Monday, January 17, 2011

Working on Holidays in New York City

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Another holiday in which I'm going to work while Paul stays in bed.

Even if the calendar hadn't already informed me, I'd be able to tell it was a holiday as soon as I got to the subway station. The platform will be sparser. On the train, almost everyone will get a seat.

When I exit the station in Lower Manhattan, I won't have to dart across the sidewalk, feeling like I'm playing a barely successful game of Frogger. Instead, I'll be able to leisurely stroll the few steps to the other side. I won't have to watch out for many bankers in business suits; the people most likely to be in my way are the tourists hitting up the Century 21 department store.

I take a different train on the way home, one where I'm almost always not only standing, but also pressed up against at least one person in a way that would be uncomfortable and/or embarrassing in any other situation. On holidays, I might get a seat. At the very least, I'll be able to breathe.

Of course, no one would trade in their day off for a more pleasant commute. But for those of us who don't have a choice, it's not such a bad consolation prize.

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