Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oh what a beautiful morning

As I've stated elsewhere, it enrages me that major news outlets have begun harping on the MTA for not reimbursing unlimited-ride MetroCard users for the, oh, 40 hours or so of suspended service this weekend. What would that refund constitute exactly? $4.50 at most? Generally I am all in favor of commuters/New Yorkers/people in general not being ripped off by the services they pay for, but I can't imagine that $4.50 (or perhaps $9 at the absolute most, if you're commuting to and from work both Saturday and Sunday, and that is a carefully calculated exactly-used portion of your $104/month MetroCard) is really going to put that much of a dent in people's finances. I would rather have the MTA work toward keeping the system maintained, not kicking off a new spate of fare hikes or service reductions, completing the 2nd Avenue line, possibly restoring old lines, yadda yadda yadda, than figure out how to repay many of its commuters a small sum which they probably didn't spend anyway, since nobody was getting out much in the middle of a hurricane alert. Even my You with me, anyone?

But I digress. I was going to tell you about waking up accidentally extra early this morning, taking a look at the blue blue sky, and deciding to hit up Brooklyn Roasting Company in DUMBO, which I'd been meaning to try for a while. Alas, I had my own MetroCard woes, attempting to board the shortcut bus to Prospect Park West and its convenient F station, only to discover my monthly card had expired. One MetroCard gripe I do have--which is not the fault of the MTA--is that we formerly had yearly cards at work; now, we have a sort of special-use debit card with which we have to buy cards every 30 days. I am forever forgetting when exactly my previous card will run out, and it's a small yet bothersome environmental tic of the system that you have to replace your card each month, rather than refill it. So, booted off the bus in ignominy, I walked to the F at Church, worrying all the while that I'd be late for work but trying to focus on the trees and houses in all their morning glory.

Of course, once I purchased my card, I'd just missed an F, but hopped on the next train, a G, and luxuriated in the symphony of open seats around me. A quick hop skip and a jump to the incoming F at Bergen, down a few streets, and I reached Brooklyn Roasting Company. To my pleasant surprise (and these things should be givens, but they're shocks these days), the guy behind the counter was extremely friendly and helpful (surely more so than any real human can be around 8 in the morning) and my iced coffee was a mouthwatering $2 for 16 ounces. Of course, I am mostly off coffee these days because of the headaches, but have discovered through slow experimentation that half a cup every once in a while isn't going to kill me.

To my delight, it was only just rounding 8:15 by the time I left the Roasting Co, so I got to walk across the bridge to work, something I have not done for some time. Just like I remembered, Metric provides the right propulsive rhythm for purposeful walking (thanks again, M.--!), and so I found myself at work 15 minutes early, ready to take on this beautiful Wednesday.

I will also add, as the last third of this haphazard post, that I've been thinking a lot about how all too soon it will be dark once I leave work, and also about a variety of life-bettering things I really would like to be doing. So my tentative goal is to take five of them and do one each weekday, starting when the clocks change if not before. This will include biking, jogging, cooking, and picking up the piano again, as well as the above-mentioned bridge walks. Let's hope that telling you about it will give me extra incentive to follow through.


  1. Agreed on the dislike of replacing rather than refilling one's monthly card. That seems like an easy fix, surely.
    Boston doesn't have an edge on NYC in many categories, but I do like their Charlie Card format--a plastic tap card rather than a flimsy swipe system. Maybe someday, after the MTA pays for everything else...

    And I love your idea of linking life-bettering to the clock change. The return to standard time often makes me sad so it would be nice to have something to offset that.

  2. Yes, a friend gave me a Charlie Card and it is delightful!

    I had life betterment as a result of the clock change last year because my internal clock did not change and I wound up waking up an hour earlier most days. 'twould be a good habit to reproduce...