Hey, what’s another foot of snow, right?
I’m getting pretty good at the drill–get out there and snowblow the driveway, kiss the kiddies and Missus good bye, and set out on foot for the station.
The first thing I did was check the MTA website for train information. The Harlem and Hudson lines were on a Saturday schedule. It struck me as weird that the beleaugured New Haven Line was not on a Saturday sked; I read a little further and saw that the line was down altogether this morning. That makes more sense.
Of course, getting any info on the mta.info site about exactly what the Saturday schedule was was impossible, presumably due to the traffic overload. I tried on the Missus’ laptop and my Blackberry. She tried on the iPad. Nothing. Jammed.
I sort of remembered the weekend trains being on the :53s, from when me and Little G would trek in to see the Chrysler, Empire and Flatiron, which left me more time to clear the driveway than the 8:41 would’ve. Last week’s storm only took about 10 minutes to blow it out, but this one showed me the limits of my bottom-end Toro Snow-Thrower 280 ZX. The job took about 20 minutes, and I hit the road at 8:30.
All the neighbors were out shoveling and snow-blowing, and a few kids getting an early start on the snow day.
I carefully made my way down Broad to Bradhurst, then began my tentative descent down Heartbreak Hill. Near the bottom, a man was clearing a driveway with an engine-operated plow the size of a golf cart. Back and forth he drove, engine whirring in the still morning air, moving giant piles of snow to neighbors’ properties, clearing out a driveway that measured about 50 feet long.
It was the proverbial bringing-a-howitzer-to-a-fistfight. Just admit it, dude–you hate the environment. You want to place your mini-plow smack in the middle of a polar ice cap, and lay waste to the damn thing.
No trains in sight as I neared the station. I bought a Times at the Station Deli, my subscription copy either buried under a foot of snow on my walkway or, more likely, sitting in deliveryman Luis Narvaez’s garage somewhere.
There were about a hundred people at the station, waiting for the 8:53. At 8:55, we saw the light from around Gordo’s, the horn honking. Two minutes late after a foot of snow, we thought. Not bad, Metro-North. Kudos.
People descended the heated platform, but the train kept right on whizzing by. The people wore the chagrined faces of those who’d just been Punk’d.
No word on a replacement.
At 9:08, the speakers crackled to life. Metro-North was adding extra trains due to crowding, it said. That was it. Nothing about our would-be 8:53.
At 9:10, another train rolled around the corner. This one stopped. We feared the worst–jammed train, flesh in the aisles, then every damn stop from here to 125th, similar to what we’d experience last week, or yesterday, or whenever that last big storm was.
In fact, the train was pretty empty. I scored the folding 1-3/4 seater for the second time this week, and was glad I had a bit of comfort. The ride took a painful hour and five minutes, the train crawling through the frozen Westchester-Bronx landscape.
But we made it, hitting GCT at 10:15–a full hour and three quarters are I left the abode.