I feel now that I have lived in “NY” long enough to have the right to say what it is that I am about to say. After almost six years of living in this crazy city, I can finally say without remorse that I HATE the “MTA”! And no offense to those who work for the “MTA,” but I could die happy if I knew that from this day forth I would never have to step foot onto another subway/bus again. I know that you think us New Yorkers are so blessed as to have such an extensive and easily accessible mode of public transportation, but trust me, we’re not. And yes, we might save money on gas and insurance that your car costs you, but take my word for it, most of us would rather pay those costly dues than scrap together almost $90 for a metrocard that only guarantees you that you MIGHT get to work on time. At least someone who has a car is able to run on his own schedule and when they get in the car and turn the key, they know that in a matter of seconds they’ll be able to shoot off to where ever it is that they want to go. Work, the movies, a nice candlelit dinner, or my personal favorite, a white-sandy beach filled with nothing but the sounds of myself sipping a cold margarita and the gentle crashes of the waves breaking on the silky soft sand. Ahhhhh….But, the sad truth is that the only beach I see when I get on the subway are the tourist ads for the Bahamas telling me how much my life really sucks compared to the people in the posters who seem to be happier than a pig in sh*t. It’s depressing frankly and I don’t care how many times they change the colors of the subway cars or how many times they post poetry on the ceiling, the subway will never be a place that makes my knees weak.
Take the other day for instance. I’m on my way to work, like any other day. I’m walking with my boyfriend and my Bo-Bo down 2nd avenue and I decide that instead of taking the 6 to the F to get to Brooklyn, that I would just walk an extra couple of blocks to the F and catch it there instead. Now, I’ve done this plenty of times before and it’s a little bit more of a walk, but I always rationalized that it was better than having to transfer at Bleeker St. to catch the 6. I could just get where I needed to go in one shot. So, I kiss my BF (I’m just going to say this from now on because it’s just easier than having to write out boyfriend. And yes, I’m lazy.) and my Bo-Bo bye and head up to “Lexington Avenue” to catch the F train. Here in lies my first gripe with the “MTA.” The 63rd st station is not only stifling hot as it always is in the summer, but for some reason or other, probably having to do with sea levels or some other scientific reason that I can’t even fathom, the builders of this wonderful station decided that it would be funny if they made the station so deep to almost touch the borders of Hell. And, yes, when you’ve finally waddled down the four escalators, so steep that at the top of each you feel as if you are on a roller coaster that has just reached the peek of a drop, and when you have finally made it down to the platform, dripping in sweat from the muggy, stale heat you feel as if you are now wading in the Devil’s belly. You might as well not even bothered to shower, do your hair, put on makeup because in a matter of the 15 min that you walked from the stoop of your 5-story walk-up to get to the station, to go down the escalators and arrive on the platform you would be sweating so horribly that the only thing that you will be wanting to do is climb back up those mountain sized escalators, walk home, take a shower and call a cab.
So, now I’ve walked the full length of the platform to be able to get to the last car. And of course, as always, I managed to miss the previous train. Had there not been 500 steps that I had to run down in order to get to the platform I may have actually been able to get to work on time. So, I waited, sweating, wondering, as I looked around, if I would be smooth enough to be able to sneak up on the guard at his little station and steal his fan. But, I didn’t feel like getting arrested. Stripes aren’t a good look for me. Fifteen minutes later, the train roars up. And this brings me to my next point. The weekend train is probably the most horrible train that you can ride. It’s always running late, its gets stuck at every station, and is always delayed because of track work. It’s a loose-loose situation and unless you just have the best luck ever, you will never make it to where you need to be going on time. Now, usually I figure this into my daily travel, but for some reason, on this particular morning I didn’t leave a bit earlier than during the week. This is also what pisses me off. It takes me about an hour to get to work. Already that sucks by itself, but, hey, you do what you have to do. Now, on the weekends it takes me about an hour and a half, which lets face it, is unacceptable. Only when I lived in Queens and it took me that long was it more acceptable because I lived all the way down by JFK airport. I’m in Manhattan, going three stops into Brooklyn. How in the hell is that possible.
So, the train pulls up and low and behold, it’s not the F, but the E. I get on, figuring that this train will at least get me to a station where I can transfer to get the F. Announcement. Annoyance. I can never understand what the announcer is saying. It’s always crackled and spotty or the announcer doesn’t realize that he/she is providing an important message and instead of talking clearly so the passengers can understand, they’d rather try and make us guess what they are saying by playing the mumble game. Super fun, right? It’s like they take the mic and press it right up against their lips to talk and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if there was a running bet amongst the conductors to see who can make out the most words in the others announcement. And all I could gather from this one’s message was the the E train was running on the F line due to track maintenance and that it’s last stop would be 2nd avenue. Luckily had I not been able to understand the conductors announcement I was on one of the newer trains that had the high-tech screen on the ceiling that would tell me what stop would be next and what would be the last. I just told myself that I’d get off at 2nd and transfer.
The train leaves the station and is going so slow that if I was running beside it I would have been able to beat it in a race. It took 20 min. to get from 63rd st to 42nd where it was then announced that this train was not going to be making any more stops after 34th st. Whatever. I just get off and wait…again. By this time there is no telling how late I’m going to be. This is my favorite part. The F train is finally spotted coming towards the platform, but right before it enters the station, it stops. And not only does it stop, it stays idle for a good five minutes. Do you know how infuriating it is to be running ridiculously late, finally feel as if your salvation has arrived, and then to have that promising fortune violently yanked out of your grasp? It’s enough to make you want to cry! All you want is to get to where you need to be. That’s it. You’re not asking to win the lotto or anything. You’re just asking for the train to be on time so you can get to work, make some money, go home, get some Subway, watch a funny movie, and go to bed! I mean, is that REALLY to much to ask?! I think not!
Finally on the F train, all I could hope was that there wouldn’t be anymore catastrophes and that I would make to work, maybe, only 20 min. late. Thankfully, the train was running fairly smoothly and the only horrible thing left to happen was the Chinese man sitting across from me that would spill his coffee all over the floor. I have to admit, I kind of felt bad for the guy. What the hell was he supposed to do? Take a mop out of his ass and start cleaning up? I assume, out of embarrassment, that he got off at the next stop. But, now his coffee had traveled all the way down the length of the car and in his place two foreigners got on and sat down. I probably should have told them not to set their bag on the ground, but they hurried in so fast to get a seat that they didn’t seem to notice that there was coffee all over the floor and before it was noticed they plopped there bags down right in the puddle. Honestly, I couldn’t help but laugh on the inside. And what made it worse was that one of them picked up a bag and sat it down on their lap. I had to bury my face in my hands because if I didn’t I would of totally looked like an asshole. I was actually laughing. Coffee got all over the poor woman’s lap and still she didn’t notice! I couldn’t believe it! How do you not notice coffee all over the floor and mostly, how do you miss it when you’ve just put it all over your pants!? I mean, she finally noticed and was fairly nonchalant about it, but I felt like such an asshole because I was laughing at them. The “MTA” had driven me to become an asshole. They had stressed me out so much that morning that the only feeling that I had in me was pure hate. And frankly, I didn’t give a damn about anyone around me. Not even the cute puppy I saw after I arrived 30 min. late at Bergen street. And I love puppies.
Does your car do this to you?