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November 06, 2002
honk, honk, honk

The 96th street bus is officially the slowest bus in New York City. The cross town bus, which runs, as the name says, mainly on 96th street, averages to a speed comparable to that of an out of town pedestrian. It is still worth taking the it, of course because it’s relatively zippy when it is time to cross the in darkness, rain or hurry and to get to the Metropolitan Museum from here, or just in general to where the old money lives, across the park. Otherwise, fuggedaboudid, 96th street in general might be one of the slowest moving streets in the city. The bus is just one of the large people carrying bugs that parade on it all day and all night long. There is a traffic jam on 96th and Broadway every weekday morning. It is not really a heart attack kind of jam, just some organizing and shuffling of metal in various sizes and colors, all is slow motion and all with honking around. There is no penalty bringing “grid” painted onto the asphalt here, so cars just try to wiggle their way through and to the other side and then get stuck and then the others going downtown try the same. So these are the bugs. And there are so many of them here because there is an entrance to the Highway just three blocks away and Broadway is ideal for Trucks and busses because of its eight lanes and the rare option in the city to go both ways. What makes this little pileup more fun to watch each morning are the other performers in the dance. The hundreds, maybe thousands of pedestrians each one with their own intelligence, so they say, trying to fit into the entrance of the 96th street Subway station, which happens to be just steps away from all the standing honking cars. It sometimes seems as if the cars were pebbles and the people were sand, both driven by some force, some invisible water, the tides? Today though they all seem like bugs that carry goods on beaten paths and then the tiny ants (New Yorkers dress in black), each one of them trying to get to their little underground kingdom, through this one green loophole called the subway entrance.
There is a tiny zoo in the South east corner of with such attractions like the depressive Ice bear. There is a special exhibition of a whole ant colony behind thick glass as well. Looks like the designers of the zoo really wanted to hold up kind of a mirror to New Yorkers. I still have to find out what they meant with the huge bird cage in the center of the zoo, but I think this one os not quite as tough of a riddle as it seems. Oh, look the traffic jam cleared. Oh no, it did not... here comes the bus.

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