The Great Delay: Yesterday’s Hell Commute


Yesterday evening, a friend texted me and asked if I wanted to meet him for dinner in Bay Ridge. Say, around six? Sure, I wrote him back. A little later, he writes back to tell me he’s having a little trouble getting home. Maybe 6:30? Sure. I wait. Another text. Maybe seven?

A little after eight, we sat down to spinach pies—he had walked from the Atlantic Avenue stop to 40th Street, where a jam-packed B63 finally showed up to ferry him the rest of the way. The punctuality of our meal was just one of the many social casualties of yesterday’s Great Delay, in which a fire in a manhole at DeKalb shut down five subway lines for more than three hours—at peak rush hour. Terrifyingly large throngs tried to navigate their way home through impossible-to-navigate alternate routes. “E to the F. F to 14th. 6 to Brooklyn bridge. 5 to Atlantic,” one friend wrote on his Facebook. And that got him just about halfway home. “Hey, MTA, go fuck yourself,” he added before retreating to a bar.

I was at a bar later that night, too, where white-shirted professionals kept strolling through the door. “It took me two fucking hours to get home!” they all seemed to say. The fire may have made everybody late for dinner, but I bet all the bars along the Fourth Avenue line did good business for a Tuesday.

Me? I worked from home yesterday, suckerz!

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart


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