A Subway Story
I have a bit of a delay on my blog posts about our adventures, but here is another story from New York.
After several days walking everywhere and of Eliana asking if she can take the subway, I agreed as we were going from 45th Street to 86th Street, and 41 blocks is a lot even for my sturdy walking girls.
The walked through Grand Central Station, it was a bit confusing but generally uneventful. We did visit the train museum. Eliana got a pen with a retractible pull out map of the subway & bus system. It is so small that I can’t read it without glasses.
The weather turned rainy in the afternoon and our leaving the Metropolitan Museum of Art was poorly timed as it was 5 pm, but we wanted to get as much time as possible at the Met and still be back in time for our Broadway theater tickets for Mamma Mia and a bite of dinner before.
Here is the story of how I managed getting myself and two children onto a New York Subway train during the evening commute on a rainy night. The rain is important because it means that even more people are on the subway rather than walking.
The already full train pulled into the station. Two people got out and a whole bunch wanted to get in. I put my left foot into the train, standing sideways with my right still on the platform. Then I shoved Emeline onto the train. I turned back to the platform and grabbed Eliana by the front of her pink puffy down coat. Then I pushed backwards into crush of people on the train pulling Eliana with me. There wasn’t enough room for one person, let alone two people, at least in a normal social setting. I glanced back to make sure I still could see Emeline. I turned back toward Eliana and her eyes were as large as dinner plates, as she realized that only her front 1/2 was in the train so far. She was afraid the doors would close on her, not an unreasonable fear, considering. Suddenly the guy over my right shoulder, behind me reaches over and between two people to grab his friend who is still on the platform behind and just to the side of Eliana. The man grabbed his friend’s backpack shoulder straps and literally yanked his friend into the train, compressing everyone and their puffy winter coats. However, more importantly he draws Eliana the rest of the way into the train but still very close to the door. Eliana is swallowed alive in winter coats. I held a frame over her with my arms to keep people from crushing her.
I turned my head to the guy who’d pulled his friend into the train and said, “you’ve been on the trains in Japan haven’t you.” He looked at me with a puzzled expression and said, “Yes.”
Emeline was also way beyond her comfort zone in the crush of people. I too was nervous because I didn’t have a hold of her. She wasn’t far but there were several people between us. I made sure the people around us knew that she was mine. I talked a nice woman who was holding the upper hand rail and standing near Emeline, into letting Emeline stand somewhat under her and between the people sitting, it was a little more protected. They were happy to help.
The next tricky part was not getting swept off the train at the next few stops, but within a few stops the people started to thin. It was still took effort to move, but Eliana and I were able to maneuver closer to Emeline and I had a hold of both girls again. Despite the insane crush of people, everyone was very civil, kind and looked out for the children.
A bit of drama and humanity on display in the New York Subway.
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