Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

As 2006 draws to a close I would like to take this moment to reflect on this past year of commuting. There were many low points in the world of the LIRR. Overcrowding, delays on top of delays, shut downs, clothing being ripped, trains being cancelled, waiting at Jamaica in the freezing cold only to board a train that smells like breath. (I hate the smell of a crowded train...all those people breathing....yetch!!!!!!! and don't even get me started on used trains....shudder!) I have to say I'm happy to have gotten out of my commuting rut when I did.

My sister informed me that the LIRR tanks 3rd in the transportation systems for NYC. The only thing worse than the LIRR is the tiny rail that exists on Staten Island. Metro North is number 1, this I agree with. The subway is number 2. Since Staten Island doesn't really count the LIRR is the worst form of transportation in the area. No one is surprised.

The lovely banner was supplied by my brother. On the back is a 10% discount for Tracks! BEST CRAB CAKES IN PENN STATION!!!!!! If you haven't tried them yet go!!! They're located next to the ticket booth and McDonalds. Seriously, I love their crab cakes! I am on a quest to find the perfect crab cake and right now Tracks is winning.

On that note everyone have a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! I hope your commutes go well and thank you to all for your support and listening to me complain for hours and hours!!!

Next stop sleep

Wenever someone rides the drunk train there are always stories. It could be something they witnessed or about themselves. This lovely lady to the right had the ride of her dreams the Friday before Christmas. She and a friend were taking the 2:55 to Mineola but never made it. They awoke sometime around 4am in Hicksville! Had my aunt not called to check on her Ib would've slept right to the end of the line. I'm not how she got home, if someone picked her up or she took the train back. Needless to say she was dead tired when decorating Grandma's Christmas tree the following day. (the shot to the left is a very bad photo of Grandma's tree from years past. We did a much better job this year)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

At certain times the LIRR comes through

Yesterday on the train Jennette had a hair raising experience:

I am sitting on the 5:19, snug and cozy, Ipod on, hands folded in my lap,eyes shut....then
Clunk clunk clunk all of a sudden a woman comes sprinting through my traincar. We weren't even at Forest Hills, she wasn't getting up to get off yet(my 1st stop is Merrrick) what could she be running from? After that woman about 80-100 people followed all muttering about a man with a gun a few cars back.

They said his behavior was very strange, he was singing and theycouldsee the gun in his back pocket. I think he was standing in the vestibule area. People were trying to keep each other calm. Nobody flipped, just scurried to get to another car. The guy next to me and I decided we should just remain calm and stay in our seats.

We thought they'd probably let him off at the next stop. Forest Hills passed, Kew Gardens passed, then finallywe stopped at Jamaica. There was not a soul on the platforms and no other trains were in the station. The doors opened for about 14 seconds, then quickly shut. We pulled out about 4 minutes leaving the man with the gun inthe arms of the NYPD. There was about 8 of them around him in a circle. The conductor made a few vague announcements, which I understand why, he didn't want people to get hysterical. He just said that we were stopping for Police Activity.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A lot has been going on!

Hello loyal readers....I hope there are some out there!
Sorry I've been away for a while. It's been a busy few weeks. I'd like to start off by letting everyone know I have a brand new baby nephew....too cute for words!

It was also announced yesterday that the LIRR will be making stops at Grand Central sometime in the year 2013. This has great potential but we all know it will probably lead to disaster. In theory it sounds great but when the LIRR is involved it can only mean one thing.....torture. Sure, shorter commute for those that work on the East side but will there be only a few trains going to Grand Central? Do all the rush hour trains have connections for this stop or will it be hit or miss? I can see the growing frustration at Jamaica now. Hopefully I wont be commuting by way of the LIRR but you never know, maybe I'll want to torment myself yet again!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Back on the train

Last night was the first time I have take a peak rush hour train in months. I've still got it! I was on my way home to see my new baby nephew. William was only a few hours old when I entered the gates of hell....I mean Penn. I quickly manuvered through the crowd and purchased my one way peak ticket.

The looks I got once I boarded the croweded train were unreal. I felt their eyes burning into the back of my head. Somehow they knew I was no longer a regular. I took my seat, in a 4 seater b/c I had a large bag with me. Everything was fine even though we were crammed to capacity. The truly annoying thing was the wretched woman sitting diagonally from me. She was on her phone the entire time telling whoever it was that "you can't let him do that!" "You tell him!" I really don't want to know what she was telling him.

Even though Penn was at it's worst and the train was overflowing I didn't mind at all. I was so happy to see my nephew, who by the way is the cutest little boy ever, that I didn't care that I had to take the LIRR to see him. It was well worth the ride!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Fight the scurvy!

On a totally random note has anyone seen the new face of Tropicana No Pulp? I was in the supermarket the other day looking for my scurvy fighting juice and had a slight panic attack. I thought they were out. My mistake, they've just updated the lable. It's sleeker, classy....hell if I weren't fighting the scruvy already I would have started the minute I saw it! I'll try and post some photos of old vs. new, but no promises. I hope what's inside the carton hasn't changed otherwise I'm screwed!


I'd like to
thank Stephanie for her donation of the November monthly ticket. It's not too bad, in person it's a little bit brighter. When she gave me November I asked to see December....they're slacking. It's the same ticket but not as bright. It's paler. It's lame. Not to mention it's probably easy to forge. I've said it before and I'll say it again the tickets should be bright and poppy. Commuters should at least get something nice out of their commute.

Just compare November to February....see the difference!? February will always be the best ticket, something all other tickets need to live up to.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


My Christmas dreams have been dashed. The LIRR has failed me yet again, and I'm not even a regular anymore. I had high hopes of visiting home cost free thanks to the free tickets that I assumed were coming along with the December monthly. I was wrong, I had too much faith. Last year was probably and will be the only year that the LIRR gives a Christmas gift to it's loyal riders. Neither Jamie or Stephanie received free rides with their monthly. I'm sure it's because of the recent law suits and lack of a fare hike for next year. I guess the LIRR needs to save somehow. My 10 pass off peak ticket has become even more precious to me and I will ride the LIRR when neccessary.

I did take the LIRR yesterday, aside from having to wait at Jamaica for my connecting train it wasn't a bad ride. It was more crowded than I would've thought for 9:45 on a Saturday morning. I did manage to get seats to myself on both trains, which is good since I had my laundry with me.

While on the train I encountered the most annoying family alive. A mother, 3 bratty kids, and an old lady cart. The cart was too big to fit down the aisle so they left it near the door. Every time the train stopped and started the cart went rolling. They watched and argued about it. They did nothing until it hit someone in the arm. Finally one of the kids went to move it but he just put it back in the same spot! He did nothing, it rolled again! They are on top of the list of stupid commuters.

The lovely photo above was given to me by Jamie. It's the new Mineola train station. Looks jazzy.....but it would look better if the LIRR had given out 10 passes....sigh. This one hurts. I don't know if I'll get over this blow.....

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

This just in.....the LIRR and subway will not be hiking the fares next year!!! For 2007 your regular rates remain the same. I breathed a sigh of relief for the LIRR passengers, they're already selling their soul each month to ride the devil train!

This also has been confirmed that should the LIRR be kind....hahaha....and give out free 10 passes with the December monthly my dear brother will give me the free tickets! Score!!!! I don't mind paying for a 10 pass since I've had it for almost a month now and have only used 4 times, but knowing I've been given free rides from the LIRR I will use them all up. Now I have to work on getting my sister's free passes. Fingers crossed it wasn't a one time Christmas gift, last year only!

Friday, November 24, 2006

I took the easy way out

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I know I said I was taking the LIRR home for the holiday but I managed to get a ride from a dear friend Julia. I was all set to take the rail but I got out of work early enough and I was extremely happy about that. Instead of lugging my laundry home on a crowded holiday train I went home in comfort.

The reports I heard weren't too bad. My brother managed to get a seat....a rare holiday treat. My sister on the other hand wasn't so lucky. She was standing on an overpacked train. When they reached Jamaica no one could get on or off the train! People were yelling and shoving......then cursing when the delays were announced. She even tapped a man on the shoulder and told him to move into the car so other people could get off. When she was picked up at New Hyde Park my Mom was waiting outside the car (a first in commuting history) waving her arms so my sister could see her. Her words when my sister got in the car "I've never seen anything like it!" Apparently there were about 40,000 people getting off at that stop. In reality I'm sure it was a few hundred. Either way I'm just happy I wasn't on the rail!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


This past Friday I took the LIRR home so I could bake some goodies for our housewarming party. I caught the 9:50 train from Woodside. It was on time.....and ANNOUNCED! Usually when I take the train from Woodside you hope it's the right train. It's very rare that they announce what line and what stops are being made.

I was the only person in my car and I happened to be sitting across from the conductor. She was eating her breakfast and reading the paper. Right before we approached Jamaica another conductor appeared. As Dr. Cox would say, he was a Newbie. It was his 4th month on the rail and he was still taking classes. The old timer mocked him "what you can't punch your tickets correctly?" For each type of ticket there is a different punch....WHAT!? I never knew this, I just thought each conductor had their own fancy shape.

They talked for a while and the old timer was giving him the heads up and lots of encouragement. His shift had started at 2:30am and was going until 1pm. Long day but in their words "at least you're making the money." He was also told not to let anyone jeopardize his job. Should have to kick someone off the train he should do it. No drunk slob is worth the loss of a job. I found this interesting. I wonder if there are repercussions for the conductors on the drunk trains?? That just reminded me of a great trip home one night where someone was kicked off. I must fine that entry and post it!

Tonight I am taking the train from Woodside again. I want to avoid the madness at Penn. I'll be going home after the intense rush and will hopefully get a seat. If not at least I'll have a decent standing area since it will be well after 4.

Happy commuting and Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

So happy it's not me

Earlier tonight I was talking to my dear sister who was complaining about her commute. She recently began taking the LIRR again after about a month long break. She hasn't readjusted to the LIRR, not that anyone ever can. She's in constant fear that she might fall through the gap. This is due to all the constant announcements regarding the gaps. She claims she's paying too much attention and that by focusing so much she just might slip through. If her train pulls in on the dreaded Track 17 she just might.

She also encountered a poppy man who was in dire need of a seat tonight. Apparently he didn't care that he was going to ride bitch. He approached her and asked if he could sit in the "dreaded middle seat" Steph thought that since she had her headphones on she was under no obligation to respond to him. I never did find out if he got the seat.

Yes, I've noticed I used the word dreaded twice in describing LIRR circumstances. Anyone who is a regular reader knows that I always refer to Track 17 as dreaded....sometimes deadly, but often dreaded.

Tomorrow I take the LIRR from Woodside. Fingers crossed it's on time and I don't miss my connecting train at Jamaica!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A hush falls over the train

Not much has been going on. My commutes have been fast and quiet, just how I had always hoped they would be! I was talking to my Mom today and she finally checked out this great little blog. Her comment was "you seem much happier with this commute." Damn skippy I am!

Julia's conductor on the subway (we take the same line) was chatting on his cell phone as he was conducting. A bit odd, but not too bad. My uneventful commutes are great. I don't miss the LIRR at all. I can just picture Jamacia this week and there were probably a million of delays and people having doors closed on them. My sister, Stephanie, commutes wisely, she only takes trains that are express or do not require changing trains. If you can do that it's the best way to go!

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Friday night I had to go to Kmart. I neede candles for my new apartment and thought they would have the best price for what I was looking for. After work I took my old route to Penn and figured I'd walk through the main passageway to see if anything changed. It didn't! I should've known better. The crowd was filled with people determined to get home. It was every man for himself. No one was going to move aside to let someone walk by. There was no say I would make it to Kmart without being trampled. I made it though. I was able to buy my candles and walk through Penn without least no phyiscal pain. Mentally I wasn't prepared to go back into the belly of the beast. I survived and hope that I don't have go back through there for a while. Later this week I will be heading out to LI but getting on the LIRR at Woodside. It's much calmer, although colder, there.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Delays halt fun!

From this past May, although judging by beautiful scarf that Erin is wearing in the photo was taken much earlier.

Saturday night Erin and I were off to celebrate her birthday in thecity. Unfortunately our celebrationwas delayed by almost an hour. We were waiting and waiting at Stewart Manor for our train to come. Announcements were made, but only for east bound trains. "There are no train running eastbound of Bellerose due to police activity."We heard this announcement a few more times before I got fed up and went into the station house for the complaint number.

I dialed and I actually got a real live person on the line! Brian tried to help me out the best he could. It was obvious he was not allowed to give out much information. I asked about the west bound trains and he said all trains were being held. I then told him that they should start making announcements for the west bound trains because no one at my station new what was going on. He told me he would "see what hecould do." I then asked how long this was going to take and he said "I can't answer that, it's up to the police."

Another 10 minutes went by when we heard a rumor that all trains on the main lines were cancelled. I quickly called my pal Brian. I asked if all the trains were shutdown and he gave me the run around. Finally I asked about the Long Beach branch, they were up and running. I quickly called my dad to see if he could drive us over to the Valley Stream station. We were on our way to meet him on the other side of the tracks when we were attacked by bees and stopped by a woman asking what was going on. Just as we were about to head to the underpass the tracks wentdown and the train came in to the station.

I was angry, we were leaving 40 minutes late and Brian failed with having announcements made for the west bound trains. As our conductor checked our tickets I found out what happened. Apparently there was a person on the tracks at Floral Park and the police had to get them off the tracks. I was shocked that he actually told us whatwent on! Normally the response is nothing more than police activity. Needless to say we made it in to the city and were able to meet up with the group. A good time was by all that night despite the drama in getting there.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


This monthly ticket is by far one of the ugliest I've seen. It's so blah and dark....and it's for May!!! May should be poppy, filled with color! When I see brown I think spring! I've always thought that the monthly tickets should resemble the mood of the month. Brown might work for November but certainly not May. On another note I have no idea where I got this monthly ticket because I took the Hempstead line for 4 years.....whoever gave this to me thanks!

Blast from the past

This was written a little over a year ago, 10/19/05 to be exact.

Last night I took the 7:54 train home to New Hyde Park. It was a ridethat was full of firsts for me. Moments after we exited the tunnel the train came to a screeching halt causing passengers to be thrust about. An announcement came over the loudspeaker "We're letting on supervision." Then there was a knock at the door. The two men standing near the door pried itopen and a loud bang was heard. A box was loaded on to the train. Next thing there was a person climbing into the train. As the conductor passed by he barely looked as he said "you're on board Steve." Steve was now on board. Apparently he couldn't make the train at Penn. Lord only knows what he was doing outside the tunnel in the middle of the night dressed in a suit, but we happened to be the train he was waiting for. Once Steve was on the train and we were moving again he took off his bright neon orange reflectivejacket and acted as if he had originally boarded on Track 21. He did not conduct any supervision.

Getting off the train was a harrowing experience. A man, not Steve,was blocking the doorway with a large red suitcase. His friend blocked the aisle as they talked. I was next to exit as the doors started to close. I ran through only to have the doors close on my arms and someone from behind pry them open and release me on to the platform. People were screaming curses as the doors continued to close on everyone who was left to exit the train. Someone was not paying attention and now my arms are a little sore.

Great ride home

Tonight I had to work late. Normally I hate working late because it always means just making or missing a train. Tonight was different, I got to the subway platform around 9 and I was in my room taking off my shoes by 9:20!!!!!! If I were taking the LIRR home I wouldn't have pulled in to Stewart Manor until well after 10. I'm telling you this commute rocks!!! There are no clean train campagins, cell phone usage is minimal, and in general people understand it's not going to be a quiet ride and deal with it.

I was talking to my dear sister tonight. She told me that this month's monthly ticket resembles my favorite February ticket so much she thinks they're the same. She has declined my request and will not scan it in for me to compare. So sad.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Killing Time

Good morning!
It's about 9:05am and I am not on a train. This is the life. If it were a week ago I'd either be just getting to Floral Park or still sitting in the car cursing the LIRR for being 10 minutes late. Both are very likely. It's nice to not have to leave until much later in the morning. Granted I've still been waking up at the same time.
Because it's raining today I might add a little spice to my commute. I might take the train 2 more stops downtown to catch another line uptown. This will drop me off right by my office and I wont have to walk an extra block in the rain. We'll see what happens.


The most beautiful monthly ticket I ever had. I still think about it and even hoped that one day the LIRR might surpass it's greatness. To this day they have failed. Although rumor has it this month's November ticket looks pretty darn good! I just need to get my hands on one!

Two minds think alike

Julia just checked out my new blog site. She suggested I get the little lady with scales as my background. I was one step ahead of her. I chose this background because it reminded me of the little lady. How I miss the wallpaper on the old trains.......

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Me and Tracey breaking the rules on a hot summer day!

This just in....

Hello all,

I just found my the first newsletter....the one that started it all! It was written on June 22, 2004.

Hello all, I am going to be sending out my daily LIRR complaints. If you would not like receiving these emails let me know! So my one complaint of the day is that when you're sitting next to someone on the train why do they feel it's necessary to take up as much room as possible and practically push you out of the seat!? some people are out of their minds. My major complaint today has to do with the new schedule change....when you are forced to leave 25 minutes earlier each morning for the next 3 months it would be lovely if the new train got in on time and not the time as your old regular train.....WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE PEOPLE RUNNING THE LIRR!??? Until tomorrow, please travel safely! Melanie

My how things have changed.....or have they!?

First post ever!

Friends Hello!

This is my first time writing since my last official morning commute on the LIRR. Let me tell you getting home that night was one of the worst commutes I had in a long time. They threw everything at me, I think to remind me of what I needed to move. Since I've moved to the greater land of commuting by subway I have taken the LIRR. There was yelling, people storming out of their seats, old ladies getting lost, and people being as stupid as always. I can't say I miss the LIRR at all. Although I do feel like a spy when I ride now. I'm not a regular, but I know the routine. I like to think it scares conductors when I reply with I know. I've got one up on them and my off peak 10 pass.

Life on the subway has been great. It's a 25 minute commute door to door!! Last night I left work at the same time I would for the 7:05 train. I was in my apartment door by 7pm! I never dreamed of being home that early. What a special treat!

This is all for now. I will get this blog up to speed and figure out archives and photos. Until then Happy commuting!