Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I'm home today...

but I have to find a way to get to work tomorrow.

Given that my normal commute take 1 hour 15 minutes and requires two buses and one train, I guess you could say I'm pretty dependent on public transit. I was originally planning to stay at a colleague's house in Queens, but as the strike approached, I decided that it's just too stressful a time of year to camp out indefinitely at someone else's house. Plus, she had strep throat last week and I don't want to subject my somewhat run-down immune system to those germs. Also, it became clear last week that half the students won't show up, and that out of a staff of twenty, only about 3 or 4 of us would not be able to make it to work. So those who are at school won't be too badly overburdened by my absence.

However, I don't want to miss more than one day. I don't want to use up a lot of days off on this, and I don't want to lose precious instructional time with my kids. So, I'm using today to get caught up on some work, do my laundry, pick up the packages that have been sitting in my building's office for a week, waiting for me to get home early enough to get them, and, above all, to figure out a plan for the rest of the week.

These are the options, so far:

1. Walk to Grand Central, take MetroNorth to Yankee Stadium, have a colleague pick me up there. Cost: $4 each way. Lots of walking. I like walking, but not under time pressure and not when it's 20-something degrees out. Also, I've heard rumors that MetroNorth might strike in support of the TWU (the news today is that some of the unions representing MetroNorth are considering solidarity strikes, but not all, and it would delay but not halt service on those lines).

2. Walk to 18th St., meet a colleague who's in the same boat, walk to 23rd, find a cab to 87th, meet friends who are carpooling from the Upper East Side. Cost: $10-15 per person each way. Less walking. Not sure if traffic will be moving.

In going-on six years in New York, we've experienced one terrorist attack, one big blackout and one small one (I got stuck in a subway train for an hour and a half during the small one), one water main break, one Republican convention and several enormous protest marches, and now a transit strike. Is this normal for a city of this size, or are we living in interesting times?

I'm hoping to fit in a walk today to look around. I'm not making light in anyway - this is seriously messing with a lot of people's (both TWU workers & commuters) lives & livelihoods and will have real economic consequences for the city and many individuals - but I will admit to a fascination with the interdependence of our lives, with anything powerful enough to disrupt a city the size of New York, with our community's fragility as well as its resilience and creativity.


In other news, there is a lump of quilt wiggling and purring beside me, my cat having crawled under the covers and made a little tent for herself there. It's so tempting to do the same.


The Iron & Wine post was going to be my last for a month or two (maybe longer), but I'm too addicted to quit blogging. Plus, too much interesting stuff is happening.


Anonymous Chris Lehmann said...

1) Sadly, after ten years in NYC, I think it's normal. (Well, not 9/11, but everything else.)

2) I can relate to not wanting to crash on someone's couch. I've been staying with a friend in Philly for the past three months while our rehab house is getting finished. Trying to start a school when you go home to someone else's house is a bit stressful. I love my friends and staying there beats the alternative of either a) doing some sort of Korman's Suites thing or b) trying to do the NYC - Philly commute every single day, but still, it's far from ideal.

3) I'd hate to see you stop blogging... we all go through ups and down with it. For me, it was the recognition that I just couldn't blog every single day that made it possible to keep blogging.

Good luck with coping with the strike.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Jenny D. said...

Don't stop!! We need you....

12:33 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I wound up downloading that Iron and Wine song from Itunes, so thanks for that! Nah, don't stop bloggin'

2:59 PM  
Blogger your math teacher said...

Oh boy.. you weren't here when Dinkins was mayor, were you?

4:40 PM  
Blogger jaclyn said...

I love reading... please keep it coming! And good luck with your commute!

6:42 PM  
Blogger Ms. M said...

Don't even say things like that! I need your blog.

9:05 PM  
Blogger asyb said...

I loved the part about the facination with the interdependence of our lives . . . And then the old me lamented the fact that service, responsibility, respect for each other seems to be so missing in this event. Then I read the words fragility, resilience and creativity. I probably have no reason to worry. It is funny in a way to think that you and I (in cowboy Colorado) live in one country but in such different worlds. No not funny really - more like wonderful.

9:18 PM  

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