I’m commuting to New York City almost every day now. It was fun in the beginning and a much needed break from the monotony of working from home, and it still is, but now more and more people are commuting back.
This is good, life is going forward, however the general chemistry between people has changed, and for a good reason.
Train rides are now a social experiment, for example. People still try to maintain the distance, and try to sit apart from each other. This is good in the very early morning commutes (about 5 to 6 am), but it becomes a problem later, as trains are now getting at capacity. People come into the train, and grab whatever seat they see. That’s when the social experiment really becomes interesting.
Some people are comfortable with having a stranger next to them, masked and all. Some others are VERY uncomfortable. You can see them standing up and trying to find, unsuccessfully, a place where they can have room. You can see a bit of panic setting in.
I get it. I'm still not 100% comfortable. Even when I’m vaccinated and have a booster as well. There is an invisible barrier that needs to be removed, at some point, but we are not there yet, it seems.
Then, when you get to NYC, the city is alive. That’s awesome to see. After a grim 2020 in NYC, where I could walk the length of Park Ave. literally in the middle of the street and see no cars or people, it’s good to see life is back. I don’t want to venture to say “back to normal”, but it’s good. Restaurants, offices, street carts, and angry new yorkers.
It’s busy and it’s back to sucking. Subways are back at capacity and the annoyance of having to deal with the people, the assholes, the homeless, and the rats is back.
Yet, it feels good.
I’m getting back into the commuting groove. I’ll report as I have more stuff to write.
But man, it feels like we are going somewhere. This is awesome.