12.21.2005

Strike (day) two! More observations from the field

(Image courtesy of the NYT.)

I walked to work again this morning. As I started out, I was thinking, "This was fun once, but doing this every day could get old mighty fast." It's two miles and it was 26 degrees outside this morning. Luckily, I managed to get a ride home from work last night, which was much appreciated. It's one thing to walk two miles in the morning, and quite another to walk them at night.

However, I really like sunshine and walking, both of which were in abundance this morning. Once I put on a little Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington and went on my merry way, I was happy as a clam. It felt so good to be outside in the fresh air, or what passes for fresh air in these parts. I gained a renewed appreciation for Central Park.

Along the way, I observed:
  • much less honking than yesterday
  • much less traffic on Broadway than yesterday
  • the local bike store still doing a brisk business, but not as much as yesterday
  • lots and lots of trucked parked along 96th St. and along Columbus north of 96th St., waiting until 11 am until they could venture below 96th St. (commercial traffic prohibited below 96th St. between 5 am and 11 am)
  • cops yelling at trucks parked on 96th St., telling them to wait further north, since they were blocking all kinds of legitimate pre-11 am traffic on 96th St.
  • three people in a car, trying to go south of 96th St. on Amsterdam. The cops wouldn't let them through, but helped them out by going to a corner where people were waiting to cross. There, they recruited a woman who was going downtown, to round out the car and make it legal.
  • one very upset woman, driving alone in a mini-van, trying to drive south of 96th St., where cars with fewer than 4 occupants are verboten during the workday--she was arguing with a cop and saying, "I need to get home, I have a very sick child at home" and she was waving some sort of piece of paper. I felt terrible for her, and a little guilty for enjoying the strike so much. And I felt bad for the cop she was yelling at, who was merely doing her job. They eventually let her through.
  • at work, the maintenance staff was planning carpools and shared taxis and tentative weekend plans if the strike is still on. They mostly live out in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.
I want to bring a camera with me tomorrow morning, if the strike is still on.

Also, this graphic from today's New York Times, especially "The Worst Affected" graphic, supports my assertion that the worst affected by this strike are the people who live the farthest out and rely on the transit system the most.

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