I am very happy that seven years ago, the MTA introduced “hybrid” buses that are not as environmentally rude as the old-style buses, but I am not happy that the buses still look like the transportation equivalent of a comfort shoe. Why oh why must they be so completely utilitarian, devoid of charm and adornment, like a Birkenstock sandal?
I suppose utilitarianism has its place somewhere in this big fancy world of ours, but I am not its biggest proponent. I am, however, frivolity’s fan. Would it be so much for the MTA to add a touch of Art Nouveau ornamentation to the boxy edges of the hybrid buses or to upholster the seats in plush violet velvet with golden tassels instead of the standard middle-of-the-road medium-dark blue low-pile fuzz now in existence?
Alas, I still ride the bus, despite its lack of aesthetic appeal, but when I do so, I take care to make the experience as elegant as possible. It is thus imperative that I sit in the elevated section at the back, so when I look out the window, I am not eye-level with pedestrians. After all, I am royalty (here is where you nudge each other and call me a “JAP”, and I pretend to be offended and then talk and laugh extra-Fran Drescher-y, because that never ceases to be funny), and must be able to look down on them, both figuratively and literally. And only from the elevated perch can I feel like I am being transported via palanquin, carried on the weary shoulders of dusty peasants.