Saturday, September 26, 2009


I now have a daily weekday commute of about 80 minutes. Seems long, I know, but, so far, I am enjoying it tremendously.

I begin by taking a short four minute walk from my apartment at 69th Street and Amsterdam Avenue to the express stop at Broadway and 72nd Street. I wait at most two or three minutes for the train to arrive, and if I can get a seat, I'm in heaven. I have saved the Arts and Leisure section of the Times for this leg of trip, and with little sense of time passing, we travel rapidly first to 42nd Street, then onto 34th Street, 14th Street, and finally to Chambers, where I get off the express train and wait to board the local that makes one more stop before proceeding directly to the Ferry. During this entire time, despite the congestion of the subway, I am so absorbed in the Times that I am barely aware of what is going on around me. Of course, if I don't get that precious seat, it's harder but still possible to stay focused on reading. People watching remains an always enlivening option as well.

The ferry ride is a relaxing, almost luxurious ride of about 25 minutes. During this leg, I read one of the following magazines: The New Yorker, New York, Time Out New York, the New York Review of Books, the New Republic, or the Atlantic, or possibly The Chronicle of Higher Education, Education Week, Educational Leadership, Phi Delta Kappan (a leading education journal), or perhaps a book I am slowly making my way through (Why slowly? Because I've got all those blasted magazines to get out of the way!).

Once the ferry arrives, I proceed to a shuttle that Wagner College generously provides. If I can make the first shuttle, it usually leaves immediately and gets me to Wagner in 15 minutes. This is the least comfortable part of the trip, as I can't read on this bumpy, stop-and-go vehicle. However, I often sit next to someone whom I have gotten to know and we are able to catch up on the latest happenings, so this part of the trip can also be quite pleasant. And even in silence, I never seem to get tired of the passing Staten Island scene.

So I hope you can see what I mean. For some folks, this could be a long and even tiring commute. For me, it is a chance to catch up on my reading and on the doings of a few Wagner acquaintances. Instead of being tiring, it turns out to be, at least most of the time, a pleasant and even rejuvenating experience.


  1. Don't you have to go home, too?

  2. My thoughts as well. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you can be just as productive during and enthusiastic about the homeward journey. Not having to drive this route makes all the difference, I would think. But even so, that last 40 minutes on the subway could be painful after a long day.