Archive for the ‘Subway’ Category

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.

Home and Roam

Monday, May 21st, 2007

House is nearing completion; there is finally a shell in which I could walk around in. My bedroom is now significantly larger, and I welcome the fact that I will now have a double bed, bookshelves, and a desk. Obi has already claimed the room as her own. Perhaps I shall get her a doggie bed to sleep on, but she sure as heck ain’t sleeping on my bed. She’s a space hog and licks all the blankets.

This past weekend in the city was quite a nice one and someone knows why 🙂 Took the Q down to Coney Island and sauntered down the boardwalk for a bit. The area is quite a sad state of affairs with attractions and buildings beginning to close in anticipation of Thor Equities’ redevelopment. Eh, I’m just too damned nostalgic.

Then we met quite a few R-40 Slants at Stillwell, allowing for a nice view of the Sea Beach line. However, we were kicked out of the prime viewing spot by a five-year-old halfway through the trip back to Manhattan. Got off at 8th Street, stopped at my office (which was very creepy on a Saturday) and grabbed lunch/dinner (linner? dunch?) at Max Brenner’s Chocolate By The Bald Man. It was quite the kooky place, but heaven for a chocoholic like me. Day ended with a trip on the Staten Island Ferry, a quite empty Staten Island Railway train, walking through Tottenville in the pouring rain, and then back to Manhattan to catch my train home. It was the perfect start for many adventures to come :) On a side note, the San Francisco trip is less than two months away now, and has suddenly become more anticipated than ever.

Today, I had my 12th-ish PET/CT scan. This time, it was in Stony Brook Medical Center’s new cancer center. Despite all the newness and less crowding, the scan took longer than usual, which didn’t make me very happy. My appointment was at 9:30. I didn’t get injected with the radioactive glucose until 10:30, and didn’t get in the machine until 12:15. By the time I finished, it was almost 1:00. I was in pain from having my arms over my head and staying completely still during that time, and my blood sugar had taken a nose dive from fasting since 9:00 the night before.  Oh well, so is life – but sure beats having cancer. I have my follow-up appointment with my oncologist next week, but I’m sure the results are going to be just fine.

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.

Amanda vs. the World

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

So, here’s the latest scorecards:

  1. Amanda vs. Long Island Rail Road’s Lost and Found (0-2) – Two months ago, I lost a special (and somewhat expensive) Tupperware on the train. I had this nifty thingamajig on top that would allow me to dispense salad dressing at the turn of a knob so I wouldn’t have a soggy salad by lunchtime. Four visits to Long Island Rail Road’s Lost and Found office in Penn Station were fruitless, so I vowed never to leave a bag on the LIRR again. But the Tupperware gods said “HA!” So, Monday, I left my other special Tupperware on the train – the one with the nifty sandwich cooler – along with two electric toothbrushes I bought for 50% off at Duane Reade. So, I went to Lost and Found this morning, but the young William H. Macy-lookalike at the counter said nothing was brought back from that train. Oh well, I guess I have to go back to toting cheap Chinese takeout Tupperware now.
  2. Amanda vs. Metro (1-0) – Last month, I wrote a bitchy letter to Metro, AM New York and MTA New York City Transit about the pushy free newspaper peddlers outside of the southeast entrance of Herald Square/34th Street’s subway station. They were constantly blocking the flow of traffic, as well as leaving newspapers on the steps and bannisters – a pretty big safety hazard, if you asked me. Metro was first to respond, and told me it would remedy the situation. Now, its peddler stands five feet back from the stairs and out of the way. The MTA responded with some dinky form letter about getting the transit bureau on it, but that still leaves…
  3. Amanda vs. AM New York (0-1) – Its peddler still goes back and forth in front of the stairway like the paddle in “Pong,” the commuters her unfortunate ball. She is very pushy, and will block your way in order to fill her quota. I’ve gotten quite testy with her a few times when she tried to force the paper on me. AM New York never responded to my letter, and she’s still at it.
  4. Amanda vs. the Office Snack Vending Machine (0-2 and 50 cents) – The first bag of Apple Chips got stuck, so I fed the machine another dollar, hoping the second bag would knock it down. Both got stuck, and the machine never returned my change.

Lullabye of Broadway

Monday, April 30th, 2007

I’ve just about had it with the Peruvians who play the wooden pipes on the subway mezzanines. Every morning, I stumble down the steps of 34th Street/Herald Square to either of two songs: “Hello” by Lionel Richie, or “Mona Lisa” by Nat King Cole. Those are not the two songs you want to have stuck in your head all day, especially without lyrics – just the haunting pipes, and usually off-beat. Oh, but there are even worse songs than those. I once heard them playing, “Dreamlover” by Mariah Carey. Ack!

There seems to be a lack in the variety of underground musicians lately . It’s usually either the wooden pipers or breakdancers. I haven’t seen many others, unless the MTA has been cracking down on them. I think they’re supposed to have some sort of license to play in the stations.

My favorites are the mariachi bands who hop onto the trains in full regalia and the doo-wop groups. One time, I was on the 5 train to Wall Street when a man asked my friend what time it was. She looked at her watch and said, “It’s about five o’cl-,” when he interrupted and said, “NO! It’s DOO-WOP TIME!” and immediately broke into a song about making love throughout the night.

I wonder if anyone has made an album of the underground musicians? I think it would be a sure-seller. I would definitely have to skip “Hello,” though.

The Car Less Crowded

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006

The N train was running local this morning (heard something was up with the W train, because a few of my co-workers were late). Anyways, it pulls up to 34th Street and most of the cars are crowded, except one towards the end of the train, which had about 10 people on it. So, naturally, I enter the least crowded car.It smelled like death.

There was a homeless man on one side of the train, who obviously hasn’t showered in ages. He had also just went to the bathroom in his pants, and was further disseminating the smell by reaching down into his pants and moving it around.

I didn’t have enough time to switch cars before the doors closed, and the train poked along to 28th Street. Thank goodness it was a cold day, as I had my scarf with me and was able to filter my breathing. Most of my car, except for about five masochistic commuters, quickly sandwiched in the car ahead of ours as soon as we made it to the next stop.

If the guy wasn’t reaching into his pants, I would have thought he was dead – that’s how bad it smelled.

Curse of the Caustic Commuter

Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

With graduation looming over me in less than three months, I’ve resigned to the fact that I’m going to have to get a job in the so-called “real world.”

With this comes the realization that I will probably be a daily Long Island Rail Road and New York City Subway commuter. However, there are problems that I’m going to have to deal with – 10, to be specific. It’s not the train ride, the length of the commute or the probable delays. It’s the people around me.

No matter what line you’re on or what time of day it is, you are bound to encounter at least one of the following people on your commute. The peak rush hours are even worse – I’ve seen as many as six on one train. I now present to you the Ten Most Annoying People You Will Ever Encounter on a Train. (more…)