Wednesday, March 25, 2009

thanks, mta.

Once upon a time, I will admit that I had a complete love affair with the underground form of public transportation in NYC. I went as far as writing my college essay on how afternoons of mindless people watching on the subway shaped me into a girl ready to take on college; I purchased a coffee table book that highlights hysterical images of subway insanity; I hung a map in my freshman dorm room.

You might ask why I find New York's subterranean labyrinth of grime, crime, vice and mice to be so fascinating. Well, my reason is pretty simple: on the subway, you see things unlike anything else in the world. On the street, you are likely to hear people exclaim complaints about rushed mornings. The subway, however, is where you hear the aftermath. While commuting back to Penn Station from my lowly internship at a Brooklyn-based advertising agency a few summers ago, I sat next to a woman who said her rushed afternoon disallowed her from warming up for her gospel choir audition that evening. "I hope you don't mind if I practice next to you," she said, just seconds before pulling an Aretha and filling the journey from DUMBO to Penn with sung acclamations and comments about "Praising the Lord!"

Yup, that actually happened, but if you're a savvy spender and smartly sail by subway, you know that commutes like that are simply the norm. However, due to the MTA's $.50 fare raise (effective May 31...just in time for my re-entry to the five boroughs!), I just don't see as many leisurely subway rides in the stars for me this summer. Humph.