I’ve lived in New York for a long time. I’ve worked uptown, midtown and downtown and I explore the city endlessly. The thing is, I’ve never embraced the subway. I’ve taken the train several times. Literally, several times since I moved here. But I never viewed it as a viable option to getting around. From the first day in my first apartment I was a taxi girl.
Virtually everyone says it’s the easiest, most efficient way to get around town. Intellectually I knew this was true. And it’s not, by the way, that I don’t know how the system works. Nor am I unable to read a map. It is simply this…the act of going underground and relinquishing all control, even for a short while, terrifies me. When the train stops between stations I start to look like Albert Brooks in Broadcast News. (Rent it. You’ll see what I mean.) But now I am, as they say, between engagements. Budget cuts are in order and this seemed a good place to start.
I live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. There is one subway station on my corner, and another two blocks away. I mean…seriously…no excuses. It went well for a day. Then an empty cab happened along as I was walking to the subway, and I jumped in, and I paid a ridiculous amount of money (relatively speaking) to travel 25 blocks. (To be specific, $15 plus tip vs. $2 for the subway.) I had to stop the madness!
I remembered something my friend Jackie told me a while back…That if you want to change behavior you have to practice the new behavior for 30 consecutive days. Several false starts later and I am traveling by subway every day!
The New York Subway system has quite literally redefined my relationship with Manhattan. Last week I went to a breakfast meeting in Soho. 18 minutes door to door. Yesterday I had a meeting in midtown. Traffic was at a standstill but I got to my appointment stress-free. And when I make plans with friends I ‘m far more inclined to travel beyond the boundaries of my neighborhood to meet. My perspective is different, and my attitude is different, and I really am loving this change!