Monday, November 23, 2009

Here she is, Miss G Train

By Aaron Short

Easy to loathe but loath to avoid, the Rodney Dangerfield of the subway system, the G train, was the runaway winner of a beauty pageant thrown in its honor by a Williamsburg museum.

The other winner, Astoria resident Elizabeth Kutcha (pictured), walked away with a sash and crown, outlasting eighteen semifinalists to become Miss G Train 2009.

“All the contestants are amazing!” said Kutcha, upon learning of her victory. “They are so talented and so nice!”

At City Reliquary (370 Metropolitan Ave.), 19 pageant contestants strutted their stuff, answering transit trivia and explaining why they should represent the much-maligned line.

“I used to have to take the G train to get home every day to Kingsland Avenue in Greenpoint. But I worked hard, saved my money and moved out of Greenpoint! Now I’m living in the Lower East Side and I haven’t even seen the G train much less ridden on it for at least two years,” said contestant Jessica Delfino, who was eliminated in the first round of voting.

Five women and one drag queen advanced to the final round, where they showed off their vocal, dance, and bartending talents to an admiring crowd and judges (Abbie Borod, Ed Coffey, and Fiona Gardner, the photographer who curated the “Miss Subways” exhibit currently on display at the Reliquary).

“I wanted someone who came up with something I didn’t think up. They were all so different. (One contestant’s) walk of shame was so funny,” said Borod, beauty pageant talent coach and trainer.

In the end, Kutcha was chosen for her energy and passion for the train line, despite not residing directly on it. She visits her boyfriend in Greenpoint often, taking a free transfer from the 7 line at Court Square in Queens before crossing Newtown Creek on a Church Avenue-bound G.

“I’m on the G some of the time, as most people are because it doesn’t come that often,” said Kutcha.

Neighbors Allied for Good Growth Chair Michael Freedman-Schnapp praised Kutcha while also singling out third runner up, Gowanus resident Marleah Martin, as an excellent choice as well.

“She had a plan to become an advocate for the G train. She would have been an instant NAG member. We’re still trying to recruit her,” said Freedman-Schnapp.

For her part, Martin offered a comprehensive policy towards improving service on the line and ways for local residents to voice their transit concerns.

“There should be a Fulton Street Atlantic Avenue transfer, the G should go up to Queens Plaza one more stop, and we need more cars on the train,” said Martin.

After it was all over, a dozen firefighters broke down the makeshift stage and simultaneously hosted an after-party while the song “Love Train” blasted through a set of speakers. Gardner declared the event a success. So would she be taking the G train home at this late hour?

“No, I’m calling a car service,” said Gardner.


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