Thursday, March 19, 2009

a Hell of a town

It's days like this that I hate New York City.

1) I waited for the elevator in my 33-story apartment building for about 10 minutes. (They are doing "renovations" and so they are shutting down the 3 elevators in my tower for 6 weeks each. However, the ones that have been "renovated" keep breaking, making morning commute wait times excruciatingly long. 10 mins was nothing.)

2) Then, these mothers toting strollers, diaper bags + extra screaming jumping kids got in the elevator. I know this probably happens in other places besides NYC, but I have to say that the Evil Stroller Mom is endemic here in the Big Apple. She wields the biggest strollers you've ever seen and brings them into the tightest places (elevators, subways, buses, bodegas, everywhere). She also feels entitled to shove you all over the place and laugh as her kids press every button in the elevator. And then stop dead right in front of you when you get out of the elevator to help her spawn put his jam-hands through the sleeves of his spitty dirty little coat.

3) After I finally push past the Brady Bunch, I practically run outside to get to the bus stop. Of course, the buses pull away as I am crossing the street, and the drivers look at me and laugh. Thanks MTA.

4) I live too far from the subway to walk there without adding a substantial amount of time on to my trip. But every time I miss the buses and then sit around impatiently waiting for the next ones, I think to myself, "I bet it would be faster if I'd just walked... someday I'll try that." Well, in an ill-thought-out decision, today was that day. I thought I'd just walk down... in my heels, tights, skirt, and carrying an overnight bag because I am staying at my sister's. NOT a good idea. As I learned, when the next bus passed me on my way. There are two buses that come to my neighborhood, and they usually pick up back-to-back, so I decide to wait at the next stop for the bus that's supposed to follow the one that just flew by me. Of course, that bus was late. And by the time I got on it, I actually SHOULD have just finished walking to the subway. Not to mention that I was squished into the front and almost thrown out the windshield by the erratic lead foot of the man at the wheel.

5) Then I get on the subway. And it was nice, I was listening to my iPod, snoozing a little, nobody was sitting next to me because the seat next to that was occupied by a mom, a diaper bag, and a stroller -- and nobody really wants to sit next to Satan on the train. So I think, okay, score, this is fine, I'll be a little late for work but no biggie. But then we get to the "137th Street - City College" stop, and the conductor announces that this is the last stop and everyone must get off the train. Apparently something happened at South Ferry, the last stop on the 1 line. Why that meant that my subway car had to empty way up at 137th street is still unclear to me. But we all got off the train, pissed and impatient. (NYC commuters do NOT like these kinds of interruptions.)

6) We wait for a long long time for another train. When it finally comes, it's full. Shocker. So our entire train of people load onto this already full train. I am still carrying my big bag, and not at all amused. And of course, I have to stand. And hold my heavy bag, because there's nowhere to put it on the ground because the train is so full. And I'm squished into a corner in the train, next to a woman sighing and muttering as she reads a book in Spanish (both the book and the muttering), a very tall guy with bronchitis coughing on my hair, and another woman carrying 80 bags to my 1, who somehow breathes like a dragon (she needs to get that checked out) and keeps hitting me with her copy of the Post. Oh, and I forgot the family of tourists from somewhere with an accent I can't stand who are talking about some movie where everyone dies on a subway and are not holding on to the straps and are therefore hitting me in various places on my body as the train starts and stops. You're not in Kansas anymore, people.

7) Then I realize that everyone who was on ANY downtown 1 train this morning when they made everyone get off is now trying to get on my train. Which is to say that the train was more full than any train I've ever been on in my life. It was lovely. And as I tried to get off at my stop (many many stops later), I couldn't even get out the door. It was horrific.

8) My commute was awful. So I think, okay, I'll go to Starbucks and get some coffee and oatmeal - that will make me feel better. Well, the line is a million people long, and because I work in midtown half of them are tourists and are milling about because they don't know what to order since apparently they don't have coffee in hickville, or France (yeah, some of them were French today), and I finally get to the register and order and the girl tells me there's no oatmeal because their water is off. And then I head over to get my coffee, and the barista tells me they're only working with one bar so it's going to be a while. And I proceed to wait 20 minutes, while the woman next to me keeps bitching and complaining to the barista about how she was just on a business trip and hadn't brushed her teeth this morning (the correlation of that escapes me), and how she is hilarious doesn't the barista agree, and how someone over at the condiment bar keeps stealing Splenda, and whatever else crazy people talk about.

All this is to say that if I was not in NYC right now, I doubt any of this would have happened. The first 7 things definitely wouldn't have. The last one, maybe, but it seems doubtful. Don't get me wrong, I love this city. But today, and on days like today, I wish I lived somewhere where I could just hop in my car and drive to work and get there in 10 minutes. Instead of 2 hours, which is how long it took me today.

Maybe the Universe is trying to tell me I need more patience. Which I do. Or maybe it's just a bad day. Either way, I love NYC more than anything, and I'm so happy I live here... but sometimes it can be really frustrating. Especially when it involves the MTA.


Ryan said...

Good GOD, woman. I don't even know where to start. Two things upset me about your bad morning.

1) NYC is a pain in the ass and anything beyond 36 hours is too much time spent there for me. But you knew I felt that way. Glad to see that every now and again "the city" makes you mad, too.

2) I don't care if you just got back from a business trip, crazy lady at Starbucks, there is never. . .NEVER. . .an excuse to not brush your teeth. And if you don't brush, don't share with the people around you. Lisa doesn't care to hear about it when all she wants is some G.D. oatmeal and a cup of extra-tall-half-caff-double-mocha-grande-venti-no whip-latte.

Lisa said...

Hahaha Ryan your comment made me laugh so hard.