A bold choice, perhaps more believable at the Costume Institute Gala than in Rego Park; nonetheless, you have to respect a woman who has the courage to rock a bright-red turban.

I keep trying to “find” Long Island City, but unlike most NYC neighborhoods, it doesn’t suffice to just jump off at the nearest subway stop and roam. Or it does, but what you find is not what you expect to find. That is, instead of hipsters, I took in sights of gritty urbanity on a two-mile urban hike through LIC’s industrial stretch, from the Hunter’s Point 7 stop to the Socrates Sculpture Park, far down the vast stretch of Vernon Boulevard.

Which is not to say my meandering was entirely unenjoyable. In addition to documenting a lot of excellent graffiti, I happened upon the Taxi Depot, which, among other things, supplies olde tyme cabs (as in the picture above) to the film industry. If not for the van parked in front of it, the cab would have transported me back in time, I think.

I’ve seen some strange graffiti lately at my normal subway stop (V train represent!). It’s fairly juvenile, but it’s also somewhat disturbing, in what it may or may not expose about this community’s feelings about race, etc.

Above, a display ad for Sundance, with tagging in bold black hand that reads “Al Qaeda = a group of Muslims fooled into providing Bush, & those he works for, with an excuse to carry on the Prs [?].” Below, an ad for Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker, tagged with “Uhm … let’s see … (1) Black guy, one-black girl … uhm … tough-one. Blacks together … (2) girls gay … everybody happy !!”

Interpretations? Juvenilia, or indication of some greater unrest?

I.

You underestimate me. Because I am young, closer to your daughter’s or son’s age than your own. Because I am a woman, because I have soft fleshy thighs and sleek hair and I wear little silver earrings in the shape of birds, which my husband gave me on my birthday, a time to take flight. Because I’m successful, and you don’t see why I should be. Because I’m agreeable, because I write e-mails that make my friends in accounting turn to their dictionaries, because sometimes I let you chalk up small victories so that I don’t to navigate the uncomfortable terrain that would come with making you feel slighted.

I am 24. I can’t even claim to have reached the year of the quarter-life crisis; I radiate a sheen of youth, I wear high heels on the subway, and I shyly drop my head when we’re all in the elevator together because I never developed a facility for small talk. I do small work — I fixate, dissect sentences in my head, thumb madly through reference books to find clear extrapolations of arcane rules of splitting infinitives — but I am unhinged, trying to apply the same rigorous logic to our sprawling, messy lives.

I can’t tell if I’m mature or immature. I don’t want to get involved in office politics. I don’t want to think that things as petty as age can divide us. The only time I ever feel real any more is staring out to sea, or listening to ambient fuzz while studying faces on the subway, back and forth, back and forth, bodies pressing together without emitting sparks.

The seventh annual No Pants! Subway Ride (put on…err…pulled off?…by Improv Everywhere) is this weekend in NYC. Part performance art, part crazy stunt, and all without pants, it’s going down on the 6 train on Saturday between 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Salient details?

REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATION

1) Willing to take pants off on subway
2) Able to keep a straight face about it

**THIS IS A PARTICIPATORY EVENT. DO NOT SHOW UP UNLESS YOU PLAN TO TAKE YOUR PANTS OFF. THIS INCLUDES NEWS MEDIA**

DETAILS

When: Saturday, January 12 at 3:00 PM, Sharp! (Over by around 5:30)
Where: Meet at Foley Square at the black sculpture/fountain. It’s near the Brooklyn Bridge 6 train stop, between Centre and Lafayette, just north of Duane. (Google Map)
Bring: A backpack and a metro card.
Do not bring: A camera (don’t worry we are taking pictures)
Wear: Normal winter clothes (hat, gloves, etc)

They can hike our fares, but they can never make us hike our pants!