Whew! Due to MTA subway wackiness, it took me 4.5 hours just to get from the Bronx to Brooklyn, where (after some fruitless wandering) I arrived 10 minutes before the end of the party I meant to attend (for an adorable 2-year old child).
Luckily, the parents invited me home to hang out, and I saw a few old friends (now also parents of adorable young children). I helped change a pull up diaper and had a good chat. It’s hard to believe that I know a real life Park Slope mommy, but she’s as perceptive and sensible as ever. Note, though, that her husband actually had to wake up early to claim a tree near the Prospect Park Picnic House at 8am on a Saturday for a 2PM party. Park Slope is CRAZY, y’all. Also, I saw a cardinal.
Didn’t make it home till nearly 1am and was unable to make it to the second party on my itinerary, but sometimes, there’s only so much a body can take.
It takes 30 seconds for the elevators in my elevator bank (going express) to reach the lobby from the 27th floor. It takes 30-45 seconds for most of the traffic lights I encounter to change from red to green. It takes 4 minutes to properly warm up before jogging 6 miles. I haven’t had time to warm up for the past week, although I am averaging 18-20 miles per week now, so at least I’ve got that going for me. I don’t think it lowers stress at all, because now I stress about how fat I’ll be if I don’t make that distance.
Which means I am locked into, every week, 180-200 minutes (3 hours to 3 hours and 20 minutes), plus time to walk to the gym (10-15 minutes per trip, depending on pedestrian traffic), plus time to change (up to 5 minutes depending on locker room crowding), plus time to warm up (the aforementioned 4 minutes), plus time to stretch afterwards (5 minutes at 30 seconds per muscle group), plus time to change into street clothes (10 minutes)…I’ll add another minute or so for the time it takes to get from the 2nd floor treadmills to the basement locker rooms to the ground floor exit (if there are no slow walkers ahead of me). So a bare bones trip to the gym (with no additional classes or weight training) averages 100 minutes if absolutely no time is wasted.
As it is, I curse the rush hour pedestrian traffic nonstop as I walk to the gym. If I am too slow, I may have to wait in line for a treadmill, which means I will miss the 7:43, now 8:00, now 8:30 bus that I really want to catch. 3 seconds is enough to miss an MTA bus, which, depending whether the next one is late or never comes at all, could end up costing 30 minutes to an hour. So the real cost of 3 seconds=30 minutes to an hour.
Luckily, I can usually make it home for dinner by 9:15-9:30.
Theoretically, it should take 1 minute to 1 minute and 30 seconds to walk one city block, but there are frequent delays due to sidewalk congestion, the result of: slow walkers, dog walkers, tourists, couples who hold hands, people who walk while talking on their cell phones, sidewalk seating for restaurants, and scaffolding/construction. I tailgate when I walk. I’m not alone in this. I try to time my walk down the block so that the light turns green as I reach the curb — that way I won’t lose momentum by stopping. (This is the pedestrian equivalent of prewalking to the right spot of the subway platform so that you eventually disembark from the car in line with the proper exit.) Crossing the street is always a struggle. You definitely have to beat the cars that want to turn (they often inch forward even on red lights, but then, so do we), or you’ll never reach your destination. Luckily, like a Geo Metro, I have the advantage of less weight and a speedier start. The zippier and more likely competition at this point are the pedicabs, bike riders, rollerbladers and takeout delivery men. I show them no mercy.
If 3 seconds can cost you an hour, every second counts.
This is my version of insomnia, I suppose.
Also, the printed bus schedules (from September) are out of date. And most of the shedules posted at the stops themselves are placed too high for me to read them, especially after dark.
Weirdly, FreshDirect delivers to my zip code, but not to my apartment house. I couldn’t get home on Sunday night because I learned too late that the bus stops had been moved three avenues west (no mention of any changes on the MTA website). Yesterday, the 8am bus never came, and the 10:52pm was 25 minutes late.
Riverdale is definitely outside the radius of anyone in the city remotely caring about you. If NYC inhabitants ever secede from the rest of the country, they’re not taking us with them.