So a couple nights ago when coming home from work I got sick of waiting for the M27 bus to the Port Authority and hopped on the M50 which goes all the way west the river. My intention was to hop off at Broadway and then hop on the M104 to 42nd Street and then walk the one block to the PA. However, I got sidetracked by my book and ended up riding to 8th Avenue.
Too lazy to walk the 8 blocks I used my free Metrocard transfer to ride the E train from 50th Street to 42nd Street. Now, I haven’t voluntarily ridden the subway since 2001 for two reasons:
2) I read “The Hot Zone” by Robert Preston and was appropriately freaked out about the subway system
But it was one stop, and I figured how bad could it be?
Well, let me count the ways. First, it smelled. I had forgotten how bad the subways smell. It’s a very distinctive odor, and the minute I went down from street level to the subway level I could smell it and remember it as though I rode the subway every day.
Second? When the train pulled up it was packed like sardines. The doors opened, and one person got off – but five wanted to get on at my particular doorway. We pushed our way on, and immediately my hackles got raised because I could feel my stress level increasing bit by bit as the sardines all jockeyed for the best position.
The train lurched forward and I was promptly thrown into the person next to me, for which I apologized and he ignored me. Nice. Thankfully, I was only riding one stop, but the doors opened on the opposite side of the train. Fortunately a lot of people were getting off at the Port Authority stop so I was able to just kind of drift into the stream of people and we all poured out from the train.
When I got to street level of Port Authority I was able to breathe a little better and my stress level went down a notch. PA smells bad too – but it’s improvement over the subway and I’ll never complain about it again. And I’ll also try not to ride the subway again during rush hour. I’ll gladly wait 60 seconds longer for my bus, thankyouverymuch. Less crowded, street level, and most importantly? Less smelly. :crazy:
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