallas, TX 75201

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Dear Sir or Madam,

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If ever there was a time for a strongly worded letter to the management, it was not when the traffic on the turnpike crawled more like a sloth, or even like a well-trained poodle, than a racing dog.  For holiday congestion is reasonably beyond the control of the most respectable transportation institutions.

And the driver’s unscheduled stops by the side of the road, either for directions or a discreet moment of relief behind a tree, are surely understandable to the traveler from Manhattan, who has already braved sidewalk crowds and the spaghetti-bowl of a subway system and the labyrinthine Port Authority Bus Terminal, which is like the Metropolitan Opera House in some ways–not because of the gracefully aging architecture, the lofty arias, not even the red velvet and crystal, but because both can hold a goodly number of saintly souls whose virtue of patience is outshone only by their inner sanctum of tranquility.

And who could not slip into another’s shoes when the bus driver, a certain Larry Pendleton, driving bus 6200 and being “from the South,” announced he missed the exit and would have to circle back over the bridge–could we help him not miss the exit next time?

Indeed, it would be a thin-lipped crowd–a cranky coterie–which, being so close to Ben Franklin’s town–spitting distance some might say–would not relish the opportunity to take in the lights of Center City for a second time from high on the bridge.

And if a person can claim to have lived a full life without ever being lost on the streets of Camden at night, then please step forward.

For it was there, after asking his passengers for directions, that Larry From The South marched down the aisle to my very row and presented my seatmate with the kind invitation of being deposited on the dark sidewalk of Camden if she were to make one more remark that some consider less than polite.

And it was then that I learned, in such a short time, the sundry Spanish expressions that add a splash of color to circumstances such as these.

So I offer exuberant praise and thanks, dear Sir or Madam, for enriching my travels this Thanksgiving.  I continue to have nothing but the highest regard for the service your company provides.  And this journey remains lodged in my memory, as a bullet becomes lodged in the rib, as a reminder of the excellence one can expect on the Greyhound bus route from Manhattan to Philadelphia, for only twenty-four dollars, round-trip.

~

Thankfully yours,

Jonathan

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Filed under Irony, Traveling

A new Mulberry feature

Saturday finds me realizing this has been a week comprising mainly two things: work and opera.  In a first for me, I made two trips to Lincoln Center this week to enjoy complimentary tickets to the Metropolitan Opera.  I’ve come to the realization that if I don’t plan to live in New York City forever, I should take advantage of things the city offers, and one of those things is a world-class opera house.  And when the tickets are free–courtesy of my roommate Jordan–that much the better.

 Learning to enjoy the opera more has been a side-benefit of living in Manhattan.  Having strongly favored orchestral music in the past, playing in the pit in a few operas in college helped me to appreciate the genre a bit more, but it wasn’t until I moved here and made friends with several vocalists that the world began to open up to me.  That being said, I hope never to become that sort of freakish opera buff I overheard in Patelson’s the other week.  The kind that says things like, “Bartoli is to mezzo as Pavarotti is to tenor.  That woman is a machine, but a machine with feeling.”  Or, “The Zeffirelli production is creative, but it lacks the raw power and nuance of the staging I saw in the 70s.”

In between the opera, I’ve been working on the Labor and Delivery floor, placing epidurals for labor and doing anesthesia for cesarian sections.  This is my third call in a six-day period.  When I don’t get home before midnight from the opera, needless to say it’s been a tiring week.

The shows this week included Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Verdi’s La Traviata.  Good, solid Italian opera.  Given that I have a few remarks for each, and given that I’d like to avoid a monstrously long post, I think I’ll post retroactively on each of those.

The new feature the title of this post alludes to is the tab at the top in which I offer a short review of the various cultural experiences I take in.  A bit indulgent and supercilious, I know, but the obsessive-compulsive part of me likes to make lists.

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Filed under Around town, Music