I lived in New York for over six years and for the most part, I think I hated the train.  I dreaded those rainy days when the windows would fog up on my morning commute and I could feel the sweat building up underneath my layers of clothing.  I hated people's armpits in my face and bags digging into my back.  I despised carrying a million bags with me if I had gym plans after work or needed to lug a laptop or something.  I yearned for my own commuting space and to be able to talk on my phone on my ride to work.  

Then, I moved to Denver where a car is pretty much necessary (like nearly every other place OTHER than New York).  I think it was about a month of living here and commuting in a car when I began to actually MISS the train.  I never thought I'd ever say that...

But in hindsight, the train was awesome.  I could get to work without even having to think.  I had the luxury of reading a book, reading the paper, getting lost in my iPod or even sleeping.  I was exposed to people (as opposed to driving in my car by myself).  I was exposed to people's styles, people's choices of reading materials or even people's conversations.  I just absorbed so much more.  I loved that...and I miss that.  

Do I miss the stench of a smelly old man?  No.  But, it's all in perspective.  The grass is always greener...

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Comment by Mari Brown on February 8, 2012 at 11:16am

sarah, i totally agree. also, i call my car "a big purse."

Comment by Anna on February 9, 2012 at 6:15pm

Oh god, sweaty days on the train - those were the worst! And having a car makes getting groceries, etc. so much easier. I remember painting my apartment in Brooklyn and having to ride the train with all the paint, rollers, etc. from Home Depot (which is totally awkward to get to by train anyway) - ugh.

But, like you, I also miss it from time to time. I liked the feeling of self-sufficiency - all I needed was my (huge) purse and my metrocard and I could go anywhere. Well, assuming there weren't service changes...

Comment by Loann on March 8, 2012 at 11:07pm

I just moved to SF and realized how AWESOME the nyc transportation system is. When I lived there I would complain about it. Now I know how amazing, organized and accessible it is for everyone. Not so much here in SF and surrounding areas. Its also so damn confusing, look at the Muni and Bus map is so disorganized it gives me a headache. 

Comment by Kotik on August 18, 2012 at 5:05pm

3.5 years ago I left NYC for western NY and experienced a deep cultural shock. Later had to buy a car. A few days ago visited NYC for a job interview. Experienced deep cultural shock again: huge city, tons of diverse people, hot & humid you can't stand, subway stations are hell of heat and dirt although efficient. People living in small apartments paying huge rent. Cut throating former colleague, bosses 1 hour late for my interview and their abusive and arrogant attitude... :)


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