Friday, November 13, 2009

Subway Update

One of the pleasures of writing a blog is quoting myself. Back in late September, I described the first part of my commute from 69th and Amsterdam this way:

"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 the 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."

Well, in fairness, I must update this a bit. Recently, the express has been chronically late and packed with people. It's so crowded that just boarding is often a challenge. I sometimes wish New York had those pushers that you see in films of the Tokyo subway system, so that more people could take advantage of each express trip. Of course, the considerable down side of these jammed subway cars is that there is no way to read the Arts and Leisure section of the New York Times and surprisingly little opportunity for people watching. Today, I was trying so hard to make room for others by cramming myself into a corner that I found my vantage point was limited to a tiny segment of the grimy wall right before my eyes. Although the ride was not long, time seemed to stand still. No matter how hard I tried, the grimy wall remained unabsorbing. Not what I envisioned when I waxed so romantically about my commute. Oh well, you can't have everything. And the delights of the Staten Island Ferry ride continue unabated.


  1. An excellent opportunity for you to get a Kindle..Perfect for tiny spaces!!

    No unfolding and refolding required and you can always turn the text to speech feature and entertain the whole subway with the latest news!!

    I must confess I often miss the actual feel of the paper when reading the news!

  2. Or an iPhone. Even smaller than a Kindle, but with a crisp display and a nice App for reading the NY Times.