After catching an epic Phish concert at MSG on 12/29, I took the MetroNorth from Grand Central to meet my cousin to see Dark Star Orchestra at the famed Capitol Theater in Port Chester. I’ve never been to the Cap but have heard numerous tapes of legendary shows from this venue so I was looking forward to seeing it in person.
The concert did not disappoint, the sound was amazing and the band played some of the songs even better than when I heard them played by the Grateful Dead. (DSO played a setlist from 12/27/78 from San Diego)
The Capitol Theater is just a block or two away from the Port Chester train station but, after 11pm, the train only comes once/hour so a bunch of us were keeping our eye on our watch just to make sure I got out in time to catch the 12:15am train.
I stuck around to see what the encore would be and once I heard the open notes of US Blues, I figured it’s better to try and make the 12:15 rather than risk waiting around on a freezing platform for an hour so made my way outside and down to the station. Turns out I didn’t really miss the encore because you can hear it from the train platform!
Anyway, there were about 20 people on the platform that did the same thing as I and were waiting for the 12:15 train. There was an electronic sign on the platform but it only listed the 1:15am train, no 12:15. Amidst much murmuring, I took out my phone to check the MTA TrainTime app to settle the debate.
This is what I saw.
We all couldn’t believe it so others downloaded the app to check for sure and debates started to break out, do you believe the sign on the platform, do you think the app is just flaky or is something else wrong? Groups formed into the believers and non-believers. Tempers flared a bit and one guy from Austria suggested that I stop refreshing the screen and turn off my phone when it shows a 12:15am train because, maybe my app had the power to summon the train itself.
It came down to faith. Did you have faith in something you couldn’t see, classic epistemology, how do you know you know? One guy on the non-believer side was hedging his bets and noisily making alternative plans, asking his buddy with a car not to leave just in case the train didn’t show up. I joked with him for not believing and chastised him gently as a doubter and others joined me, “that’s right, you’re scaring the train away. . .” He gave us a look that said, “Yeah, whatever buddy, I don’t believe in that mumbo jumbo. I’m going to take care of me and my wife and get my ass home regardless.” He was firmly in the not believe category but when his wife leaned over to see if she could see the light of the train in the distance, he told her to get back away from the edge of the platform in case the train comes. “So you DO believe!” someone said and all of us had a laugh.
The the train did show up. Right on schedule at 12:15am and we all hopped on to the warm train and we sank into our seats. I rolled into Grand Central about an hour later at 1:15am and popped out the side to walk up 43rd to my apartment but not before stopping by for a slice of pizza where the friendly proprietor wished me Happy New Year and gave me a cola at the “Happy New Year price”
Satiated after two incredible nights of live music, I ambled home to a warm night’s slumber. Ready for a quiet New Year’s Eve, the way I like it.
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