NEW YORK MINUTES
|Timing is everything.|
As a New Yorker, catching the subway on time can mean jumpstarting a productive day at the office, or snagging a table at one of the city’s most fashionable restaurants rather than waiting two hours to be seated. Timing is everything in this town, and public transportation, though beyond our control, is key in navigating the five boroughs of New York City.
Some days the trains cooperate and arrive on time, and I hang out only a minute or two on the platform. But other days the trains drag and don’t run as frequently, leaving me with an eight to ten-minute wait, which in big city time can seem like a half hour.
A few weeks back, Mike and I were rushing to do a restaurant review downtown. We made our way down the stairs from the street, hustled through the turnstiles, and heard the train arrive. He hurried on the next set of steps leading to the platform while I, as usual, lagged behind. (I am a slowpoke when it comes to stairs since I often wear heels. I also happen to lack coordination.)
|I am not quick on the stairs.|
Meanwhile, I managed to pick up the pace and hauled ass to get to the first subway car to jump inside with him. I thought I’d made it, but the moment I reached the front of the platform just inches from the doors, they closed. Luckily, Mike was still standing by my side and had not entered the car. Otherwise, we would’ve been separated and ended up on two different trains.
We both stood frozen outside the sealed doors in disbelief. The conductor in the front of the train looked through his open window directly at me –– he was less than two feet away. In fact, he stared into my eyes as the doors closed.
“Really?” I said with a look of displeasure, returning the stare. I felt as if I was acting in an episode of a 1990s sitcom. Was Seinfeld, Kramer, George or Elaine standing beside me? At least no one stole my gyro! (See a hilarious few minutes in the video below.)
A reality check brought me to my senses quickly, and I knew that I was miles away from one-liners. At the time, I was pretty pissed off. The thought of this moment is funny now, since it’s in the past, of course. (For those who do not regularly ride the NYC subway, I want to mention that it’s not uncommon for a conductor to hold the doors open for a few seconds when people are dashing to make the train, especially if the train is not packed.)
The conductor apologetically responded just a split second before the subway rode off, “I don’t control the doors.” Michael and I continued to stand in shock and motionless as the train we should’ve been riding rolled out of the station.
The subway was running on schedule that day –– we waited about five minutes until the next train and walked into the restaurant five minutes late.
|Making or missing a subway train can have an impact on your day.|