I tend to smile a lot and get very vague when people ask me exactly how long my new commute is going to be (or, now that we’ve moved, how long it is). So here’s the breakdown, in cold hard numbers:
- 7 – 9 minute walk between my house and the Wassaic train station.
- 2 hours and between 3 and 25 minutes on the train (so far, I’ve been able to catch the 2h3m one each time)
- 15 – 18 minute walk between Grand Central and my office.
Rough total: 145 – 172 minutes (2.41 hours and 2.85 hours)
It’s strange, because it doesn’t really feel that long (I was surprised by the numbers, actually). I enjoy walking, so that part is just nice guaranteed walking time. I wake up early pretty much every day regardless (Brooklyn, too). Now I just spend 2 hours watching tv, playing games, and reading on the train instead of doing exactly the same thing in my living room. Only on the train I don’t have to worry about a 2 year old waking up grumpy and demanding my undivided attention.
I’m only 2 days into this new routine, and it may get old eventually, but so far I really like it. And I have several immediate, snap-judgment-thoughts on the matter:
- Grand Central is so much better than Penn Station. Yet another reason this house was a better choice than that other one we almost bought.*
- My walk in Wassaic is lovely, though I’ll be really excited when the rail-trail expansion between the train station and Wassaic is complete and I don’t have to walk along the road anymore.
- I am so stealthy. Sergiu called me and asked if I was on the train he just heard go through town, but I was already 40+ minutes into my ride.
- I wish I liked more new shows. So far watching tv/movies part way and reading part way has been working well, but with an already dwindling supply of new tv, the commute may start to feel longer.** I have to get less picky. Also, I probably need to buy new books (sorry Sergiu!)
- Cushioned seats are clutch. For the first time in 6 years, my spine bones didn’t get bruised from my commute.
- For the love of god, why does the Metro North Railroad (MNR) not have wi-fi, a snack/coffee car (or even vending machine!), or any tables in their double-rows?!? This isn’t complicated, get with it MTA!
- There is a 20 block coffee desert on Lexington between Grand Central and my office. And that is not okay. Also, it is faster to go out of my way and walk down Lexington than to walk up/down Park. But that lack of coffee might do me in.
- Just because the seats are much larger (and way more comfortable) than on the subway, that does not stop self-absorbed jerks from trying to take up more than their allotted space on the seats: manspreading has (man)spread to the MNR. My stupid brain can’t let it go,*** so I had to spend an hour aggressively defending my own personal space when I should have been enjoying my book.
*We spent 6 months trying to buy a house in West Milford NJ, but ultimately the house could not qualify for a mortgage without adding in the retail-cost of the repairs into the loan. We liked that house a lot, but we love the one we ultimately bought in Wassaic. Things that make our house better: it’s in Wassaic, which is amazing; I can walk to and from the train (the other one would have been like driving to a bus to a train or some nonsense like that, though supposedly it would have been shorter time-wise); our house has a steeple.
**I think the only shows currently on the air that I actually like are The 100 and Legends of Tomorrow, and sometimes I like The Flash, Supergirl, and Grace and Frankie. And yes, 4 out of 5 of those are on The CW.
***I think I inherited this dumb trait from Cool Hand Luke – I just hope it ends better for me than it did for him.