I spent last weekend in the country and I am not in the mood this week for the hustle and bustle of NYC commuting.
Because of my annoyance, Andy and I were swapping commuter stories on Tuesday. He brought up traveling the long depressing tunnel at 42nd street. The one that connects the subway lines on 8th Ave to the multitude of lines under Times Square.
Andy is normally going against traffic when he walks through the tunnel, and the hundreds of people coming at him take up the entire width of the tunnel. The issue is men AND women won’t move over so he can pass, and then run right into him. Their bodies hard to avoid while clinging to the right-hand side of the tunnel.
I used to experience a similar phenomenon in the Financial District.
It was a daily struggle to walk against the flow of people coming off the Staten Island Ferry in the morning. Everyday I felt like I was the lone Wal-Mart greeter facing the crazy masses as the doors open on Black Friday.
As I walked to my workplace, the people of Staten Island would take up the entire sidewalk on both sides of the street, and wouldn’t let the few of us who were heading the opposite way pass. Commuters would literally walk into me as I stayed as far right as I could.
There was a woman who rode the same train I did, who had to walk with a cane, and the masses of Staten Island would push her into the wall of the Custom’s House at least twice a week. It was appalling.
One day, at the end of the work day, I headed into the subway station located directly outside the ferry. The 1 train had just emptied and hoards of Staten Islanders were pouring out of the station. Of course, as per usual, there wasn’t any room for any of the non-Staten Islanders trying to get into the station.
Frustrated, I decided to head down the far right side of the entrance and force people to let me down the stairs. As I stepped into the entrance, a Staten Islander in her 50’s, had to move over to let me descend the stairs. After she moved, she let out a long, aggravated sigh.
Feeling cheeky, I stopped and mimicked her sigh loud enough for her to hear.
This Staten Islander was so shocked that she turned around and gave me a Bronx Cheer.
I burst into laughter at the idea of 50-year-old woman sending a disdainful raspberry my way.
And that’s all Staten Island had for me that day. A crowded staircase, an angry sigh, and a peppered raspberry.
Get outta town!