Fed-Ex, Delivering More Than Packages

Anyone who rides public transportation knows the feeling – watching the glowing red tail lights of the bus or train as it rides away without you, missing it by a matter of seconds. The feeling of disappointment hurts almost as much as the cold wind that slaps you across the face.

This happened to me Thursday night, coming back from Harlem. Fortunately for me, a Fed-Ex driver named Derrick saw my misfortune and honking his horn, motioned me to the door. He unlocked it and asked if I was trying to make the bus.

“Yeah,” I said.
“Hop in. I know what it’s like to miss the bus,” he said.

Now I’m not normally one to be accepting rides from strangers, especially ones offering me candy or willing to drive me to soccer practice, but on this cold evening I made an exception. Dressed in a blue hoodie and with white earbuds dangling from his ears, he introduced himself as Derrick.

“Matt.”
“Hold on,” Derrick said punching the accelerator.

The engine roared and the truck raced up the hill to the next stop. Derrick pulled the truck to a halt and I hopped out, slamming the door behind me. I waved to Derrick, thanking him as he peeled off around the corner.

At this moment the M104 pulled up and I hopped on board. That night Fed-Ex was delivering more than just packages – they were delivering Huisman too.

Zen and the Insanity of Running

Yesterday I ran further than I can recall in recent memory. The last time I ran more than 20 miles was six years ago to the day when I finished the Motorola Marathon in Austin, Texas.

So I laced up my shoes and headed toward Central Park. I initially intended to run to a nearby borough – The Bronx or Queens, perhaps, but as I traversed the trees of the North Woods, I decided to detour south, cutting through to Columbus Circle.

” The Brooklyn Bridge,” I thought. “I’ll run across the Brooklyn Bridge.”

The cereal and granola bars in my stomach were getting tossed around with each step and I needed something to level the balance of food. A hot dog fit the bill perfectly. I dug two dollars out of my kangaroo pouch in my running tights in exchange for some red and yellow tube steak.

With zip in my step I started down Broadway again following the green path between traffic and the sidewalk. It was here that I noticed a bicyclist who was keeping pace with me quite well. We matched each other through Times Square but I lost him shortly after Herald Square. Oh well, I thought brushing him off.

I continued past the Flat Iron building, through Chinatown and finally reached a bridge. But to my dismay it was The Manhattan Bridge.

“Maybe I’ll just cross this one instead,” I thought. “No…I’m not quitting now.”

Finally I approached the Brooklyn Bridge as I weaved between photographers and tourists the massive cables ran overhead. The wooden planks that carry you across the East River provide a nice change from the hard concrete and asphalt of the city.

I am not familiar with most of Brooklyn so I knew that I would have to zen it. It’s a combination of a good sense of direction and wandering about aimlessly. I use this quite often.

I remember running down Flushing Avenue until I arrived at Metropolitan Avenue when I realized I was lost. A sign pointing east toward Long Island was a pretty good indication. I had intended to zen toward the northwest part of the island, when in fact I was running northeast. The good news about getting lost is that your ability to zen only improves. Continue reading “Zen and the Insanity of Running”

The Soft Pack Storms New York City

The San Diego native rockers are bringing their unique mix of punk and classic rock sounds to New York City starting this Friday. The band will by playing a free show at The Cake Shop for their cd released Tuesday. The show is open to all ages and best of all it’s free. The party kicks off Friday evening at midnight, but expect to wait in line for a couple of hours before.

Also on Friday at noon, tickets go on sale for their two shows. The first is on Thursday, April 1 at The Mercury Lounge. This is a 21+ show. The second show is Saturday, April 3 at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Both shows are $12 and should sell out quickly.

For those of you not familiar with The Soft Pack, here are two tracks that are sure to please. The first is their single off their self-titled album. The second is a eerie cover of Phoenix’s Fences. The haunting vocals and muffled sound make it sound reminiscent of early recordings by The Rolling Stones.

Answer to Yourself

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Fences (Phoenix Cover)

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Still want more? Then stream their new album for free online.