Monday, August 15, 2005

New York Moment


Last night I experienced New York Moment #2. I wish I was able to take a photo, but that is part of why it was a New York Moment. It was 11:45pm and I had just got done watching "Mad, Hot Ballroom" at a theatre in Chelsea. I waited for more than 15 minutes to catch the A train from 23rd Street, to connect at 42nd Street to the N, W or R to go to Astoria. Once I got to 42nd Street, I walked the equivilent of 4 long city blocks to get over to the N/W/R. When I got there, there was a train at the station, and everyone was running to catch it. However, the train was PACKED. Mind you, it was a Sunday night at midnight, at this point, and it was worse than rush hour. There was a conductor on the platform encouraging people to pile on, saying the 7 and R were closed, so this would be the last train for a while. Normally I would have waited, but I went ahead and squeezed in. It was wall to wall people, but at least I was able to get my hand on the rail to steady myself. The train takes off uptown, stops at 49th street, and more people start to pile on. At this point, I thought we were going to burst and I was being touched in places by strangers that border on illegal. Everyone is in good spirits, though, because we figure that it can't get any worse. The train stops at 57th, 5th Ave and 59th & Lex, and each time more and more people get on, and no one gets off. There are so many people that you cannot even see the handrails anymore, just a sea of hands overlapping hands, slippery from the rain and sweat. These trains are air conditioned, but I would have bet against that. Eventually, people are packed in nowhere near handrails, with their hands raised in the air holding onto the ceiling. This was a deoderant commercial waiting to happen. Once we got across the bridge to Queensboro Plaza, the train emptied out, and I was left to contemplate the experience of being that intimate with complete strangers for 20 minutes after midnight. Facscinating. Welcome to New York.

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