When It Rains, It Pours

rain

In case you haven’t guessed by now, I love this city in every light, season and weather condition.

Except.

Except when it’s pouring rain, and you have to get on the subway. On Wednesday after work, I headed to meet Le Boyfriend to see an early IMAX screening of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Normally I would walk from my job to Lincoln Center, but after considering the monsoon, I decided to hop on the 1 train uptown just one stop. I left a half an hour early to make sure I’d have plenty of time to grab popcorn and get a good seat.

The problem is, when it’s raining, every other New Yorker has to do the same thing. Nobody is walking, and it’s impossible to catch a cab—so everyone slams into the subway salty, sopping wet, and smelling like wet dog. But despite the underground crowd, my spirits were high: I had a date, and my journey would only take five minutes. At least, that’s what I thought. Behold, a peek into public transportation life on rainy days:

6:35 PM: A train goes flying by, doesn’t stop.

6:40 PM: Another train flies by, doesn’t stop.

6:45 PM: People start pushing up behind me. I convince myself a mob is forming with plans to push me onto the tracks. Sweat forms under my raincoat, steam fogs up my glasses.

6:50 PM: Thankfully, a train pulls in and opens its doors. I let out a sigh of relief and make myself semi-comfortable next to a pole. Then, as the doors are closing, a gaggle of French girls come giggling onto the train. The car is now beyond packed; I’m praying the pointy thing poking my behind is a man’s umbrella.

6:51 PM: Train hits the brakes. And sits. And sits some more. I look at the time on my phone anxiously because the screening starts at 7 and my Spidey senses are tingling. The tourist teens continue to titter and chatter in française. In a previous life, I adored everything remotely Parisian, but suddenly I hate French people.

6:58 PM: I fly out of the train station and pop open my umbrella. A gust of wind blows the umbrella out of its handle and into the crosswalk. Left holding only the handle, I run into oncoming traffic to retrieve it. A car comes to a squealing halt and honks at me; I give him the finger, scoop up my umbrella, and sprint to the theater. (Did I mention this was the gorgeous “Le Chat Noir” umbrella I purchased under the Eiffel Tower?! See Exhibit A, below. Admit it, you would’ve run into traffic, too.)

Exhibit A.

Exhibit A.

7:08 PM: I burst into the doors, breathless and blind, glasses covered in rain. I assume the tall, dark, and handsome figure in front of me is Le Boyfriend, so I thrust my umbrella at him while I wipe my lenses (Good thing it was in fact him and not a serial killer). Our auditorium is all the way on the top floor, and I fear I’ve already missed some major Emma Stone moments. Luckily, whoever runs screenings knows that in the rain, every New Yorker will be late; we made it just in time.

The moral of the story? If I lived in Maryland, Pennsylvania, or basically anywhere else in America (except for bumper-to-bumper LA) getting somewhere on time in the rain would be much simpler. Reader, you might ask, Wouldn’t it be much easier to quit your whining and leave New York already? But what can I say? I love the pizza and the sparkly lights too much. And so, my adventures will continue, rain or shine.

PS: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was really entertaining—definitely better than the first one. I’d recommend seeing it in IMAX—it made me feel like I was a superhero, jumping from building to building and taking over Manhattan. Wait, what am I talking about? I already am a superhero, taking over New York City one day at a time. Right?! 

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The Schedule Change

I just came back from a 10-day, 3-city European vacation with my girlfriends (did I just type that?!) It was ambitious of us to try to pack three cities into 10 days, and throughout the trip, I felt the crush of the question I often ask myself in day-to-day life: How will I get everything done that I want to?

By the end of the trip, I’d found the answer. But let me start from the beginning. Back in September, my friend Channing and I were wistfully whining about how we wished we had the money to spend New Year’s Eve in Paris. Finally, we got serious and asked ourselves Why can’t we? A few weeks and some extreme budgeting later, we booked a trip with two other girlfriends to London, Paris, and Barcelona.

Anticipation still reminds me of waiting for Santa as a kid: The night before feels like years, but opening presents is over in a flash. ‘Twas the same with our travels: Before I could blink, we’d ticked everything off our wish list and seen Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the London Bridge, and Westminster Abbey. We ended the trip’s first leg on a swing ride in Hyde Park’s magical winter wonderland. It was all a gift I’d torn open too fast and now, looking back, I wish I could re-wrap it all, just to open it again slowly, with extra care.

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London: Hey, Big Ben!

After a quick train ride, we were in Paris, where we scrambled each day to find café crèmes and crispy croissants before hustling everywhere from the Louvre to Céline. On New Year’s Eve, we counted backwards on a bridge near the sparkling Eiffel Tower. At midnight, I felt a pang of longing for 2013—it’d flown past in a rush of planning and plotting. So the next morning, I decided to finally slow down from all the itineraries and to-do lists. A solo walk with a copy of Julian Green’s Paris led me to this gem: “Until you have wasted time in a city, you cannot pretend to know it well.” It was like Green was shouting to me from those pages: Slow down, girl. Wasting time is just as important as filling it.

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Paris: Giving our best Parisienne

So at our last stop in Barcelona, I took his advice. It was time to turn off my inner New Yorker and take a lesson from the leisurely-paced Europeans. So in between praying in Antoni Gaudi’s breathtaking Sagrada Familia and perusing the Picasso Museum, we indulged in long, relaxed meals full of sangria, tapas, and laughter. Our final Friday night of partying rolled late into the following morning, and I barely even noticed. Finally, we left Barcelona on Sunday at 10 AM to come back to the states—but, despite a nine-hour flight, somehow landed in New York at 1 PM. Time playing its tricks on me.

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Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia’s stained glass windows

After being home in New York for a few days, I’m back to my original question: How will I find the time to do everything I want to do? The answer: I just will. Yes, between working late, the gym, and adult responsibilities, there isn’t much time left over. But somehow, during a 10-day trip to three cities, we made it everywhere we wanted to go. So whether it’s working my ass off or lounging in my PJs, with a lot of hustle and a little less sleep, I can make a lot happen in 24 hours. I will find the time to make it to all of my life’s destinations—just like I did during my travels. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some time to go waste.

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