The L Train Shutdown Is Here and It’s Not a Big Deal (Mostly)

Now that it’s not winter anymore, New Yorkers can’t complain about the weather, so they need to find something else to bitch about. Enter: The MTA. And look, I get it, traveling via subway can be an inconvenience and there can be delays and reroutings and, oh, so many horrible things can happen and it’s a nightmare, really, it is! I get it. I live off the F and G. Boy, do I get it! And now, this weekend kicks off over a month of suspended weekend service on the L train between Brooklyn and Manhattan. And that’s terrible? I guess? But also, it’s kind of just a big, who even gives a fuck—it’s no big deal. 

Well, wait. I should amend that. There are plenty of people who care that the L train is down between Brooklyn and Manhattan, but—let’s be honest here—they mostly live in Manhattan. That’s why the whole “Williamsburg residents trapped in Brooklyn“-angle on this L train thing is bullshit, because a) there’s a little thing called the J train and b) where would you rather be trapped for the weekend—Brooklyn or Manhattan? Yeah, I thought so.

The reality is that here in Brooklyn in 2015, I don’t think that many residents are dying to get over to the lonely island on the other side of the East River. That place is for work. Brooklyn is where you live. The problem with an L train shutdown for Brooklyn-dwellers isn’t so much about going to Manhattan, it’s about not having Manhattanites come to us and spend their money in our small businesses. In fact, small business owners in Brooklyn are the only people who I have any sympathy for during this shutdown. It genuinely sucks that they will be losing out on Manhattan-dollars, and so if you have the money to spend, go out there and spend it. But mostly? Just enjoy the fact that north Brooklyn might actually be somewhat quieter than usual for the next several weekends, and that it might not be so hard to get a table for brunch at Allswell. And if you absolutely have to get to Manhattan and don’t want to take the J? It’s supposed to be 75 degrees and sunny tomorrow. Take a long walk over the Williamsburg Bridge. It’s a much nicer way of getting around than the L train anyway.

ETA: Oh, right: There’s buses too. But, then, you know, you’re taking the bus. So.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen


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