I'm home today...
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.