14 March 2010

I'm Singing in the Rain....

In case you hadn't heard, NYC has been having torrential downpours, the worst part of which was on Saturday. Also on Saturday my friend Shannon was getting her first tattoo and I told her I would go with her, even though it was in New Jersey. I know Jersey sounds a bit far, since it's in another state, alas, only takes about an hour via public transportation or 15 minutes by car, but of course, this is a story of me and am currently without a car, so it is also a story about public transportation.

It is still raining as I begin my trek home with announcements on the train advising passengers traveling to New York via Newark, they had to get off in Newark and take the buses into NYC. Thankfully that was not me! :) I just kept thinking "pleeeease let me get back to New York and then I'll be fine." And made it I did. Whew! But alas, soon my good luck would run out.

I arrive at 14th Street at 8:10pm and I run (okay, quickly walked) from the train to the subway and caught a southbound 2 train, then transferred to the 1 train and got to South Ferry at 8:27pm, just enough time to run up 3 flights of stairs, huffing and puffing, but able to make the 8:30 ferry, as opposed to waiting for the 9:30 ferry because on the weekends after 7pm, the ferry only runs once an hour. But wait, what's this? Pause the music, take out the headphones, and hear the following:

"Ladies and gentlemen, the ferry service has been indefinitely suspended. If you want to go to Staten Island, take a Brooklyn-bound R train to 87th Street and transfer to a Staten Island-bound bus, s53 or s79."

My first thought: why would I be at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal if I didn't want to go to Staten Island?
My second thought: because of track work the R train, isn't stopping at the Ferry Terminal.
My third thought: WTF?
And the Fourth: Now what?

So I find the nearest MTA worker who advises that I have to take a Brooklyn-bound 4 train to Atlantic Avenue, then transfer to the R train, take it to 87th, yadda, yadda, yadda. Great. (yes, that was a sarcastic great...thank you for noticing). The nearest 4 train subway stop? 4 blocks away. Did I mention torrential downpour? Yes. Did I mention my big umbrella broke while walking TO the tattoo parlor in Jersey? No? I knew I forgot a vital detail.

So I walk...and arrive at the station soaked. Get on a Brooklyn-bound 4 train. Get off at Atlantic Ave, walk to R train platform, so far so good. Then I wait, and wait, and wait...finally--nearly 30 minutes later--the R train shows up. Get on, get off at 87th Street, okay, so it's not great, but it's not that bad. I head above ground, mind you I'm nearly dry at this moment. So I wait, huddled with everyone else who was attempting to catch the ferry and were now schlepping through Brooklyn to get to Staten Island. After about 20 minutes the buses show up and of course, people pile on and I move closer to the front of the line. Now at this point, I should mention USUALLY when a transportation service is halted, there are shuttle buses filling the gaps, but thus far, there has been no mention of shuttle buses. 15 minutes later, the next set of buses arrive--I get on the bus, with absolutely NO idea where this bus will actually take me. The bus driver announces that this bus is going to the middle part of the island, but the bus right behind us is a shuttle to the ferry. Since my house is closer to the ferry (and I have no idea where this bus will take me), I, along with about 1/3 of the bus, opt for the shuttle. So we get off and walk to the shuttle bus, whose driver will not open the door and let us on. Instead, he pulls up, so we follow. Still he will not let us on. He pulls up even further, but still won't let us on. After 10 minutes of this cat and mouse game (and let me remind you still torrential downpour and no umbrella = SOAKED again), driver of "shuttle" announces he will not be our driver and leaves.

We wait, and wait, and wait. Another bus arrives, announcing it's a shuttle going to Staten Island. Needless to say, we're a bit hestitant, but it's dry and warm, so we get on. And we wait and wait and wait...after everyone is on and we're ready, the driver announces that this bus is not going to Staten Island either and everyone needs to get off.

Fifth thought: Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME?
Sixth thought: I wonder how much a taxi is from here?
Seventh thought: Who cares it's worth it.
Eighth thought: Where the hell is a taxi when you need one?

The next set of buses come--this time on the other side of the road, so we all walk over (yes, I realize this is starting to sound like an Arlo Guthrie song, but you should have been there), but those buses are going to the Staten Island mall, which is 45 minutes by bus to my house and I wasn't sure at this point if that bus was still running (good guess, because that bus stops running at 11pm: it was currently 10:39pm and we were still in Brooklyn).

Ninth thought: Screw the taxi and the shuttle bus, I'll take my chances on the s53.
Tenth thought: I sure as hell hope there is another s53.
Eleventh thought: YAY! the bus.
Twelfth thought: Now, where to get off.

I tried to use my phone to map it out, however, with the weather phone was not cooperating, so I called Nico, who was nowhere near a computer. Then I called Christi & Tracy, who helped me navigate bus and by some form of a miracle, the s53 bus drives right past Addy's vet (read: I'm no longer lost). I am still soaked and freezing, but now within 2 miles of home, so my hopes are lifted...until I realize that--knowing my luck--the next bus will probably come along in 30 minutes. Nope! It's 5 minutes away....of course, it was late, but I didn't care...I've never been so happy to get on a bus in my life! A quick 7 minutes later, at 11:24pm, 3 hours and 14 minutes after I got back to the state of New York, I finally arrived home...a bit frozen and a bit pruney, but a very happy--and exhausted--girl.

ahhhh....life in New York certainly is never boring, especially when travel and Sherry are forced to converge.


PS--in case you're wondering, ferry service was restored at 9:30pm and had I waited, I would have been home by 10:05pm. HA HA HA HA HA HA...I laugh mainly so that I don't cry.