Friday, November 5, 2010

New York minutes: the day the city hated me

 Ok. So this morning I woke up woefully late. Like, I woke up after I was already supposed to be at work. FML. I had plans this morning, BIG PLANS. I was supposed to shower (my hair needs some cleansing, my legs need some shaving, etc). I was supposed to pack (for my much anticipated weekend at home). I was supposed to eat breakfast (scrambled eggs, yummm). I was supposed to leave my apartment at 8 AM so I could have a leisurely commute full of fun songs on my new commute playlist (perfect for bopping along on crowded sidewalks). BUT NO. I had to sleep through the four (yes, four) alarms I set for myself. I woke up at ten past nine, and shot out of bed, my heart palpitating and my pits sweating. The rest of my day commenced in similar fashion.

  1. Not one M-79 (crosstown) bus passed my way during my speedwalk from York to 5th. Not one.
  2. 5th was a complete parking lot. Got in a cab, took twenty minutes and 10 dollars to go 12 blocks.
  3. Got out of the cab, convinced I could walk faster. I couldn’t. Bye-bye nice taxi man who was driving me. Have a nice trip down 5th without me.
  4. Tried to get on M-4 bus. Bus driver shook his head at me and shrugged his shoulders when he closed the doors in my face. I nearly gave him the finger.
  5. Experience the general world of suck Midtown is...ALL THE TIME. Usually I don’t really mind, but today I was running late, hitting every red light in all of Manhattan, and was seriously pissed off. People speaking French and walking around in clouds of cigarette smoke was not making me feel any happier.

Everything was pretty peaceful for the duration of the work day. I texted with my sister a little bit about our trip, told her my plight of having to go all the way back to the UES for my clothes for the weekend. Luckily, I told her we could make a quick pasta and sauce dinner. Peachy keenness until about 4:45 when I got this text message from my sister: “Just got a call from Amtrak. Our train is already running late. :(


This train wasn’t slated to leave until 7:30, and it was supposed to arrive in Providence at 11:20. But if this train was pushed back, that put our departure time between 9 and 10 PM at best, which doesn’t put us home until close to 2 AM. But like I said, this is best-case scenario for delayed regional trains, because when your train is delayed, Amtrak cuts all losses and allows every other on-time northbound train to pass the delayed train, causing the delayed train (and its increasingly mutinous passengers) to stop in the middle of nowhere outside places like New Haven or Kingston for more than an hour at the time. I foresaw NEVER getting home.

The 7:00 Acela it was. My sister and I flew out of my apartment at 6:12, already panicky. It was rush hour, and we couldn’t decide which form of transportation back to Midtown would be best: bus (pro: stops right outside my apartment, and has special quick bus lanes. Con: stops every block, and a transfer was required, and who knows how long we would have to wait for that), subway (pro: usually a pretty reliable and quick mode of transportation. Con: three short blocks and four long blocks from my apartment, at least 15 minutes of fast walking, which I used to call “Boston Walking,” but have now learned that to get anywhere quickly in New York, you practically have to run. Also, we would have had to transfer trains as well), or cab (pro: no transfers. Con: unpredictable traffic, cost). We chose cab. We chose wrong. Every light was red. There was a gridlock moving across town. Our cabbie was mean. It cost us 17 bucks. We still had to walk/run and we didn’t really know where we were.

But, in short, we made it to the train, and we are happily speeding our way home on the Acela, which, for the extra buck, is kind of worth it. I mean, I have wireless. And I could have a drink if I wanted. Too bad I spent my beer money on cabs.

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