Saturday -- when I was a touch later filing my entry than usual -- I was out of the area for good reason; my mother invited me to attend an actual Broadway musical with her and with a party of her various rowdy college friends, including the aunt and uncle I visited a couple weeks ago. Mom figured we should make a whole day of it, and find something like the Metropolitan Museum of Art to go to in Manhattan, and after rejecting all the places I looked up we decided to go to the Met. I probably should have just suggested that to begin with.
So after she drove into town and we discovered that we couldn't find the parking garage Mom planned to go to, nor the one we saw signs for, we ended up taking something along sixth avenue and trying to navigate four or five avenues east and about forty blocks up. Since it was a nice day we did most of the east-west navigation by plain old walking, a pleasure in a nicely packed city, even if we were surrounded by the constant ``chung-chungs!'' of Law and Order episodes starting in the background. For the north-south part, though, we just took the subway, once the Metrocard system stopped reporting errors for everyone at our little kiosk of vending machines. It turns out I'm spoiled by the Singapore subway system gates, which open in front of you; I stood looking at the turnstile for several seconds, during which time detectives Munch and Stabler arrived in the background, before I remembered this wasn't automatic. Mom sent me to check the subway system map, on the train, although I didn't know exactly what to look for. Since I couldn't get past one guy who was standing in exactly the right spot to make it impossible to approach the map that all balanced out anyway.
Back from the museum we took a bus, which didn't actually take us where we needed to go but did get us closer. It turns out we got a funny bus driver, who for example thanked the people who got on at the Met and said this was an express bus, with the next stop in Miami. (Hey, you be funny about bus stops.) He also gave surprisingly many comments about the bus's position, next destination, the current time, weather conditions, how grateful the company was for our patronage, and so on. We didn't take any other buses, so I don't know how much of this is on the standard checklist for announcements and how much is that if you give some people a microphone they'll go wild.
Trivia: Gene Kelly initially contacted Walt Disney to do the animated segments for his MGM musical Anchors Aweigh, ultimately starring Jerry Mouse. Source: Of Mice and Magic, Leonard Maltin.
Currently Reading: The Care and Feeding of Ideas, Bill Backer.