I’m home! Those of you on Facebook noticed my comment about my love/hate relationship with having Mondays off. I love it because ... well ... that means I have at least one weekend day off. I also love it because while everyone is complaining about Monday I’m not at work complaining about the fact that my weekend is over.
Things that are not so great. Most of my friends are working. I’m all for jobs! Jobs are good! That means you can afford to live in this amazing city of New York. However, Mondays are tricky for me. There are no speed dating events. They're always Thursday or Wednesday nights, when I’m at work. Most of Broadway is dark. Friends that do work normal hours just wanna go home, or have plans. I get that. I get off of work at 1am and just want to get the heck home. Traveling the subway at 1am is a wee bit different then in the evening. The train is crowded, but you can sit. Most of us are sleeping or reading and just want to get home. When you take the “rush hour” train home from Times Square to wherever you live ... different story. I think I began to notice this last week. I was working some rare day shifts and was leaving at a pretty normal time for someone in the news business (between 6pm and 6:30pm). Now, I usually am just starting my shift. I typically get to work between 4:30pm and 5pm and the trains are pretty chill. I mean it’s usually full of school kids, nannies or wacky shift people like me. I never notice that the subways are simmering, getting ready for the rush of people leaving work to go home ... that the subways are about to boil over.
That brings us to today. I had a nice day. I went grocery shopping. I went to pilates. I got my nails done. Then, I got stuck. I typically get stuck on what to do on Monday nights. I always feel I should be doing something on my nights off because I don’t get nights off. Mondays are weird. Sundays I have friends that are off. If I stay in on Sunday night I watch my Alaska shows. Mondays are odd. Well, tonight, nobody was available to do anything. Nobody was like “You must see this Broadway or off-Broadway show.” Monday’s are weird on Broadway. I’ve seen most of the shows that do have a performance Monday night. Mamma Mia ... I was leaning towards. I still haven’t seen that show! However, for some reason my gut told me to skip it tonight. I am on the fence with Rocky. It’s in previews and some have told me the show has some kinks to work out ... that it is great ... but to wait till the show is frozen and it’s open. I do want to see “Sex Tips For Straight Women From A Gay Man.” However, I want someone to go with me and nobody wants to go! People! It’s a funny show! I promise we will sit in the back and won’t have to participate! It’s also 2-for-1 Off Broadway time! I digress. So seeing a show was out tonight. Plan B. Happy Hour. Nobody was able to meet up for drinks either. So this was my afternoon. I ate some queso, read a book, and had a whisky sour and drank gallon of water. Then I went to Latitude Bar & Grill for a $5 martini before I was like “Jess. Cut your losses.” I look at my watch and it’s like 6:20ish. I give up and decide it's time to go. It’s time to go home and enjoy some “General Hospital” and other shows I DVR. I am a homebody. I love being at home. Getting there ... however, is another thing. As I approached the Times Square station at 6:30 ... I braced myself for crowds of people wanting to get home too.
Those of you who have stepped on the already full 2 or 3 train at Times Square at this hour already know it’s not going to be the most comfortable ride. If you are going two or three stops ... not so bad. People get off at Penn Station, but even more pile on. It’s a sardine situation either way. You just know you are smashed up against someone who has either an iPad in their hands, a book in their hands, or multiple bags in their hands. These people are all fine. It’s the person with the three grocery bags that always drives me nuts! I get it. Everyone needs to go grocery shopping. Heck! I’m finishing up a box of Glutino Bagel Chips and a tub of cream cheese as I type this (OINK!). However, for you to shove your three grocery bags onto this sardine-packed train ... then plop them down on someone’s feet because there is no room and then get pissy about it.... well, you get an eye roll from me. I mean acknowledge you are already invading someone already consumed space with your bags and apologize! I mean, I was smashed against a door the entire time! I accept this is a fact of riding the subway in New York City at rush hour. I got off when the doors open to let people off. I got back on and got back smashed against the door again. I’m fine with that. I mean, I don’t love it, but ... it’s okay. #1. Don’t live in NYC if you can’t hand this occasional occurrence on trains. #2 It’s okay. We all want to go home! Just acknowledge that you know you are in someone's space. It’s okay. I get it. No worries! The train rolls on. We hit 14th Street. Another hot stop on the train ride home at rush hour. Why? Well, there are bars galore and lots of people live in the Chelsea-area. However, despite the number of people who spill off the train, you are still packed like a sardine. So ... I do a “happy dance” in my head when we hit Clark Street in Brooklyn. Why? Because a lot more people get off the train. Being that Clark Street is the first stop in Brooklyn on the 2/3 train ... a lot of people live there ... and get off. Then ... the train hits Atlantic Avenue. I jump off the train and let folks on as dozens more people pile off. Atlantic Terminal is known as the Grand Central Station of Brooklyn. The train rumbles on. Two stops later I get off. I climb the stairs and breathe in the Brooklyn air. I love my neighborhood. I get off and it’s quiet. There is nobody rushing around. There are no yellow taxis honking. It’s just quiet. I walk home and turn the key. I open the door and say to myself “Welcome home. It’s good to back.”
People ask me all the time what I love about New York. They question why I would leave so many good jobs and family to ride in a sardine-packed subway. I've blogged about this before, but taxi driver Eugene Salomon has another perspective I love.
I think Mr. Salomon said it right in his book (I just finished) called, “Confessions of a New York Taxi Driver.”
“New York is a terrible place. New York is a wondrous place. It’s filled with awfully rude people and it’s filled with the nicest people you’ve ever met. Its joy will infect you, its misery will haunt you; there are saints, sinners and a church or bar on nearly every block; it’s where you go to soar, it’s where you go to nose-diver from a bridge. Every variation of the human condition is not only represented, but well represented, here. New York is the human race. New York is the world.” --Eugene Salomon
It's also home.