Rainy days and Tuesdays don’t get me down

I love to walk the streets of New York in a light rain.

I’ve become boring and settled in my middle age, even in a town as heart stopping as New York. Living on the Upper West Side, or the “burbs” of Manhattan as I like to call my neighborhood, has brought out a different side of me. Most days, I feel like I’m in a small town and not a metropolis, existing in a 10-block radius.  Am I that dull, or just getting older?

But the other day was different. I not only went out, I left my neighborhood. I took the subway. I traipsed all the way down to 14th Street on a Tuesday — in the rain. The most shocking part of this was the hour. I left at 9 pm. Thanks to cooperation from the MTA, my trip took approximately 17 minutes door to door. That commute’s not too shabby for a suburbanite.

 I met a friend for a drink and gabbed for about 90 minutes. (I’m a slow drinker). When we left, it was misting slightly, but I didn’t mind. Light and slow, it was the perfect kind of New York rain. (A heavy downpour is the less-than-perfect kind of New York rain.) Since I’m rarely out this late alone, I questioned, “Should I take the subway? Would I be safe at that hour?”

 It was past 11 pm and a cab wouldn’t be cheap if (that’s a big IF because it was raining) I could get one. I was less than a block to the train station. Why would I even think of taking a taxi? This is New York — the city that never sleeps. Surely there would be plenty of people riding the subway on a Tuesday night.

It had probably been years since I was downtown alone on a weeknight, and needed to take the train so late. See — there’s the old and boring side of me showing up again. I’d be fine. I learned how to be cautious and watch my back in my twenties in Philadelphia. I’ve always felt safer in New York.

I walked down the stairs and the uptown local and express trains were just leaving the station. Crap. I had just missed both. That’s bad MTA karma — I’d have to wait another ten minutes for a train. I was one of a few people on the platform, but it quickly filled. I sat in one of the worn wooden seats, which were all soon occupied too. I listened to my music, pulled out my New York Times and waited with strangers seated next to me and swarming on all sides.

 Ten minutes seemed to fly by and an express train pulled up. I jumped on and grabbed a seat in the corner. I looked around and as usual, it was a diverse bunch of New Yorkers in their own little worlds, some alone, and some with company.

In two stops, we reached 42nd Street/Times Square and several single women boarded the train. Soon enough it was standing room only at 11:30 pm on a Tuesday night. Where in the H were all of these people going? Suddenly, the Manhattan subway felt like the safest place to be, at least in NYC.

I stayed on the express rather than transferring to a local at 72nd and exited the train at 96th Street. The station was hustling and bustling like it was 7 pm. When I reached the street there was calmness — a quietness that I rarely see in Manhattan. The sidewalks were wet and the lights were dim in most of the storefronts on Broadway with the exception of a few 24-hour spots. Was the Upper West Side turning in this early?

I stopped at the fruit stand at 95th Street just outside of the train station, grabbed two bananas and containers of raspberries, 2/$5. Who buys fruit at almost midnight? New Yorkers do.
 
I moved south on Broadway, reaching 91st Street where the 24/7 market, Barzini’s is located, and night owls were speed shopping, or as my husband and I have called it when we head toward the grocery store past 10 pm on a weekend, “loser shopping.” Late at night is the only time of day to dash in and out of any store in Manhattan.

I was tempted to stop by Hot & Crusty at 88th and Broadway and pick up a carb-infused snack since I had eaten hours earlier. But I denied my temptation, because really, is a handful of doughy goodness necessary at almost midnight? My hips and tummy told me, “No.”

Part of me was ready for sleep, or the “Late Show,” or both. Part of me wanted to stay out and about to see what I could discover on the streets of New York on an almost Wednesday morning. So this is what the city looks like mid-week at this hour. I’d forgotten.

Instead, I surrendered to my yawning self on a Tuesday, continued walking in the light, steady rain until I turned the corner at 89th Street, and called it a night.

 For more about New York, follow me on twitter, or on Tracy’s New York Life.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…