From the unusual to the mundane
Monday was definitely a break in the usual routine. As planned, I took the day off from my regular job to ride the newly opened 7 train extension, running from the former Times Square terminal to the new station at 34th Street – Hudson Yards. It actually had opened on Sunday but I wasn’t able to get away.
I got on the road about 9:45, which I figured would be late enough for me to miss the bulk of the rush hour traffic on the Long Island Expressway. Traffic indeed was quite reasonable, even at the usually very busy junction with the Grand Central Parkway in Queens. It’s possible that the Jewish holiday was a factor. After parking at my secret location in Queens I got the R train for an uneventful ride into Manhattan. As the train wasn’t too crowded I got a seat. Normally I don’t mind standing, but I wanted to play Doodle Jump and that’s hard to do unless seated.
I decided to get off the train at 60th, right on the corner of Central Park, and walked through Midtown to Times Square. By this time people were starting to leave office buildings for lunch. It was hard not to notice just how young most of the suit-wearers were, I’d say the average age was under 30. Not to jump to conclusions, but maybe age discrimination in employment is getting worse. Or maybe it’s just that older people aren’t as interested in going outside for lunch.
Mulling these thoughts, I boarded the 7 at Times Square for the trip to the new station. There were a number of subway workers on the platform to direct confused riders. The trip to the new station took just a few minutes, although getting out of the station took at least that long on a very long escalator. Somehow the ceiling and wall pattern made the escalator ride slightly disconcerting. My perception varied between riding at an angle, as I actually was of course, and riding horizontally like on an airport moving walkway. I’m still not sure if that makes any sense. In any event, the new station is quite attractive, although once the.curiosity factor wears off I don’t see it getting much ridership until the buildings at the huge Hudson Square development being opening. For the time being it’s a rather isolated location.
I walked down the High Line to its southern terminus, or should I say I waded through the crowds. To say the High Line was packed would be a gross understatement. I then walked along 14th Street to Union Square, which I still regard as my “home” section of Manhattan even though I haven’t worked in the area since 2000. I got the R back to Queens, no seats and hence no Doodle Jump this time, and then drove back through moderate but tolerable traffic.
If Monday was a break from routine, Tuesday through Thursday were back to the old grind. Each day was moderately busy at my main job, no early departures but no staying late. I found out, though it’s not 100 percent confirmed, that the next two week work cycle will be a relatively difficult one. I won’t know for sure until Monday. It shouldn’t really matter, as with over three year’s experience on the job I am fairly adept at managing the ups and downs of the work flow. Yes, there was a bit of wishful thinking there.
I worked all three evenings at the Major Home Improvement Retailer, but just for 4-hour shifts. 4:30 to 8:30 on Tuesday and Thursday, 6 to midnight on Wednesday. Even though I was fairly busy each shift, being the only employee on duty in the garden department, the shifts really weren’t too bad. As I’ve noted, a 4-hour shift seems much, much shorter than.an 8-hour one, not just merely half as long. Staying until midnight on Wednesday wasn’t as bad as it could have been, although given the longer distances I have to drive for my main job I changed my availability so that I won’t be scheduled later than 11pm. Next week I have one previously scheduled midnight, but hopefully after that I won’t be staying past 11. Whether that actually will come true, well, all I can say is that time.will tell.