Wednesday, December 21, 2005

My Tuesday evening commute...

...or, why I decided not to go to work on Wednesday.
I had to walk downtown a ways to meet with my lawyer about the contract for the apartment I'm buying. I left work early, figuring that I'd want to get a jump on the evening rush. So I found myself on Canal St., basically hitchhiking. I had actually made a sign that said "Park Slope or Bust" but I ended up just raising my hand and a lady in a van honked at me and pulled over. She yelled "Brooklyn?" and I yelled "Yeah, where are you going?" and she yelled back "Fulton St." so I thought that was fine and jumped in and thanked her profusely. She then picked up a few more people, with whom she was more explicit about the fact that she was charging $10. That was fine, I would have offered her money anyway.
So I pay up and we get over the bridge fine and then we hit traffic. We have to make a detour and the lady says that since it looks like she won't be able to get to Fulton, she'll actually drop us off at DeKalb. This is totally fine with me, but then 2 guys in the back start freaking out because they thought they were being taken somewhere much further out in Brooklyn on Fulton St. and they are not happy, and they either want to be taken there or they want their money back. It all quickly descends into a screaming match between the driver, her friend, and the 2 guys, all while the driver is artfully bypassing other cars by zooming past in the left lane whenever there isn't oncoming traffic... and sometimes when there is.
Anyway, from there I still had another half hour walk but I got home alive.
Tomorrow I'm leaving town so today I took the precaution of buying LIRR tickets in advance, for a round trip in case the strike is still on when I get back after Xmas. They are special "strike fare" tickets, so if I end up getting a ride, or if the strike ends, I'll have lost $16 but I think it's worth it not to have to stand outside at Jamaica for another hour-plus.
Anyway, everyone is still fairly cheerful about all this nonsense, taking it in stride, well in many strides, as is necessary. I actually enjoy these things, in a weird way. Since I've been in NYC, I've gone through a massive blizzard, 9/11, the blackout, and now this, and in each case, these crises bring out a certain camaraderie and goodwill among most city residents... except for the cop who hassled me today for slipping past a police barrier to get out of the train station-- not for cutting in line or anything, but for just getting out of the way of the people coming in, thinking I'd better not go against the flow. I hate that kind of meaningless exercise of authority, yelling at me, yanking on my arm, and making me show him my ID for absolutely no reason. I know the cops have a lot on their plate, but all the more reason not to waste their time on someone like me. It was a real piss-off, but I treated myself to an afternoon at the movies afterwards, just to get it off my mind. ($10 for movie, $5 for snacks.)
In case I don't post again for a few days, happy holidays everyone!

1 comment:

Poe said...

ah, I've had my share of police authority. I've had my car stopped several times in the city that I live in simply because it is alot crappier looking (and dirty) than the BMWs, the jaguars, and other nice cars that people usually drive here. Each time, they couldn't provide a valid reason for stopping my car. They just wanted to see my ID and run it through to check why I'm really here.

I would think in New York that the police really shouldn't have time for such trivial ego boosters. Where I live, there's a very low rate of crime (i think it's in the top ten safest cities in U.S), the police really don't have anything to do but haress people like me.