I have a confession to make that wouldn’t make my Mom and Dad too happy: Sometimes I take the subway late at night.
There, I said it. When I first came to New York, I promised I’d take cabs home when I was out late with friends. And at first, I tried to stick with it. But I quickly became acquainted with the late-night cab dilemma. What’s the dilemma?
There are NO cabs late at night!
The problem is, everyone else in the city who’s out at 2, 3, 4…whatever time in the morning also has the same idea. So the sidewalks get packed with other party-goers who are trying to head to their corner of the city that never sleeps. And cab after cab whizzes by, their car full of passengers. And when a free taxi does finally come near, please believe that the other NYers on the sidewalk are not going to remember their manners or feel bad if you are a female by yourself. (Keep in mind that this occurance of trying to hail a cab by myself only happens rarely, on the occasion that the people I’m with have to go in completely different directions/via different modes of transportation.) Or, the driver will ask where you’re going, and if it’s not where they want to go, they’ll drive off, without caring about the fact that your hand is still attached to the back door handle.
In the early days, I had men jump out of nowhere in front of me to steal my cab (so much for chivalry,) and couples mid-make out so eager to get back to their bedrooms that they somehow pushed past me (bodies still intertwined) and stole my cab. So I had to learn to forget my manners and do whatever it took to grab a free taxi the moment I saw it. But there was one late night where I was just way too tired, my feet were hurting way too much, and the nearby subway entrance was just calling my name. So, I went for it. And was surprised to find that the subway late at night is just as busy and full as it is during my morning commute to work. Go figure.
So sorry, Mom and Dad. I try, I really do, to keep the promise. But after 20 minutes of waiting for a cab with no luck, can you blame a girl for hitting the subway to keep home quickly? And really, it’s not that bad. I promise.