If I could ride the subway all day, I probably would.
New York City, in the summer, has it’s highs and it’s lows. I mean that in the figurative and metaphorical sense. Picture this: you walk outside of your apartment to a BEAUTIFUL sunlit morning. The city isn’t fully awake yet, and you can hear the light breeze move the leaves on the trees that line the street. You pass a couple of your neighbors on your way – you don’t know their names, but you’ve become to recognize their faces as you see them almost every day. You politely smile or nod at them as you walk toward your familiar subway station. As you descend the steps to the subway, you start to fish in your pocket or purse for your metro card so that you can swiftly swipe your card and head down to your train.
And then it happens. Small beads of perspiration begin to form on your forehead. Your fingers keep slipping on your metro card as you slide it through the turnstile and you notice there seems to be a slight haze in the air. You walk down even more stairs to your subway platform – BOOM, the heat hits you. Outside, it may have been in the high 80’s, but down here, 3 stories below the street, it is easily reaching 100+.
You try to fan yourself with anything you have; a book, your phone, your hand. You look up and down the platform hoping that your train, any train really, is coming so you can get out of the heat. You begin to panic – what if my train is in ten minutes? Can I stand here, in this heat, long enough? What if I start to melt? Is this heat, anything is possible.
But glory be, a train is entering the station, and it’s your train too! The train comes to a stop and the doors separate – people gather by the door to get on as quickly as possible while those on board shove to get off. You move as quickly as you can onto the train and secure your favorite spot against the opposite door, so that you can lean on it throughout your ride.
And then the relief arrives. You feel the cool air conditioning on your neck. The movement of the air sways your hair. And you wish you could stay on this train forever, opposed to walking back upstairs to the street level to endure another day of heat that is trapped between the buildings.
This is why if I could ride the subway all day, I would. I would grab a seat, read my book from cover to cover, and just relax in cool air that is included in your subway fare. One of these days I just want to get on my usual subway stop (The A train at 125th Street) and ride it all the way to Far Rockaway Beach and back. To others, this may seem like the most obnoxious way to seek relief – all of the people pushing to get in, the overcrowded train, the constant stopping and going.
To me, this is my escape. And it only costs you $2.50 a ride.