Now that my dad is in a nursing home, I really wish I could travel to see him via trains that terminated at Grand Central, rather than to deal with the headaches of Penn Station and a two subway route ride between the major train stations.
- - - - - -
Railroads in the United States were built as competing lines. In areas where they wanted to compete for customers, one would see an excess amount of track capacity built to attract customers to use instead of a competitor's trackage. This also applied to passenger railroads as well, and railroads built competing stations in many major cities. In Chicago, one had the LaSalle Street station, the Dearborn Street Station, and Union Station - along with another one or two that I can't remember off the top of my head. In Boston, one had the North and South stations. And in New York, one had Grand Central Terminal and Pennsylvania Station on Manhattan Island for the two major Class 1 railroads, with several other railroad terminals in Jersey City, Hoboken, and Weehawken because they didn't spend the money to have a direct Manhattan connection. Even the Long Island railroad had several terminals outside Manhattan with ferry/subway connections to the region's core - before Pennsylvania Station was built. This wasn't so bad years ago, but now that people want convenient connections to a region's core. And they want to go to other places not served by their local train lines. This is where the Grand Central ESA project comes in - it provides a way for people from Long Island to reach the East Side of Manhattan (making the Lexington Avenue line more crowded) and provides a way for me to see my dad - if I'm commuting into the city by the time LIRR ESA opens.
- - - - - -
There is another benefit for me. Although it will be a convoluted trip to the airport, I can see me taking a train into Grand Central, another out to Jamaica (or Willetts Point, if Cuomo has his way), then the Airtrain to the airport. Will this be cheaper than a taxi from where I live? I doubt it. But I like having options when I travel - especially if I choose to travel en-femme.
Right now, I'm trying to figure out whether I want to do a flight to Seattle next year and then return via the long distance train - all while traveling en-femme. Kim regularly travels "pretty", and I feel I can do the same thing without too many headaches. The only catch will be the places I want to visit - how many of them require me to pull out identification?
Sooner or later, I want to resume exploring America en-femme. The only thing I don't want to do is travel to places where I will not be safe.