The 6:58 a.m. train from Jamaica, Queens to Hewlett, Long Island...

There is actually a sign near the Jamaica train station (Sutphin Blvd. and Archer Ave.) that reads "Jamaica Industrial Zone". The sign is surrounded by tens of ramshackle, uninhabited grey buildings, probably warehouses. Also, an outdoor plant at which a machine can be seen churning some sort of slag. Incidentally, the plant is not visible from the street. As such, it is visible from the train track.

Within a radius of a few blocks there is a livestock market- possibly a vibrant point of life at a less god-forsaken hour, but at 6:58 the only movement to be seen is the arm of the above-mentioned machine, rising and falling in a huge tub of grey matter. Grey buildings, grey slag, grey streets, grey sky- before sunrise everything is grey. In the right mood the monochrome is beautiful, if in nothing else than the ambiguity of its everpresent sentiment.

And then by 7:20 I am in nouveau riche Hewlett Bay Park, where the teenagers I pass carry around purple or green or blue heads of hair in a laughable attempt to look urban.