Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Transportation Story

There's no way around it: Transportation in New York City is the ultimate eggshell, it can crack with the slightest bump. Anyone that has lived in New York longer than a week has had to experience the wonder that is the transportation situation here, whether that's by cab, by bus or by train, and it's fair to say that anyone that's lived here longer than a week has had their fair share of issues with said cabs, buses and trains.
I'm usually pretty easy-going when it comes to the transportation issue here. Ultimately, what can I do about it? You might as well roll with the punches, become accustomed to leaving early so you can allow for it and just make sure you have a great song to listen to when you're stuck and waiting for what seems like an eternally long time.
This morning, I went to my regular train station near my apartment, hoping to get on the train that arrives every morning between 8:25 and 8:35. You see, that train makes its first stop at my station, meaning it's empty and we all get seats. Perhaps you with cars don't understand this concept because you always have a seat in your car, but on a crowded Manhattan train, seats are novelties one shouldn't take lightly.
I arrive, ready to sit, when the lovely woman at the ticket counter delicately shouts that the trains are running at this station. No alternative route offered, no apologies for the inconvenience of myself and all the other rush-hour commuters, just the knowledge that I'd been shouted at before 9:00 a.m.
That meant either walking to the next station, getting on the bus or taking a cab. Of course, there were no cabs anywhere this morning. Why would there be? That would be too simple of a story. And of course, the trains weren't running at the next station either. That meant I had a date with the M4. What a lovely bus it was.
Actually, that's where the story kinda picks up. I got a seat on the bus which was perhaps entirely too thrilling, and I was able to see the northern end of Central Park and all of 5th Avenue in my ever-so-late commute to work. Things were really looking up for ol Ryan.
That's when a line of about six police cars congested all traffic because they were going the wrong way down a one-way 5th Avenue during rush-hour. Now I'd like to believe they were in the middle of an amazing chase or helping the Muppets solve a jewel heist or or blocking traffic so that Ethan Hunt could chase down Jon Voigt. But more likely than not, none of those things were actually happening.
I did finally arrive to work this morning, an hour and a half after I first tried to board that empty subway car and though I saw the Guggenheim and had a Carrie Bradshaw moment (not actually feeling like her but feeling like I'd laugh at her if I saw her there in the rain shrieking as she did) and though I ended up stalled in front of St. Patrick's cathedral (while I was listening to Sister Act - coincidence? I think not) - it was quite the interesting experience. But mornings sometimes are. I'm much more awake now than I would have been if I'd made it onto that train and I've had long text conversations with people I think are fascinating. So as irritating as it initially was, I feel like I had a morning adventure. And, on top of it, I had a morning adventure with a terrific haircut. That honestly makes all things better doesn't it? Don't lie. It does.

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