Summer In The City

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?

2 Responses to “Summer In The City”

  1. Yuri says:

    Stay off the Babylons. Babylons are for people who live in Nassau, not Meth County residents. 🙂

  2. Lexcie says:

    haha, I bet you the conductors ah as fed up with the crowd as you ah. Babylon trains are busy? The stations look so decrepit that I am surprised that any self-respecting Meth County residents would ride them. haha. But I guess it’s just the stations, the neighbourhoods might be quite nice. OK, that’d be the next thing to fix on the MTA. Can you say station rehab program and transit oriented development for the Babylon line? I gotta go out there and look at that line in more detail, though.

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