Let us overlook the fact that there is no way to get to three of New York's four major airports by subway, and that to get to JFK - the one that is, nominally, reachable - you need the navigational skills of Magellan. Let us also gloss over the fact that anyone who is not a trigonometry whiz might find it hard to travel successfully between any two points (one scratchy announcement overheard this month on an F train instructed passengers to: "Take the B Train to Stillwell Avenue, where you may switch to the N and R line at 34th Street, where you can catch a D train making, all local stops to Queensbridge." Question: If x = Bx D and y = N - R, how can you get to Queensbridge from the F in time for tea? Answer: you can't.)
The subway in New York, while remaining technically "open" all night, never stops shutting down. Never quite on, never quite off, the Manhattan subway is like a deadbeat divorced dad; something that one relies upon grudgingly, knowing through experience that it won't come, though hoping all the while that it might since there is no alternative; New Yorkers don't have cars. Every expedition is a cliffhanger: will the train come on time? Will it come at all? Will it be rerouted? Will it stall? When the inevitable disappointment / debacle happens, seven or eight times a day, there is no redress but to give a kick to the departing train, taking care not to tumble into the rat-and-hops smelling tracks. One can't even graffiti one's resentment on the train walls any more; someone at the transit authority invented a mark-proof steel surface.
There are those who surmise that December's slew of festive diversions - three parties and / or charity balls a night (minimum) until January - was invented by city planners about the time the automobile came into vogue, in order to keep New Yorkers so hungover that, by January, they would wake up, Alka-Seltzered into consciousness for the first time in weeks, and think the recent horrors had just been a bad dream. That is why the subway never gets overhauled; by New Year, no one can remember what it was they wanted to tell City Hall so urgently back in December.Reuse content