Archive for the ‘LIRR’ Category

Battle on the Q53

Monday, July 9th, 2007

Yesterday, Lexcie, Alex and I went to walk the abandoned LIRR Rockaway Branch. After meeting in Midtown and having lunch, we took the R train to Forest Hills, where we walked around trying to find access to the ROW. However, Forest Hills had gated most access to the ROW, so we had a difficult time. We finally found a clearing at Southridge Street and Yellowstone Road, and climbed up onto the tracks. It took us about two hours to clear half a mile along the thick, thorny brush, but we did find a bunch of interesting spots on the way, including some washed-out track beds and a car parts and chemical barrel dumping ground. We abandoned the route when we hit the LIRR Lower Montauk Line, and will perhaps finish another day. I would like to see the abandoned stations.

And the whole time we walked the abandoned ROW, my mother was worried about people and danger we might encounter, when the real action turned out to be at bustling Rockaway Beach. (more…)

Busy Weekend

Monday, June 18th, 2007

I had quite a busy weekend, which seems to be the norm nowadays. That’s a good thing – I really shouldn’t sleep in late and let it waste away.

Although I get out of work early on Friday, I decided to stay in the city late to avoid the mess of Fire Islanders/Hamptonites/Montaukians on the LIRR. So a co-worker and I went out for a movie, dinner and drinks, since the boss man gave us movie gift certificates for a job well done this past month. We decided on Knocked Up, because I’ve heard nothing but good things about it from my friends. And it was actually a very, very good movie, and quite heartwarming. Although I am not one for crudeness, it actually gave a more real-life element to the movie. You could actually see a friend in that situation. I haven’t seen any of Judd Apatow’s other movies yet, but plan to check them out.

And even though I stayed late on Friday, my 8:30 Patchogue train was still packed with beachgoers. (more…)

Life’s A Beach

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

I spent quite a nice weekend up in Massachussetts with Lexcie this weekend, and it was a nice break from New York City and Long Island. It was the first time I traveled up to Boston when I wasn’t the one driving. I had originally planned to take Fung Wah, until Jarid pointed out that Greyhound’s tickets are just as cheap. However, there was an accident on I-84 and we arrived an hour later than we were supposed to. Lexcie then gave me the grand tour of Boston, first stopping in Chinatown to eat at Peach Farm (where I ordered General Tso’s chicken, much to his expectation, haha), then walking up towards the North End to have dessert at Mike’s Pastry (by the way, if you ever go there, try the tiramisu – some of the best I’ve had!). The city is quite an interesting place. I definitely got a kick out of all the “hidden” T stations, especially the one that looked like it was housed in a 1700s court house of sorts. I think I’d like to go back in the day time and check out all of the non-touristy stuff I missed when I used to go to Boston with my cousins. Lexcie is quite a spiffy guide. Afterwards, we took the T commuter train back to Haverhill. I thought LIRR was bad, ending trains around 2 or 3 a.m., but every last T commuter train leaves at 12:10 a.m. (more…)

Track Record

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

It seems that every time I go home on an earlier train than usual, an LIRR service delay affects my usual 5:09 p.m. train to Speonk. Practically every time!

I had to meet with a commercial real estate CEO today at The Waldorf=Astoria, and by the time it ended, it really made no sense for me to hop on the 6 train back to work (which is pretty damned slow for a local), only having to leave 15 minutes later for the R/W to go to 34th Street. So I grabbed the downtown E train at 53rd and Lexington and went to Penn Station, where I grabbed the 4:04 p.m. Patchogue train (and took care not to hop on the 4:01 p.m. Montauk train, a mistake Chris and I made a few years ago. We wound up sitting at the Westhampton station waiting two hours for a train back to Islip).

When I arrived home, my inbox was filled with LIRR service advisories. Apparently, two Main Line trains are experiencing equipment problems, and the Speonk train usually takes the Main Line home. It was diverted to the Babylon Line, and most of the lines were experiencing 25 to 30-minute delays. Just some LIRR rush-hour fun – and I got to miss it once again. Woohoo!

Perhaps it’s making up for the three hours I had to sit in between Westbury and Carle Place during a 2005 snowstorm.

Tale As Old As Time

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

So, Lexcie and I went to go see Beauty and the Beast on Broadway last Friday. It’s one of my all-time favorite movies, and I wanted to see the show before it officially closes in July. A co-worker did tell me there were some difference from the movie – mainly, it was more comedic and there were more songs. Overall, I gave it a seven out of ten stars.

Why not ten, considering it’s one of my favorite movies? (more…)

Thtuffy Nothe

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Allergies have still not died down. Today was probably one of the worst – I was dizzy, felt sort of floaty and all I wanted to do was sleep. Every time I talk, my mom has to ask me to repeat myself because I’m all stuffed up and not speaking properly. Case in point, a phone conversation I had at work with a public relations guy in Florida:

Me: This is Amanda
PR: Oh, hi Amanda. I didn’t call to talk to you, even though I usually talk to you about Florida stories.
Me (confused, because I had called him 15 minutes earlier and left a message about a story I was writing): Oh? Who are you looking for then?
PR: Samantha
Me: Samantha?
PR: Yeah, Samantha left me a message about 15 minutes ago about some Florida story. I couldn’t understand what she was saying.
Me: Oh, that was me. And my allergies.
PR: That would explain it.

Allergies nonwithstanding, I’ve gotten Samantha quite a lot – in fact, ever since kindergarten. There was a girl named Michelle in my class who always called me Samantha. A nun in high school. And then there was always confusion when I worked in the health food store; someone would call and tell my boss, “I need to talk to Samantha about ordering something.” Then my boss would say, “No Samanthas work here,” and that person would hang up. I’ve seemed to cause all sorts of confusion in my life.

Yesterday was spent driving around Long Island. (more…)

Summer In The City

Friday, May 25th, 2007

So I decided to leave work early, hoping to beat the bulk of the Fire Island/Hampton/Montauk stupidity at Penn Station, and boy, was I wrong.

I went to catch the 2:35 p.m. Long Beach train (switch at Jamaica for Patchogue), which was on Track 16. As soon as they announced it, there was the mad rush with suitcases, yapping dogs and duffel bags in tow.

I knew I wasn’t going to get a seat on that train, so I decided to take the 2:30 p.m. to Babylon, which was on the opposite track, and have my mom pick me up there. That train was no better – apparently the conductor on this one didn’t know that the Long Beach train across the platform had a transfer to a Patchogue train, so he told a whole bunch of beachgoers to get on the Babylon train. What good was that going to do them? I told him that they could transfer to Patchogue on the other train, but he kept saying, “No, no, no, it’s a Long Beach train.”

So the beachgoers that got stuck on the Babylon train and stay on after Jamaica find out that the 2:35 passes us, and we won’t beat it to Babylon. Therefore, they’d have to wait an hour before the could catch another Montauk line train at Babylon. We were running late as is, but another conductor decided to see if the Patchogue train, which at that point, was about five minutes ahead of us, could wait at Babylon.

About halfway between Lindenhurst and Babylon, the conductor says that the Patchogue train would be held at Babylon and meet us there – but, we’d be arriving on the same track, so only two cars on my train would platform. Anyone wanting to get on that Patchogue train would have to go to the two front cars to exit. The train I was on had 12 cars – so a bunch of people had to schlep all their stuff from the back of the train to exit. After the Patchogue train left, the Babylon was able to pull in and open all doors. We were about 15 minutes late from the scheduled arrival time at that point.

Last year, there were no seats on one of the Montauk trains, and some Fire Island-bound lady had her poodle sitting in a seat (no muzzle, no carrier). I asked her if she could move her poodle so I could sit, and she gave me an attitude. I asked her if her poodle had a ticket, because I did, and I wanted the seat. Got the conductor’s attention and he made her move.

There also used to be a pissy conductor on the 4:04 p.m. out of Penn – he would make announcements like, “Will you very rude people with suitcases in the aisle please put them under your seats? Or I’m going to make you move to the vestibule.”

I discovered from last year that the best thing for me to do is stay late in the city and go to dinner with a friend or shop. Take a 8ish or 9ish train, and miss all of the stupidity.

Another thing I wonder – all I needed was one carry-on for a five-day trip to Alaska. Why does one person need two suitcases, a duffle bag and a pocketbook for two days at the beach?

Oooh, That Smell

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

I don’t know it it is some lasting effect from chemotherapy, but smells have been bothering me for quite a while, and it seems to be getting even worse. The worst offender seems to be female perfume, especially one with musky notes. Unfortuantely, it seems that fragrance is quite popular at both the office and on the LIRR. Anytime I smell this type of perfume, I automatically get sick to my stomach. My tolerence has been drastically reduced; a few days ago, I told my mom that her perfume was overkill, but she told me she just spritzed it once on her wrist. Some days it’s so bad on the train that I have to move seats.

On the other hand, my tolerence for soup smells seems to be getting better. That, I know, was a chemotherapy-related problem. It was so bad that nurses had to stop bringing me hot food trays when I was undergoing treatment. Even a year later, every time someone made soup at home or the office, I’d have to run outside for fresh air or else I’d get physically ill.


Burning the Midnight Oil

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

So I’m working late on an article yet again this week. This time, it wasn’t due to my own slackoffiness, but rather to the incompetance of my company’s IT department. I never realized how dependant I was on the Internet and network connectivity until I lost it for five hours today. I had to revert back to running around the office with a borrowed flash drive, which reminded me of my college newspaper days (oh, the horror!)

It’s like the one day I forgot to bring my cell phone with me to work. I felt so lost without it. It was a rainy day, and I had to call Mom to tell her to pick me at Babylon, rather than Islip. My only option at that point was calling from a quickly-disappearing species – the pay phone.  I fished out a quarter from my pocketbook, only to discover that pay-phone calls were now 50 cents. I didn’t have another quarter, so I had to call collect or risk missing my train.

It’s amazing. I used to go to New York City without a cell phone all the time.  Makes me wonder how I’d ever survive on a deserted island. I should take a vacation from technology for a week and see how well I fare.

Amanda Vs. The World Pt. II

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007
  1. Amanda vs. Bad Underground Music (2-0) – Seems like my complaining indirectly worked. I’ve seen no Peruvian pipers this week, and I was treated to the sounds of two different doo-wop/Motown a capella groups in the past three days. So, whichever group hopped on my downtown R train at Canal St.  around 5 p.m. yesterday and sang The Temptations’ “My Girl,” thank you. If I had a dollar or two on me, I would have dropped it in your paper bag. I owe you one.
  2. Amanda vs. Her LG VX5300 Cell Phone (0-50) – After being a faithful Nokia owner since I began using a cell phone in 2001, I decided to go with an LG when my contract allowed me to get a new phone this year. It was only $10, and much more durable than any Nokia I have owned (it even survived a 20-concrete-step drop). However, it lacks an archive for text messages, which I learned this week. And now I can only store 50 messages before I have to go play the delete game. I have no other way to save them except e-mail them to myself, but that’s a pain in the ass.
  3. Amanda vs. the Long Island Rail Road’s Lost & Found (0-Infinity) – I’ve yet to locate my Tupperware and electric toothbrushes. I give up. At least some conductor will have have nice, shiny teeth and a non-soggy salad for lunch.

And an additional match-up:

  • R-40 vs. R-46 (1-0) – My mean distance between failures (145,045 miles) is better than your mean distance between failures (140,098 miles), so take your shiny, bucket-seated trains and go elsewhere, Yuri. I win this year!

Well, judging from my scorecards so far, I have some advice for you all: if I come back as a racing horse in my next life, don’t bet on me.