One of the biggest things I was scared of coming here was navigating the subways. When I visited in August, I just followed the leader to navigate public transportation. I had a tour guide that I was able to keep up with and that was all I accomplished. Sunday evening I had plans to meet up with a potential new roommate in Chelsea. I used my nifty app HopStop to look up what trains I needed to take to get there. I needed the Downtown 6 off 77th and Lex; get off at Grand Central, transfer to the S, take that to Times Square, then transfer to the M? Well regardless, it didn’t happen. I read a bunch of blogs before moving here scouring for insider tips on living in the city. One of the first ones I read was to always carry cash because you will invariable go to the metrocard kiosk with a broken card reader. Well just my luck, not only was there one broken card reader, there was three! I’m frantically looking around trying to figure out if I’m just an idiot, or if all of these are really broken. I tried going to the liquor store next door and the guy behind the counter looked at me like I was speaking French when I asked if they do cash back. I was really banking on making a good impression with this roommate as she was my only solid lead so I decided to ditch the subway idea and take a taxi. Forty dollars later, I made the decision to not go anywhere without cash ever again. After meeting with the roommate, I walked to a 7-11 across the street, bought a coffee for my first day of work the next morning and got $10 cash back.
After successfully getting myself a metro card, I have not gotten on a wrong train yet. I did end up making that 2 train transfer on the way home. I take the subway every morning to work and every evening to get home. I do need to start working more on my pushy-ness. I missed 2 trains yesterday morning because too many people rushed in front of me and I couldn’t fit on. People really pack into there like sardines, no joke. The only issue I’ve really had with my commute is getting off at Union Station. I get off at Union and 14th in the morning to get to work (on 19th). The only problem is that there are so many exits! I find myself taking a new one every day and having no idea where I am when I walk out. I’ve just been choosing a direction and hoping for the best. I have the avenues memorized so I can usually tell if I’m going the wrong way within 5 minutes (most of the time I am). I assume this will get easier in time.