Monday, June 13, 2016

Underground in New York

Normally, daily commuters don't get to see work trains on the NYC Subway.  But, over the past few years, I've had the chance to see a lot of work going on - both late at night, and on weekends.

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When I first started working downtown and when dating GFL in Staten Island, I started to accumulate a series of pictures taken of the people I find in the subway system, and sights I see in my travels.  The rarest thing that most people will see is a work train.  Even though they are not uncommon, work trains don't usually come out until the system has emptied itself of most people.

One of the places I've seen a lot of repairs going on is the Dyre Avenue line.  Instead of seeing the repairs, I've seen the line closed with shuttle buses being used to transport people to the 180th Street station, where passengers can take the White Plains Road line into Manhattan. Since this line is near Ex-GF-M's house, I am always careful when I use it on weekends, as I don't want her seeing me and I don't want to see her.  (Yes, I am curious about whether she'd recognize me in Marian mode. But I'm not in a rush to do so.)  However, the parking is usually so convenient near her station on weekends, that it makes sense for me to take the train from/to this station.

Reaching the city, I often meet a strange group of characters. Some of them are regular fixtures of the subway, such as:

Others have been regular fixtures:

And still others have been random flukes:

But the one I remember most was a lady I've met only twice:

The second conversation I had with the Saw Lady, I explained the situation from our first chat, and noted why I'm so protective of transgender people.  I'll bet that with all the hatred being expressed in "Bathroom Bills", that she now appreciates my reasons to be cautious when talking of other TG's.  I hope to meet her again one day, this time while dressed en-femme.

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The time I used the subway most was when I was dating GFL.  And that was when I saw the most work going on underground.  There were times that I could have been affected by the MTA's "FASTRACK" maintenance plans. And I learned how to navigate around many of the places I could have gotten stuck, had I not been familiar with NYC's mass transit system. 

These are scenes of the Times Square station on the Seventh Avenue Line, with the express tracks under repair. Luckily, I don't have to deal with this maintenance too often - and I haven't done so since I broke up with GFL.

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For the next few months, while the Summer's heat is baking everything underground, I doubt that I'll be spending much time as Marian while in the subways.  But I know that I'll be back there as Mario from Monday to Friday, and I'll be wishing I could stay home instead of dealing with the heat.

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