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Monday, April 6, 2009

Times the City has "won"

I pride myself in an Adapt and Overcome mentality, but every so often I just cannot deal with the city.

The city can be overwhelming. It can be intimidating and confusing. When the city has succeeded in negatively impacting my emotional state of being, even if just for a short while, I think: the city has won.

Sometimes I hide away in my apartment- high above the noise and crowds and complications. Especially the first two years we lived in NYC (when we lived on Roosevelt Island doing anything was uber complicated). Sometimes I would get lost and call my husband in tears. Although usually if I'm lost I hail a cab and have them drive me to somewhere I know I recognize (it used to be that Times Square was the only place in the city I reliably knew how to get to and from, so I would get lost and then have a cab take me to Times Square).

Since moving to the UWS (Upper West Side) I have had only few moments where I felt like the city has won.

Usually this happens when I am trying something different. Like trying to get to Forrest Hills from Penn Station (when the only train I'm familiar with is the one to Great Neck which is a different line). I was nearly in tears after two station employees couldn't help me find the right train line, and one almost had me get on the wrong train. (I now know where to look to find this information, btw). I finally decided to take the subway that day, and of course that was the night that the subway train ahead of mine got delayed for 20 minutes while a man was aided by EMS. So we were stuck in the dark of underground for 20 minutes. Have I mentioned how much I hate being stuck underground? By the time I showed up at E's grandma's for our visit, it was almost two hours after I'd started on my way there!

Today on our way to work we decided that walking in the rain, even with an umbrella, wasn't the best thing, so we figured we'd pop into Columbus Circle's subway station and hop on to the downtown 1.

We got into the station and followed a sign that appeared to point to the right. Of course THAT wasn't right, so we back tracked and found another sign and followed it until we came to a spot that led to several openings that appeared to all say uptown (we wanted downtown). Finally we found another sign, one that indicated that if we went downstairs towards the B/D uptown we'd find the 1 downtown. (Are you confused yet?). We ventured downstairs and lo and behold- there were no other signs. We turned around and the sign leading upstairs indicated that we would find the downtown 1 if we headed upstairs (um...at the top of the stairs there was a sign saying we'd find it by going down the stairs).

At this point I said to E that I couldn't deal with the cluster that is that station and wanted to just catch a cab. He wisely agreed.

The cab with tip came to $10. The venture into the subway cost $2.

I don't think I'll be using the Columbus circle subway stop until the construction inside is done. And even then, I think I'll avoid it.

Besides, walking to work is totally free.

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