I ride the New Jersey PATH trains into Manhattan most weekdays. If you aren’t familiar with New York, I can summarize by saying that it’s basically the “New Jersey subway.” It connects three of the big Jersey cities – Hoboken, Newark and Jersey City – to midtown and lower Manhattan. A lot of commuters will drive to the station, park and take the train from there rather than ride into the city (I take a bus). It’s slightly cheaper than the New York subway and (in my opinion) better maintained.
The first stop in Manhattan is the Christopher Street station, in Greenwich Village. Christopher Street and the immediate area is a charming little bit of Manhattan that summons up images (unfortunately) of Courtney Cox living in a multi-million dollar apartment on an unemployed cook’s earnings. It’s a nice little area, but not a big center for business – it’s more of a shop-and-restaurant kind of area. One of my favorite restaurants, Alfama, is nearby.
I never get off at Christopher Street during the work week. I only exit there if Bubelah and I are going to dinner in the Village, which we haven’t done recently. But during the work week there’s an odd little scene that goes on during the morning commute. Two guys who appear to be station workers – I never really see their badges, but they have the general PATH worker getup – stand near the station exit. And they yell. A lot.
The funny thing is that they yell really funny, encouraging things to people. “Looking great!” “Go get ‘em, tiger!” “You are the man!” are mixed with cheery waves, high fives and big grins. These two guys look like they might’ve just finished the evening shift and just decided to hang around to cheer people up.
It’s a fun little scene to watch. I get a smile from it every day. And the good lesson is that I hope if someone asks those guys “What do you do?” when meeting them for the first time, they don’t say “I work for the PATH.” I hope they say “I make people happy.” It’s nice to see good people doing good things for nothing except the sake of doing good things.