August 13, 2009

Take the A train

A train, 12:45am

Since I've been living in the great north (Inwood), I spend literally hours (plural), on the subways each day. After living in the west village for 8+ years I still gravitate to my old hood. The train can be a fickle bastard. Sometimes it runs express, sometimes it runs local. You have to catch the A train before 10:30pm to get it running express. Taking an express train from West 4th to 200th street where I live takes about 35-40 minutes and makes about 11 stops. If you miss the express or it decides randomly to run local, as if often does, it takes double the time and makes 23 stops (give or take). During the weekend it generally runs local all the time which sucks stops constantly. Sorry, all of this means nothing to anyone living outside the city.

The other night I got on the train around midnight. It took forever and was surprisingly empty, which is always sort of spooky. On most of this trek I was all alone in the car. I felt slight anxiety at each stop wondering who might get on. A nutjob? A gang? When I finally got off at 200th street I stood for a moment on the empty platform and took some photos of a bum sleeping on a bench. I heard a noise behind me and noticed two rats chasing each other just a few feet away. They hadn't noticed me and it was if I was watching two cute, furry rodents on the Animal Planet chasing each other and playing tag . They were completely unaware I was there. As I walked out of the station another rat spotted me as he was halfway up the steps. He turned as if panicked and decided to retreat and go back down as I was coming up. He hugged the wall as he ran past me.. Normally I would stiffin up and screech (internally) like a little girl but this time I just watched him zip by. There are so many rats in Inwood. Occassionally I'd see one walking bravely on the platform at West 4th but it was rare. You always see them on the tracks. My old girlfriend and I used to call them "Mice-capades". It kept us entertained while waiting for the trains. I dream of the day when I can hop in a cab from 200th and say..."West Village" and fork out the $30 to get down there without wincing. Then again, when I get that 1800 sq ft loft in Tribeca I won't need that $30 cab.

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