Taking the bus
I admit it- for the first two years I lived in NYC I avoided taking the bus.
I reasoned this behavior with statements such as: They don't go very fast- I've seen them stuck in traffic; and- There are crazy people* on the bus (there are crazy people on the subway too, but on the subway you can get out at the next stop and step down to the next car and get back in); and various other excuses along the same lines (It's too confusing...the waits are too long...)
I don't remember why I did it, the first time I got on the bus. I think I just happened by 57th st and saw the bus stop and, having heard from E how amazing the M57 bus was, stood in line. IF the bus had not come quickly, perhaps I would have walked away...
Boy was I missing out. First of all, unlike the subway, when you're waiting for the bus, you're not standing at the edge of a platform- so there's no need to deal with the recurring fear of somehow tumbling into the pit of despair doom. Second, I have yet to see a rat on the streets of NY (unless you count the one that had been run over and was plastered to the street). The bus stops I wait at never smell of urine or other body wastes. If a crazy person happens by while you're waiting for the bus (I haven't had that happen as of yet), you can walk to another stop or decide to walk home altogether). And, if I happen to miss the bus by a few seconds, I can walk quickly the three blocks to where it will stop again and catch it there (this might not be true on other streets, but I've noticed on 57th that the traffic slows the bus down more than say, west end blvd).
Granted, there is still the whole, crazy person on the bus problem, but so far that's only happened once, and he got off soon after I got on. I figure, if I am on a bus and a crazy person gets on, then I can always get off and wait for the next bus or walk home.
I am sure glad I tried the bus that first time. And it takes Metro cards just like the subway!
*crazy people for the purposes of this post are the kind of people who are not just talking to themselves, but badgering others. I can handle all kinds of quiet passive weirdness, but loud obnoxious interactive crazy wigs me out.