Stuck


 

The other day I wrote the date as October.  I have done that a bunch of times through November and now into December.  I know it's the 12th month of the year, not the 10th, but part of my brain is still stuck.  It's well into another month, and still I want it to be October, I want to un-lose that month in there.  I realize there is no going back to before this storm, it happened, I just miss so many of the things we had before.  Mainly laundromats, restaurants, and peace of mind…not small things, but some of those things will come back.

 

Most of all, I miss the A train.  The MTA has offered alternatives.  The three solutions, so far as I've seen -

 

  • The "H" shuttle.  The A train currently terminates at Howard Beach.  There you can get a bus to the beginning of what used to be the A train at Mott Street.  From there, you can board the H train which is running the route along half the peninsula

  • Seastreak is running a ferry from 108th street to Wall Street and East 34th

  • The Q52 and Q53 buses continue to run from Rockaway to the A train at Rockaway Boulevard.  The MTA has started running the Q52 more regularly than before.

 

Those are the most objective ways I can state the transit "alternatives".

The realities -

I live in the middle of the peninsula.  So….

  • I can take the A train, transfer to a bus at Howard Beach.  Normally home would have been just two stops later.  Two long but lovely stretches across the bay, those are the parts of the A train's tracks that have fallen into the water and are otherwise are out of commission until the Summer (likely the earliest).  The bus doesn't just run the old route of the train, that would be bearable.  Instead it runs directly 7 stops (or across the bay and then over 70 blocks) to the end of the line.  At that point I'd get to re-board the train and back track 6 stops.  This easily adds 45 minutes to well over an hour to my commute
  • I can and do take the ferry.  I drive 15 minutes to the dock.  I could take a bus, but I'd have to give myself at least 30 minutes to get the 30 or so blocks there.  I love the ferry.  I get to take a boat to work!  It takes about an hour to get to Wall Street, where I then walk a few blocks to the subway, which takes roughly 20-30 minutes to get within 2 avenues of my office.  If I miss the ferry, I may have to wait over an hour for the next one.
  • I can and do take the A train to Rockaway Boulevard.  Walk to an island in the middle of some crappy traffic patterns and board the Q52.  On a good day, I get a seat on the bus that arrives shortly after I do.  But, I have waited in excess of an hour on that cold island in the middle of a junction of what feels like 4 different throughways.  So, it's a crap shoot to say the least.

 

This is my new reality.  Is your head spinning, are you a little confused?  Welcome to how it feels every morning when I try to figure out which route to take, or every afternoon when it's time to head home.  Where I chose to live in a somewhat remote far flung edge of a borough, I did it because it was only one train, I hate to transfer.  But, life can be about adjusting to what you hate, I'm not going to be all "Wah, I have to transfer".  My house didn't burn down, it could be worse.  On a good day it took me just under and hour to get to work, on a bad day, about an hour and a half.  While I am thankful that the MTA offered up different routes post-Sandy, it is so hard not knowing if my commute will take 1.5 hours or 3.  It is exhausting and keeps me from making any plans after work.  The monotony of going to work and running right home before I turn into a pumpkin gets old, and makes me feel old.  I feel stuck at home and stuck at the office, with no time to just enjoy being unstuck in between.  This is monotony, certainly not the biggest problem in the world.  I work damn hard have a career and live in a city I love, but this…this makes me love it all a lot less.  It feels like the last time I had to commute and I fought like hell to change that situation, to do what it took to fix it.  I put in the time and the effort to change that, but it was freaking hard.  I am just so damned tired, and it may be temporary, but it is draining.  Then I think, I'm lucky I have heat, and so I suck it up and do it all again.  And that is the current setting in which I am stuck.