This last weekend I was in a bigger city without a car. I'm fine with this. I have traveled to NYC a few times and DC and used the Subways and such. My friend and I got around just fine and didn't have any problems, so we had to laugh with how our trip that weekend ended. Last night we were traveling back to our hotel via Subway after a long day in the city. Our hotel was right off one of the Subway stops. It was super easy and great. We got on the Subway downtown around 7:30 pm. On our way to the Subway station there was a guy that walked past us in a hurry and rambling on about how if we were on the way to the subway we should know that its shut down and didn't even look at us when he was talking and kind of looked like he was crazy or drunk... or both. We didn't really think much of it. We got in the station and everything seemed to be running fine, so we figured the guy was kind of crazy. We get on the subway and start to head back to the hotel which takes about a half hour. Then they announce that because of "Police Activity" which ended up being a "suspicious looking package" they were stopping the subway at Belmont, which is 5 stops before we want to get off. I guess that guy wasn't crazy after all. Now what? They said they would have buses waiting above around waiting to take people where they need to go. So we thought, okay... no big deal. We were a little slow and the buses filled up super fast, so we didn't get on. Who wants to cram on a bus anyway? I have a space bubble around me that I try really hard to keep in public. Then we turned around and saw a bus that said Cumberland on it. Perfect! That is our stop and where we want to go AND the bus was pretty much empty. We get on that bus. This bus smells like pee & B.O. and stops.... A LOT. We waited until the very last stop, which was Cumberland. We get off, but we have no idea where we are. I was afraid of this happening. We ask the bus driver. Turns out we got on the wrong bus. We are out in the middle of nowheresville. At this point it is around 9 pm. We get back on the same bus going the other way which drops us off at another bus stop where we waited another 20 minutes for a bus that was going to take us back to the subway station in Harlem. By this time, the subways were running again, we get back on the subway and had two more stops and were back at our hotel. We were back at 10 pm. We laughed about it all, and it wasn't the biggest deal... its not like we had anywhere that we needed to be, we were just tired and wished that it didn't take us two and a half hours to get home. Seems ridiculous right? We thought we were doing well enough that we felt like locals.... until last night.
After the weekend of using lots of public transportation, I have come to these conclusions....
The Subway is fast, easy, convenient and is not unpleasant or pleasant. Just necessary.
There is nothing pleasant about a city bus. At all. The look on Kelli's face explains it all in this picture. This experience (which we were not looking to have) was filled with long waits, bad smells and weird people.
The Train however, was a different story. There is something charming about riding the train. The train is clean and comfortable and usually prettier scenery and the ticket guy even gets to wear a cool uniform. This particular train we were on even had two levels, which I thought was fun. I enjoy the train. I wouldn't mind riding the train more.
But at the end of the trip, I was thankful to come back to my car.