The Rockefeller Center tree is lit, Columbus circle is bright with lights, and snow is falling. Winter is here in New York, and the city is beautiful.
While I love the festive feeling in the air and the snow fall is enchanting, this is the time of year when I really miss driving. Like, really, really miss it. I’ve never had my own car, but back in the ‘burbs of Maryland, I’d drive my parents’ or at least always be in someone’s car when going from one destination to another. Most of the time riding the subway here doesn’t bother me — in fact, I love the fact that for $2.25 I can get to hundreds of restaurants or visit anyone, anywhere, in any borough, vs. paying $3.00/gallon for gas.
But this time of year, subway-riding gets complicated with The Winter Commute. It’s a fine art that I have yet to master as a New Yorker once the cold hits. In the suburbs in the winter months, it’s easy: you’re in the car where you can adjust the temperature, and you’re never outside for long when you have the warm, safe inside of your car at your disposal. You can choose to leave your coat in the car or bring it with you. But in New York when your riding public transportation, it’s a little more difficult.
Picture it: the walk from my apartment to the subway isn’t really short one, so I trudge along in my heavy winter coat, facing the cold, cheeks red and fingers icy. But once I get underground, it’s blazing hot, and then the heat is blasting in the subway car, so I start sweating. The car is too packed for me to take off my coat, so I just sweat my way through the stops until I reach my destination. By the time I’m at the top of the subway stairs, I’ve shoved my gloves in my pocket and unzipped my coat, exposing my chest to the winter winds (sorry, Mom.) Then the walk from the subway to my work building begins, and by the time my hot flashes from the subway have ended and I start shivering again, I’ve reached my building, where I get inside and…you guessed it. I’m hot again. The heat is blasting, and by the time I make my way up the escalators, into the elevator, and to my desk, I am dying to tear off my winter-wear. And when you add snow/rain/boots/umbrellas to this situation? …don’t even get me started.
It’s a complicated temperature-tango, and no matter what, I feel like I can’t win. Anyone have any tips on how to master the NY Winter Commute? Or am I once again doomed to 4 months of this dreaded daily trip?