17 June 2010

Taking my time.

I have a tendency to look at mass transit as a speedy means to an end, rather than a comfortable and easy way to get to and from the places I need to get to. For example, I will often sacrifice personal comfort to get there faster. I know which trains run express where, and for how long on all the routes I take regularly. I will cheerfully switch from express to local back to express again, so as to avoid having to wait for a slow train in between stops. Today, I decided to flip it around, and see if I couldn’t ride in such a way as to maximise my comfort and give myself enough time to relax before getting to work.

So far, not so bad at all. I got onto the 1 train this morning, rather than walking directly to the A. Surprise surprise, it was running express to 168th, which meant that I not only had a fast ride, but also a comfortable one, because I got on at the front of the train (even though the exit platforms at 168th are towards the back). There weren’t that many people on that particular car, and I was able to set my bag down next to me, and stretch my legs out a bit. Once I got out at 168th, I took my leisurely time to get to the lifts (because there is no stairway connection to the upper platform), walking all the way from the front of the platform to the back to get to that bank of lifts.

By the time I got there, everyone who had jostled for position up front had already gotten onto the lift and dropped down on the upper platforms. I was there by myself, with about four or five others. Nice. We had a big empty lift to ourselves, where we all had plenty of breathing room. Very very nice. This time, I walked all the way to the back of the platform to get onto the back of the C train (local). I generally just wait for the A, and take it straight down, standing at the car furthest to the front, because that’s where my exit is at West 4th. Today, I wanted to stretch my legs and relax, so I got on the C until 125th street, where the A pulled up after the C arrived. Funny, that. Again, instead of going towards the front, I stayed far in the back.

Good choice. I’m typing this from my comfortable seat, on my relatively empty car. Most of the seats are empty. No obnoxious street preachers hollering about damnation and hellfire. No beggars. No crappy “dance” performance that make people in epileptic seizures look good. Nothing. Just a nice, quiet, clean car. And now here’s my stop. Where I will exit in my own sweet time, and walk to my exit, and not have to wait behind slow or annoying people.

I like this plan.