Thank you for all the years of laughs and righteous disbelief, and for sharing Mrs. B, the L&TC, and the Bassets with us, your weird Internet friends. You will be missed and never forgotten. Farewell, good sir.
Time for the annual delurk, reserved for momentous occasions such as the above-pictured L&TC migrating east and her S&M* father pondering a cybersabbatical.
I would bet the regs are the tip of the iceberg and that there are a whole bunch of us devoted lurkers underwater. It may be cold down here, but weapons-grade snark and Bassets make it all worthwhile. If, however, a break or a lighter posting schedule is what you need, take it. We can wistfully browse the archive and keep the burglars away between your appearances.
*snarky & magnificent
Looooong time lurker, mostly because my snark-fu is weak compared to you and your commentariat. But I too made a move, long ago, to NYC after a couple of formative decades in SoCal (albeit LA… sorry). So here goes.
-When one’s work/school/residence life spans Chelsea to South Harlem, yeah, gotta learn the subway. Takes too much time (bus) or money (cab) to traverse those distances day to day any other way. One way of losing West Coast subwayphobia is to learn the ride one will need to take during a weekday. Maybe not during rush hour, necessarily, but at a time where there will be folks, including transit police, around to help. Better then, than when one is coming home late after work or studying and tired, distracted, and grumpy.
-Buses have their merits too. They’re fine for shorter trips. Even now when I go to NY, I’ll sometimes ride the M4 or one of the other big north-south lines just to watch the neighborhoods change. As a student, it was cheap entertainment, since it was the price of a subway token (now MetroCard fare). And there will be days when there’s a track fire on whatever subway line she usually takes or it’s so ungawdly hot and humid that the idea of descending into the even hotter and stickier maw of the subway is… hey, where’s the bus stop again?
-Nonstop transcons mostly land at JFK and Newark. From JFK, the AirTrain to the A train is the way to go. From Newark, it’s the AirTrain to the NJ Transit train into the city and from which one can easily connect to the subway. Cabs from either airport are quite pricey–okay for that occasional 3AM arrival, but public transit is way cheaper (and often faster).
-Generally, I would agree with what has been said about avoiding eye contact and keeping to one’s self on public transit. Popping in the ear buds is also reasonable, but low volume. Total situational awareness is nearly always a good strategy in NY.
-A sturdy pair of shoes or boots that are reasonably water resistant and with traction is a godsend when (or even more after) it snows. It’s not Boston or Minneapolis, by any means, but falling on one’s tuchas in the snow is no fun and neither are wet feet.
-Casey will undoubtedly acclimate after her first winter–NYC usually doesn’t get crazy cold like the aforementioned places–but the virtues of a hat, scarf, and gloves/mittens, in addition to the requisite layers, cannot be overstated, especially below 25 degrees.
-Having said all of that, it was not the winters, but the summers that nearly did me in. Heat with serious humidity just doesn’t happen much in California. A fan is remarkably helpful if student housing lacks AC. So are double features at the local second run movie house or wiling away an afternoon in a museum.
3) Fun on the cheap
-Speaking of museums, just about every one of the bazillion of them in NY has a night or afternoon each month that’s discounted or free. When I lived there, I knew that schedule (every Friday, first Thursday night, third Saturday, whatever) for pretty much every museum in the city. Museums often offer student discounts, too.
-Not sure if student rush tickets still exist, but that’s how I got to see performances at Lincoln Center for very cheap. And then ride the train back uptown with a bunch of folks in tuxes or black dresses and their instrument cases, since many of the musicians lived in Inwood, a bit north of where I lived.
-As mentioned, riding one of the longer bus lines is a good way to get a sense of how the neighborhoods change and get a sense of the city.
-The Staten Island Ferry is free (and right off the subway)–a good way to clear one’s mind on days when urban bustle is getting a little old.
-And then, of course, when Dad comes to town. (I meant fun on the cheap for Casey…)
My parents, who grew up in Hawaii, were likewise a bit stressed when their daughter moved to the big, bad apple. It definitely took me awhile to get used to getting around without a car and the sort of low-grade vigilance that is part of living in NY. But it’s still a great place to be a student and there’s some truth to being able to make it anywhere if you make it there.
limbic1 became a registered member