I love NYC. I consider myself a Native Upper West Side Jew, even though I was born in Chicago and have only ever lived there for a summer. But my grandparents have an apartment there (it is a tiny 1st floor, beautifully decorated cave where light goes to die) so I’ve spent enough time in the city to know I prefer the bagels at Zabars over H&H (though this fine establishment is sadly a thing of the past) and that the doors on the red line at the 72nd stop open on the other side of the car. BUT – and this is a big but – I realized this past weekend while visiting the city that I could never truly live in Manhattan, for one pretty important reason: I receive way too many packages. I’m pretty sure that 1.) the other tenants in my building would ban together to kick me out after about a month’s worth of Amazon deliveries, and 2.) it’s not as if it’s affordable to live in an apartment with its own private elevator – so how would I lug all my packages up my walk-up multiple times a day? And once in my apartment, where would all the things Amazon tells me I need to purchase go? And then there’s the whole issue of all the recycling rules – there is no way I could sustain all the fines I’m sure I would accrue as a result of sheer recycling volume and my disability following directions and reading the fine print. It is for this reason, though a “native” NY-er, I will never live there…

I know this isn’t the most P.C. thing to say, but I must admit that (for me) the pandemic has done wonders for the subway system. I know, I know, the riders must return to support the infrastructure. But right now the empty cars are the subway I’ve always fantasized about. One where you always get a seat, where it is not unlikely to see staff wiping down surfaces with Clorox, and where you NEVER witness someone sneeze into their hand and then grab the rail in front of you. And, let’s be honest, don’t we all hope masks continue to be required on public transport? Think about all that sickly hot breath that will not stifle you in the summer – only your own…

If you asked me last week if there is anything more stressful than waiting for your Amtrak train track to be announced at Penn Station (it has always been like the watering hole and a perfect microcosm of survival of the fittest), I would have said no. But, you live, you learn. I now know that waiting in a mask, during a pandemic to flood into the proper gate as quickly as possible to ensure the most socially distanced seat on the train is, indeed, worse than any train situation I could heretofore
have imagined.

Published by imworriedmytherapisthatesme

I'm a history-PhD-turned-stay-at-home-mom of three. When I'm not microwaving Trader Joe's meals for my kids, breaking up fights and wiping butts, I like to paint and write. To cope with the endless hours I'm spending with my son doing virtual school, I've abandoned my gouache paints for the more portable, less messy tried but true, paper and ink. While he learns to read to 20 floating heads on his screen, I sit on a tiny chair, at a tiny table pretending to be a productive adult.

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