Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New York Commute

Living in New Brunswick/Highland Park , I have had to commute to Trenton and Newark before for internships. Commuting when school is not in session is the worst because of the awful bus schedule. Now I have to commute to NY everyday for work and surprisingly its not that bad.

Apart from getting up at ungodly hours and sitting in a car that just wont warm up, there aren't any major hiccups. I get the train from Edison in the morning, a station that is closer to Highland Park but for some reason none of the desi junta ever goes to. I guess thats because the Rutgers bus doesn't run thataway but it is much nearer and very convenient if you have someone to drop you off at the station. Edison and the two stations after it, Metuchen & Metropark are hot spots for working desis. Its crowded with desis and as the train approaches Metropark you can see the hordes crowding the platform. The funniest thing is people running from afar trying to catch the train. Even though this happens to me at the Edison station, I find it funnier when it happens to others. But I cant understand why they keep on running even though its plain obvious they are gonna miss it. I have actually waved at an uncle , after the doors closed right at his face. Haha! I love NJTransit. Its very convenient and comfortable. I mostly read. As does the rest of the train. I on a lowly paperback while several on their Kindles and Sony Readers.I gave up sleeping after once I missed Newark Penn and landed at NY Penn. Also internships have taught me the absolute necessity of sleeping on time. You have to get your 8 hours of shut eye or you end up drooping at work and feel the debilitating grip of the sandman.

Its annoying when your train gets queued up before entering the Tunnel to NYC. I would reach spot on time if it weren't for that 15 minute delay that is now happening very often. Its an endearing sight that greets you just as you emerge from the tunnel and witness the skyscrapers and the NewYorker building among others. Stepping out of the train I dash for the Subway as does everyone else. You have to actually swim through a a deluge of people headed the other way , exiting the station. In the evening this river flows upstream. Also in the evening you have people transfixed like flies, glaring at the LIRR updates. They are another roadblock you have to skip over. You have to navigate slowpokes and old people as you reach the subway. I take the A express and thats the best part of the commute. You get to see the NewYorkers!! Ah, those vibrant multicultural species. So many kinds and shapes and odors and hairstyles and clothes. The only thing common would be the ubiquitous white iPod earphones. Even when people are talking to each other they don't take it off. Its almost rude. Whats the other thing thats off? Just like in the DTC and several other mass Transit systems in cities all over the world, people love to huddle up near the doors. No one likes to go to the very end. Of course in the DTC it would literally be impossible to get out at your stop in time if you are way inside the mass of humanity, it is not so in the MTA. Why don't people just move in then?? Once I reach my stop , I have a direct entry to my building through the subway and that is that. Although its not the easiest or shortest commute it is not too tiring, however it does eat up 3 hours of my day, prompting me to think of shifting shop in the near future. Wouldn't it be a dream to live in NYC?