All posts tagged: Subway

How to Become a Car Person In Just 3 Short Years

In my 18 years in New York City, I relied on the subway every single day of my life just like everyone else. First, it was the G to the L. Then, the G to the 7 or maybe the G to the E. Then, there was the L to the N, the G to the F, the L to the 2 (and that horrible tunnel between them), and finally the 4. Just the 4. Live and work long enough in NYC, and you’ll earn the privilege of a single-train commute. For years, I traipsed through wind and snow, uphill both ways to the subway — not an old saying in this case, but likely actually true based on NYC Sanitation’s snow removal efforts. I walked in sub-zero temps and felt my eyeballs start to freeze. I plodded through swampy humidity with sweat rolling down my back. I darted around bewildered tourists at the top of the subway stairs. I always got on the train at the exact door that would match my preferred exit …

Next Stop: Harrassment. Why I Won’t Take Public Transportation

I didn’t need Pope Francis to tell me global warming was a thing. I’m one of those folks who doesn’t willfully shut their eyes to scientific evidence. I was even on my high school’s recycling committee way back when. (True story: My class ring has a dolphin on it majestically swimming though the center of the recycling arrows symbol.) I cannot support, however, what is probably one of the best ways for your average person to help out the Earth: taking public transportation. After spending five years enduring daily harassment on my commute to work, I would torch a planet full of dinosaurs for fuel so that I could travel in the protective, asshole-free bubble of my own car. I was born and raised in Philadelphia and lived there until I was 32 years old. That killer combo of living in a large city and being a woman means I’m no stranger to street harassment. A “Hey, baby,” here, a “That’s what I’m talkin’ about” there. Or sometimes worse. But that’s life in the big …

Zen and the Art of the Crafty Commute

As someone who makes her home in a tree-lined, mostly hipster-free (knock wood), very outer area of the most desirable outer borough of Manhattan, I spend an inordinate amount of time commuting. Despite the rumblings of further encroaching gentrification, I’m blessedly still just a little too far from the maddening crowd. Yet another Fashion Week event invitation? Not all that interesting if it means spending extra hours on the back and forth. Tribeca Film Festival? You’ll need a pretty compelling line-up for me to spring for a cab back home. And, yes, I did just turn down an invitation to the cocktail party gala for the Frieda Kahlo exhibit up in the Bronx because no one offered to send an Uber. While I schlep back and forth on the F train to meetings or dinners or cocktails or basically anything worth doing, I tend to complain mightily. And I always have a plan of attack. I avoid eye contact, avoid frottage and try to have something to focus on other than the smells and sound effects …

Margit’s Note: How Are You Getting There?

(Photo Credit: Helen Jane Hearn) “Down below the street can you dig the steady beat it’s the subway. Subway!” There’s this groovy Sesame Street musical bit with muppets-as-straphangers that still plays in my head, some 40 odd years later, as I venture underground. There’s still a whiff (and I do mean a whiff) of novelty to the journey. Most days I loathe the commute, but on some special days — when someone’s not manspreading into my business or I haven’t entered a car where a kindly human has left a package of smell — I get a seat, pop out my Kindle and it’s actually quite pleasant. But let’s be honest: more often I feel annoyed, I’m wedged in someone’s armpit and am just trying to find a wall to lean on so I don’t get kicked by the kid doing a backflip next to my head. What time is it? Showtime folks, showtime. As New Yorkers, we love to discuss our routes and travel methods. I could take the F train, but then do I …

In an Emergency, Maybe We Don’t Want Our Privacy?

(Photo: Margit Detweiler/TueNight) Two weeks ago on a Sunday night, riding the subway home in New York, I saw a man have a seizure on the 2 train. I was in the carriage with him. I helped, a little. Others helped even more. He had slumped sideways, shaking with massive jerks, making audible thuds as his skull smacked the seat. One of the women sitting nearest him saw the moment of our terror, even disengagement. “We need to lift him.” In a rattling train, with his limbs flailing, we moved him from a seat onto the carriage floor. Then we helped to sit and comfort him for the 25 minutes it took for paramedics to reach him. He said his name was Junior, and beyond that was completely anonymous. He had bitten his tongue. * * * Ever hear the one about the man who watched people stepping over a dead guy who just lay there on the sidewalk? Or the woman who fell down a storm grate and waited for help as walkers passed …

Away From It All, Underground

I love my subway ride. Love it. I like to say it’s the only alone time I get all day. (Other than locking myself in the bathroom occasionally to hide from my children.) I look forward to it so much, my purse is practically dedicated to my subway activities. I almost always have my Kindle. A 25-minute ride is enough time to read a few chapters (just finished Allegiant by Veronica Roth), and who gets to read these days? Pure luxury. I also carry a print book on occasion. It has to be really special, since it takes up so much room — and I need to secure a seat for reading with two hands — but if my Kindle is a cozy sweater, a real book is cashmere. Like every other human in New York City, I also carry my smartphone. This is for when I’m feeling practical or anxious. I’ll add items to my to-do list, review my calendar for the day, answer email or read from the New York Times app. Or if I’m feeling …