I swear the MTA's slogan should be "The MTA: An Adventure on Every Ride" It seemed like deja-vu with my ride down to work this evening. In a trip similar to the one Myron and I took a few weeks ago, I had a similar odyssey in the opposite direction.
My ride started out standing on the 6 train that was full of the loud beach-goers from Orchard Beach. Thankfully I have only two or three more weeks of dealing with that until the beach closes and the trains on the weekends in my neck of the woods gets quiet. But I digress.
As the train goes express from Parkchester to Hunts Point Avenue (due to ongoing construction) the ride is swift and smooth. Lo and behold it was not to remain that way. Upon arriving at Hunts Point Avenue, the conductor announces that "We are being held at the station due to the dispatcher. Please be patient". I really must say that I hate to be told to be patient, especially if the train is stuck in between cars. As if I can go anywhere. Again, I digress.
I really don't want to be late to work so I get off the train and decide that I'll take the #2 train at the Simpson Street stop about 3 blocks away. Lady Luck seems to pity me a bit and has the Bx5 bus sitting there waiting for me. The Bx5 bus makes the four block or so walk from Bruckner Boulevard to Westchester Avenue go by in a snap. As I run up the long set of stairs I hope that there is #2 train service that is not being interrupted by construction. Yeah right.
In the way that Lady Luck look favorable on me, that fucker Murphy, whose law seemed to rule this particular part of my ride, screwed me over. A big sign in green letters said "No #2 trains" and the token booth clerk was letting people know that there were only #5 trains running and there were signal delays. Yeah yeah yeah, I knew that already. Down I go to make the next leg of my journey.
On the corner I waited for the same Bx19 that Myron and I took. As the bus arrived, I got on a bus that sounded like Bleecker Street Bar on a Friday night. It was loud and full, but unlike the #6 train I was able to get a seat opposite a woman with a young child in a stroller. Why do I mention the young woman and her child. Well, here goes.
The woman is texting on her phone and listening to her jams while the kid is going absolutely bonkers in the stroller. She's standing, jumping, twisting, leaning over the edge almost hitting her head on the floor (before I catch her) and the woman has no clue as to what is going on since she's engrossed in her phone and music. It finally took the kid taking her sandals off and throwing them halfway down the bus before the lady looked up and gave the kid a smack on the arm. It seemed like the kid has gotten a few of those before since she shrugged it off and kept twisting to an unheard version of Chubby Checker "Twist". LOL. Really folks, I wish I could make this up.
Finally, the bus crosssed the bridge from the Bronx into Harlem Heights where I get off on 145th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue to catch the Downtown D train. Why the D train? Well, the train leaves me at the Broadway-Lafayette Street Station which is a block away from the bar. My ride should be easy some part of the way, Right? The irony of where I stood hits me and causes me to chuckle. I am currently reading Ian Fleming's Live and Let Die, which is his second James Bond book. In this book his adversary is Mr. Big, the crime boss of Harlem who is an agent of SMERSH. Funny that I end up in somewhat the general vicinity of where I am reading. I really need to look into the nightclubs that Fleming describes in the story.
I go down the stairs of the station, swipe my card and help a young woman with a stroller down the stairs (a different one this time). As I'm waiting for the D and writing this post, I just shake my head. The electronic sign says in bright orange letters: All D train service will run local from 125th Street to 59th Street. In someone else's world the ride would be smooth and uneventful without any further interruptions. But I am not someone else and not surprisingly it doesn't end there.
As we approach 47-50th Streets-Rockerfeller Center Station, the conductor announces that the last stop on the D is 34th Street-Herald Square. So to continue my trip Downtown, I need to transfer to the N or R train which is upstairs or to the F which is across the platform. Since I'm tired of stairs, I decide to take the F and get off on the 42nd Street-Bryant Park Station to wait across the platform for (the hopefully arriving soon) F train. Being the train fanatic that my son is, he would truly get a kick with the amount of buses and trains that I have taken to get to work. So that gets a dry laugh out of me. At this point the ride is going on past two hours and counting.
As I wait for an F train that seems not to be coming, I start to second guess myself on not taking the D to 34th Street to change for the N or the R. But as a native Astorian I've had my fair share of delays on the N (For the Never Train) and the R (For the Rarely Train) to last my whole life, thank you very much. My gleaming chariot arrives in grand style into the station with nary an empty seat in sight. Surely I couldn't have expected to get a seat on every part of my ride, Right? LOL. Off I go towards the Broadway-Lafayette Street with 5 stops to go hoping nothing else happens to delay me even further.
The remaining ride is smooth and I go upstairs exiting the station on the corner of Crosby and Houston Streets. The time on my phone says 9:20pm. A forty-five minute trip done in two and a quarter hours.
Thank you MTA, my ride this evening was divine. Truly, it was an adventure on every ride.
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