Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Subway Secrets

After spending about a month commuting to school each day, I have learned some valuable lessons. Each morning, I walk four blocks, walk down the stairs where I am handed the free "AM" paper, hop onto the train, and I leap off at 42nd to take the shuttle to Grand Central. Then I trot three more blocks to arrive at my school. Complicated? You would think so. However, I now feel I could do it in my sleep. It's become an automatic process. I can read the paper, text a friend, change the song on my iPod, and maintain some sense of balance.

However, this pro-subway status didn't happen overnight. I first had to learn some important subway lessons. I would like to take a moment to impart this knowledge onto you.

1. If the train is packed sardine style, just wait. The trains come almost every 2 minutes, it's not worth having your face stuffed into someones armpit.

2. Move IN!! In crowded situations, go to the middle of the car. This again prevents unfortunate armpit situations.

3. When swimming upstream through people, get behind another fish. It's easier than dodging people alone. They have already moved for the person in front of you or you at least know which way to veer.

4. Hold onto the poles no matter what! It takes years of practice to become a subway surfer and an incredible sense of balance if I do say so. I have fell on to too many people to think I have that gift. Find some thing to latch onto. Those drivers love to lurch.

5. Don't talk. I know this sounds quite unfriendly, but just don't do it. A quiet train is the best kind. Put in your iPod, read the newspaper, text, check facebook, but do not try and strike up a convo. The morning silence can be very refreshing. It's as if everyone is mentally preparing for the day.

Side story: Most people I have tried to chat it up with tend to be a bit crazy. I once had a 50+ year old man give me his card and told me to call him for coffee if I was up to it. That pretty much shut down my friendly chatting aspirations for good. :) I know, it's embarrassing, but true and lesson learned for me.

6. Pay attention to uptown and downtown trains. There is nothing worse than realizing you are going the wrong way. Don't be afraid to ask someone, people here are very nice about giving directions.

7. Finally, get off a few stops early and walk. The city streets are much more interesting than the subway.

1 comment:

  1. you're amazing. subway surfing tip: keep your knees slightly bent and loose. your hips should be loose, as well. still, have something to latch on to in case of severe lurching. but the reason for surfing, which i'm sure you know, is to avoid touching germ-infested surfaces.