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9 Thoughts I Have During My NYC Commute


It’s hard to believe the spring semester of Newhouse NYC is over. We asked the students to reflect on their time in NYC, and here is what spring Newhouse NYC student and rising NOJ senior Taylor Lupo had to share about commuting in NYC.

1. I should have known these heels were a bad idea.
Almost as soon as I walk out the door, I sense this dull ache in the balls of my feet and the ever-present thought of “Why am I doing this to myself?” These shoes looked so perfect with this outfit, and it would have been such a hassle to wear a different pair and carry these. I can tough it out I know I can. As I approach the stairs to the entrance of the subway I am certain I made a mistake. There is no turning back now. I’ll suffer through the pain for today and NEVER wear heels again…until next week. 
2. Wait, did I get on the right train?
Nearly every time I get on the subway I have to ask myself if I stepped onto the correct train. I commute the same way every day and still, I’m always unsure. Maybe today will be the day I head uptown instead of downtown. I hold my breath until we reach the next stop. As I breathe a sigh of relief, I promise myself I won’t second guess myself anymore…until tomorrow.
3. Did I really forget my headphones, again?
I find it hard to believe I can be so forgetful day after day, but I guess I surprise myself sometimes. Rifling through my bag, I come to the realization my headphones are sitting on my desk. Why don’t I put them in my bag at night? Here goes another music-less commute.
4. What’s that smell?
New York City is a booming metropolis of scents. Some are good, some are bad and others, unrecognizable. Every day, my nose is met with a different smell as I enter the subway station. No matter how hard I try, I can never seem to put my finger on exactly what the smell is. On such a monotonous commute each day, an element of surprise is good, right?
There comes a point on each morning’s commute I cannot go one more second without my morning cup-of-joe. The reality of this situation is I can physically make my twenty minutes commute without caffeine. My mental capabilities however, they’re another story. It might be an understatement to say I live for the first sip of coffee each morning.
6. Wow, these performers are really good!
Having forgotten my headphones, the subway performers fill the dead noise of the train running on the track with beautiful harmonies. No auditions are held to determine who is eligible to perform on the subway, so it’s a wonderful surprise when you encounter a group with real talent.
7. There is no place for me to hold on. I’m going down. This is the end.
As the train crowds with more and more commuters, it becomes infinitely harder to monopolize space to hold on to. As the train stops and starts again, I am startled with a jolt, and struck with the fear I will crash to the floor of the subway car. Though this hasn’t happened yet, each time I am unfortunate enough to lose my grasp on the pole, I can’t help wonder if today will be the day.
8. There’s a delay? Why? What’s wrong? I’m running out of air! OMG!
Okay, so maybe I am a little dramatic. But really, how long can you be stuck in a subway car before running out of necessary oxygen? On days when the train is warmer than usual, my biggest concern is showing up to my internship looking like a wet dog. Other days my concern is not having enough time to get a cup of coffee (see number 5). In actuality, I am just impatient and hate to be inconvenienced.
9. Freedom!!!!!!!!!
The rush of air that meets my face as I escape from the depths of the subway station is glorious. Even the bitter chill of the January wind is a welcomed treat. As if I thought I would never see the light of day again, the New York air touches my skin, in all its glory. Although my commute is short and relatively painless, my favorite part is the short walk from the subway station to the door of my internship. Watching cars drive by and walking beside pedestrians who are moving almost as quickly, I am reminded of why I love this city so much.

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