The Night Train and the Rockaway Sunrise

  1. Wait for the G train at Bedford-Nostrand around 2 a.m.
  2. See creepy guy staring at you and grinning.
  3. Move to a different location. Look over to see if he’s still staring.
  4. He is. He’s actually leaning over in order to do it.
  5. Be thoroughly creeped out.
  6. Decide to yourself that you absolutely do not want to get on the train with this guy, despite the fact that there are plenty of other people around.
  7. See faint green G train symbol in the opposite tunnel.
  8. See an opportunity to cross something off your list of 26 Things To Do Before Turning 26 and take it. (Specifically, to ride the subway all night and watch the sunrise over Jamaica Bay).
  9. Run up the stairs to the opposite platform and catch the train in the opposite direction.
  10. Look out the window. You swear he’s still staring through the window.
  11. Take the G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn.
  12. Get off and wait for the A.
  13. Observe the other people in the station, who at this time of night, include a couple roughly your age, another guy your age, a bunch of MTA workers cleaning the tracks, and one other man yelling and cursing at the MTA workers for apparently delaying his return home.
  14. Get on the A train.
  15. Note that you see some really strange things when you ride the subway this late at night. Super old red trains chug along unused tracks for maintenance. The clientele is a mix of crusties and grungy hipsters who party on Thursday nights and people who work the overnight shift.
  16. Wonder about the lives of these people. Who among them rides the train this time of night all the time? What’s it like to work all night? What’s it like to party all night on a regular basis?
  17. Note that you’re now in the 212 on the uptown A.
  18. Doze off.
  19. Get woken up by 3 big loud dudebros loudly talking about how cool they are.
  20. Overhear: “Yeah, she was like, ‘how late do you go to bed?’ I was like, ’5:00-5:30.’ She was like, ‘You keep this up you’re going to die young.’ I’m like whatever.”
  21. Dudebros finally get off.
  22. Note that it is now 3:20 a.m. Good time to turn around. Get off at the next stop, 190 St.
  23. It’s a weird, cavernous station. The only other rider looks like a guy who runs a deli. You’re later joined by an older man and a girl who looks to be in her 20s. Wonder what the hell she’s doing here. Wonder if she’s wondering the same thing about you.
  24. Snap a picture of the station because it looks cool.
  25. Get on the A train back downtown.
  26. A girl and her gay best friend get on behind you and chat loudly while eating take-out. It’s now about 4 a.m.
  27. Doze off again.
  28. Wake up after what feels like just a few seconds but find that you’re already at Canal Street.
  29. As the train travels through Brooklyn, note how not-empty the train is. Most of the other passengers are asleep. Wonder how many of them sleep on the train regularly.
  30. Past Grant Avenue, the train comes above ground. See the sky for the first time in hours. The first signs of sunlight are just appearing over the trees. Watch the little houses in Howard Beach get lit up by the first rays of sunlight.
  31. Snap a picture as the train crosses Jamaica Bay, because the view is spectacular. The water looks like glass and JFK Airport is silhouetted against the red glow.
  32. Get off at Broad Channel to turn around and make the trip back home. It’s now roughly 5 a.m.
  33. Broad Channel is a strange, slightly decrepit station, just like all the other stations on the Rockaway line. It looks more like a random isolated backwoods railway station that gets one train a day than a station of the NYC Subway.
  34. Take the A to Broadway Junction to switch to the L. You are now joined by morning commuters. See the sun rise higher over the projects of East New York as the L snakes around to the above ground station.
  35. Take the L to Lorimer-Metropolitan.
  36. Get on the G to return to Greenpoint.
  37. Finally depart the subway. Step into the morning light at Greenpoint Avenue. The sun is up and it smells like burnt breakfast outside.
  38. Walk up to your apartment at 6:30 a.m.
  39. Go to bed at 6:40.
  40. Wake up at 12:30. Feel like you’ve been hit by a truck.

One thought on “The Night Train and the Rockaway Sunrise

  1. Pingback: Everything Went Better Than Expected (in 2012) « The Once and Future Coffee Addict

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s