All posts tagged: Car

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 …

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 …

Am I a Better Mother When I’m in the Car?

(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight.com) The rain came down so hard that night 10 years ago I couldn’t tell where one droplet ended and another began. The New Jersey Turnpike looked like a black creek. The windshield wipers were heavy and sluggish as they tried to move enormous quantities of water. I was driving on my first solo trip with the most precious and delicate thing I had ever known, my one-year-old daughter. The struggle to get her in the car seat (when the rain was just a gentle twilight drizzle) had been the epic event it always was with her. The screaming. The back arching. The kicking in my face. It had come after an hour or so of chaotic packing, eating, chasing. My little girl had a mind of her own since birth, and I was perpetually exhausted trying not so much to tame her, but to channel her. But as a I stole a glance at her in the rearview mirror during that furious storm, her face was utter calm. Mine was pale …

Margit’s Note: Pull Up to the Bumper, Baby

A glint of sun warms our forearms and we’re ready for a road trip! Top down (as if), pop in the mix tape, er put on ‘80s on 8, and let’s tool around town. Except you’re driving, because I don’t drive. I mean, I have my license, I know how to drive, I just don’t really do it, or like it, or have much occasion to get behind a wheel. Typical New Yorker. We subway, cab, occasionally bike (although those are generally tourists from Holland on that Citi Bike) and we walk a lot. This confuses people who don’t live here. A kid cousin of my husband’s once asked us, “You guys don’t have a car? Are you poor?” We don’t need a car, and that’s a beautiful thing. But I can still appreciate a good road trip — with the right, one-armed snacks and the right friends and of course the right playlist. Everything sounds better in a car. For a story in the early ‘90s. I once spent the entire day in the …