Saturday, August 22, 2009

New York, New York

This week I’m going to summarize a few things I loved and hated about New York. I will start with my loves. For today, can we say massive transportation system? Hello subway, I love you. Will you come to my town so I never have to drive a car again?

It may seem silly that this is the first thing I mention about New York, but really, I adore the subway. I love how it goes everywhere (even under the bay). I love how fast it is. I love how when it speeds by it sends a wave of hot air across my face.

Sure I don’t understand a word the operators are saying, except maybe, “Stand clear of the closing doors.” (repeated 5 times until the girl in front of me yanks her purse out of the doors that have been closing on it for the last 5 tries). Sure the air beneath the streets of New York is just a little bit muggier than the air above. But I feel like the culture of New York exists in those tunnels (and I don’t mean the kind of culture you can grow in a petri dish, although I’m sure there’s plenty of that down there too). I mean the people, the everyday life, the diversity of New York pulses through those tunnels. I love it.

I’m sure my husband hated the way that every time he said, “Which way are we going again?” that I started singing the lyrics to Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl”. How does everyone in New York (that is heading uptown) not sing that song at all times?

Anyway, subways, I love you and I have missed you since I’ve been home.

Sorry, friends, that I haven’t been around much. I’ve been traveling a lot and writing like crazy. But I am going attempt to be more present in the blogosphere.


  1. I admire that you braved the subway without a guide. I kept wondering how the uninitiated would ever know where they were because the signs were just a blur as we sped past.

  2. I've never made it to NY but I truly want to.

  3. Me too with that subway, which I road unnecessarily both times I was in NY for the fun of it. And trains! All the people watching, the dozing off to the rhythm, the writing, the reading. I bet commuters want to hit me now. hehe

  4. Oh, you were just in NY? My home town! if you think the subway is great, you should the Metro in dc! A million times better.

  5. I was born in Brooklyn and grew up on Long Island. The subways rock! And really, you couldn't understand what the conductors said? It's just like the adult voices on Charlie Brown, "mwah, mwah, mwah, mwah, mwah." Who can't understand that?

    Funny story: My husband and I were in NYC on the subway a few years back. The conductor came on and said something. The train pulled into the next station and everyone got up and got off the train. We asked what was going on.

    "Didn't you hear the announcement? The train needs maintenance."

    Um, yeah. Sure we heard the message. NOT!!!!

  6. Linda, I had a nifty little subway map for most of the first day, so that saved me. Plus people are super nice if you're lost.

    Travis, it's a must. :)

    Angie, yes to everything you said, I love it. We took a train to Philadelphia while we were there too and I got to read and read, it was so fun.

    Corey, what?? An even better subway? I must go immediately. :)

    Debra, that's a funny story. Pretty much the same thing happened to us, I was about to tell you about it but I just now decided it will make a really funny post in a few days. Thanks for the idea.

  7. Lovely post.

    I fell in love with NYC when I visited it for the first time. I was seventeen years old. While I haven't been back since then (at least in any real, traveling subways and wandering the streets way), I hope to return again soon.

  8. I have never been to New York, but want to experience it one day, although, I know I will feel a bit claustraphobic in the subways--I hate being "underneath-enclosed" in thing - especially if it goes under water -

    New York seems a paradox of things, I bet

  9. I've lived in Nashville all my life. Public transportation here sucks. We have buses, but if you aren't in the downtown area, it doesn't do much for you. You pretty much have to have a car to live here. My sister lives in Chicago and I envy the availability of public transportation there. She and her husband have one car and most days it never leaves the garage.

  10. Writing like crazy is what you SHOULD be doing! I think it's wonderful! Hope to see you around a little bit more as you ease back into the blogosphere. I've never been to New York, just DC. But I loved the feel of the big city! I can see how the subway would have a huge appeal.

  11. Yay! Welcome back! I totally agree about the pulse of the city. That is where you get a real feel for how alive it is. :)

  12. I have never been to NYC, but I did experience the London Underground. I liked how convenient it was, but I think I am a bigger fan of cars. Didn't it freak you out that there was nothing between you and the track? One wrong step and that would be it for you. (Unless Sandra Bullock was there to save you.) Maybe NYC has a rail between you and death?

  13. Subways are awesome. When we used the metro in Paris it was so easy to get around, same with London. I'm hoping to one day visit New York. I even bought a travel guide.

  14. Hi my friend who dropped off the face of the blogging planet. And, yes, I do know that's like the pot calling the kettle black.

  15. Terresa, it's easy to fall in love with. You should definitely go back.

    Kathryn, if you're claustrophobic the subways are not for you.

    Stephanie, I'm in the same boat as you. Public transportation sucks here too. I think it's why I'm so intrigued by the subways.

    Michelle, yes, it does feel good to be writing like crazy. I'm closing in on the end of my book. :)

    Jenn, thanks, and yes, it is the heart down there.

    Jessie, no, NYC did not have a rail between me and my untimely death. And oddly enough it is something I thought about often while I was waiting for the train. I was thinking of all those stories I had heard in the past about people falling onto the tracks and being saved. And then I would start to wonder what I would do if I fell onto the tracks. Yeah, active imagination can be a curse sometimes. :)

    Patti, a travel guide is a good start. :)

    Candi, yes, you are the pot so no pointing fingers. LOL