New York State of Mind: Pt. 2Published: September 21st, 2018
So, you’ve come back for some more? Well, I commend you. Your boldness is already flashing signs of being a New Yorker. When we left off last week, we were discussing sidewalk navigational instructions.
- Now, that you have your “game face” on, and you’re feeling confident that you haven’t completely ruined someone’s day by lengthening their commute by 10 seconds, you’re probably hungry. How about a NYC favorite? A bacon, egg and cheese! Well, you probably have to look no further than the corner of the street you are standing on. Delis are all over the city, and you can probably get a great version of the popular sandwich in nearly all of them.
This next part is very important! You find yourself in a long line at the “order counter”, marveling at how the chef is knocking out delicious breakfast after delicious breakfast. Beware not to get lost in your admiration, because before long, it’s your turn. By the time you have reached that counter, you should have your order ready and probably should have recited it in your head a few times. From my experience, the best way to communicate this is in as little words as possible. If you can combine words into one, even better! For instance, “baconeggandcheese on a roll, saltpepperketchup,” is a perfectly acceptable and even recommended way of ordering.
Mmmm! Enjoy those last few tasty bites. Now, we are getting around the city, but we need to catch a taxi or the subway. Let’s go with the first option, a taxi. First rule of getting a taxi: Look for the taxis with their Medallion numbers lit up. If you see a taxi, and you are unsure of whether it is available, the telltale sign is that Medallion number on top of the car. No light means it is occupied or the driver is off-duty. Light on means it is available. Don’t be that person standing in the street aimlessly waving at the cars going by. Now, when you have a taxi, be sure that the driver is accepting all forms of payment. Sometimes, they claim they are not accepting credit cards. Don’t let them fool you. Pro tip: once in a taxi and a destination is agreed upon, the driver CANNOT make you get out. Legally, they must deliver you to somewhere you agree to. Lastly, ALWAYS get a receipt. Too often, things get left behind. If you have that receipt, your life will be much easier in the world of Lost & Found.
So maybe it is raining out, or you’re looking for a taxi during rush hour. Either instance can lead to futility in getting an available one. The subway may seem like a suitable and reliable option. Remember the word “reliable” for the next few sentences. Firstly, you will need a Metro Card. There are kiosks in each station that will allow you to purchase them. However, these
machines can often be “on the frtiz.” Some common error messages from Metro Card kiosks are:
“No Credit Cards accepted.”
“No Change dispensed at this machine. Exact change ONLY.”
“No Cash accepted.”
I’ve seen all 3 at once! So, in such a unique situation, you find yourself heading to the teller. Well, I am afraid that much like the machine, these experiences may also be “hit or miss.” For one, hopefully, a teller is on-duty. Secondly, hope they are not grumpy. Lastly, hope that they accept the form of payment you would like to use.
Once you’ve endured that process, now, it’s time to find your train! Rookie mistake: getting on a downtown train when you are supposed to be going uptown. It is imperative that you read the sign on the platform that tells you which way you are going. A little tidbit: trains heading to the Bronx or Queens will be going uptown, and trains heading to Brooklyn will be heading downtown. Now, like many horrific experiences, the MTA system will strike when you least expect it. Don’t let the fact that you are on the train, heading to your destination fool you into believing that you will get there in a timely manner, or for that matter, ever. Nights and weekend travelers must be wary of the potential service changes. These include trains being re-routed and the dreaded shuttle service (when a bus takes you to your train stops). Main lesson here: ALWAYS stay on your toes!
I understand that this may have been much to take in. Let’s sum up this crucial information in 3 easy steps: Be Confident, Speak quickly, and Stay on Your Toes. If you follow those rules, we can’t wait to see you. Otherwise, “Fuhgeddaboudit!”
By Joseph Bode