Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September 18, 2013: Commuting to Work

Date: September 18, 2013
Event: Commuting to Work
Location: New York City, Union Square
Cost: FREE (well, except for the cost of one subway ride)
Summary: It was a wee crowded on the subway this morning

I don’t often take the 4-5-6 train at rush hour. I’m fortunate that I can just as easily work at home as in the office so I’m pretty flexible as to when I actually go into the office. But today it so happened that I was ready to head to the office just before 8:00 am.

And MAN, was I reminded just how crowded the platform (and trains) on the 4-5-6 line get during morning rush hour. Now, don’t get me wrong. I actually don’t mind it. Not really. I mean, in New York you can choose to find such experiences as annoying or fascinating. I choose the latter. :)

With this subway line in this station, you can get a kind of ‘preview’ of what you’re going to face when you head down the stairs and onto the actual platform from which you’ll catch the train. So when I saw what I saw in the picture below, I decided to just stop for a moment, pause amongst the hustle and bustle, and actually *enjoy* the little bit of insanity, even marvel at it.

Also, I know that on the 4-5 line in the morning, dozens, maybe hundreds of people will get off any given 4 or 5 train, and probably double that will get on (or will at least try). So when a train stops, a small little isle is created at each door, single file people pour out of the train through that isle, and then as soon as the last person is on, the rush is on to get in. It’s almost beautiful. Almost. ;)

Just a reminder this is happening along the length of the entire platform, which stretches nearly two city blocks.

Sometimes, pictures make it look more crowded than it really is…

…but not in this case, it really is that crowded, lol.

After taking pictures of the ordered chaos from above for a couple of trains, I decided it was time to head down and battle the platform myself.

Here’s my view waiting for the next express train.

And from here, I honestly didn’t think I’d make it on when the train did arrive (also, the guy in the black hat is HUGE! He had to duck down far to get in the subway!)

But I did make it on! In fact, I was the last one on. Squished between the side seats, the person in front of me, the person next to me, and the door behind me, I settled in for the ride uptown to Grand Central terminal where I was getting off. I tried to take pictures, but it wasn’t easy, without any room to maneuver. But what struck me was the absolute silence in the subway car. All us strangers, so many different people, smooshed together, some people reading, some playing on iPads, some just listening to earbuds, some just trying to hang on and not fall down, no one interacting but everyone being civil, doing our best to respect each other’s space, just trying to get to work. It was actually kind of moving.

This was a picture I could get (with my camera down by my waist since my hands were kind of trapped down there, too!)

Now, I’ll admit, that it’s too tiring to kind of soak in and appreciate ones surroundings on the subway during a New York rush hour. But every now and then, every now and then it’s worth it. And I appreciate the ride, even the smooshed ones. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment