Hello, dear reader. You might be wondering: where in the actual fuck did “Off the G” go? Oh, you weren’t wondering that? Well, I’ve clearly kept your interest long enough to read up through this sentence, you must be wondering a little bit. Oh, you’ve left? Not possible, you’re still reading this. Did I just blow your mind as much as I blew my own? Anyway, I digress, which is kinda the theme of this post, in which I have digressed so far off base that I went to the West coast and Asia…for six weeks. Then I returned and began the totally stress free task of moving. I know what you’re all thinking, and don’t worry, last week I was able to move to a new apartment that is still along the G line, in fact this location is now equidistant from not one, but TWO G stops! Bless my lucky stars! And by equidistant I mean similarly long walks to the subway that are coupled with frustration when no buses pass by to shorten the trek to the G. Despite all the walking, I now get to pass by many more spots that will surely slow up in future blog entries. After I moved last week, I was waiting for the appropriate time to kick-start the ol’ blog again. Should I wait until I get settled in my new apartment? If you’ve seen the hoarder-style amount of boxes filling my place you’d realize that day may never come. Should I wait until I have enough money to keep writing about things that cost money? Nope, I’ll stick with further digging myself into that hole called debt. Then a few days ago, the G literally went off the tracks and I decided to hike up my shorts, dust off my keyboard and have at it. I owe it to my loyal reader, my Dad, to let you know what “Off the G” has been up to, and of course reassure you that “Off the G” is picking up right where it left off, only BIGGER and better. On that note, if anyone wants to pay me to do this I would gladly accept. That will undoubtedly make this blog better. For me.
So, how far exactly did I go off the G? Let me break it down for you in seemingly the only way I know how: retelling my experiences through the lens of mass transit. In short, I rode in a Volvo that broke down more than once on a mini roadtrip from Portland to San Francisco, I took a bus to the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, flew to a sex-themed park on a small island, bought a beer off of a boat while floating in a different boat through rice paddies outside of Hanoi, drove a bicycle to the beach on the coast of Vietnam, sat in the back of a tuk-tuk motoring around Angkor Wat, walked through Singapore in the rain, slept for 21 hours on a bench in the Mumbai Airport, and watched tourists who still had money enjoying the museums in Paris while I desperately searched for a money exchange place that would take my various Asian currencies. In terms of that last item, I was unsuccessful in exchanging money and did the only thing I could think to do and returned to Brooklyn. What was my biggest take away from all of my travels? Transportation exists everywhere and the G in New York City is among the worst! Except for maybe the overnight train I took in Vietnam, but that’s because I missed it. So when I came back to Brooklyn and knew I had to move, I applied what I learned about other ways to get from point A to point B and moved a few blocks away. This way I could continue getting let down on my daily commute. As much as the G makes me want to gouge out my eyeballs with a bloody, rusted, sharpened handle of a golf club that I then use to give myself self-inflicted blunt force trauma, there’s also an inexplicable love that people who live along the G have for the G. I think the medical term for that is Stockholm Syndrome.
This past Thursday night I was frustrated when an “incident at Hoyt-Schermerhorn” forced me to take a cab home from work late at night. I was doubly annoyed the following morning when after my now daily 15 minute walk to the G I discovered service was still suspended. I chalked it up to something stupid like, “A man pulled the emergency break and now they can’t the subway doors to close.” (This is something I have actually experienced on a G train. Who knew that pulling the emergency brake can somehow break the mechanism by which they close their doors) Or perhaps someone operating a G train counted the number of cars on the G, realized there are only four cars, called the MTA main office, and said, “I will not let this train leave the station until you bring over the rest of the cars for this train,” and they had a long back and forth about how the G train doesn’t have as many cars as the other trains. Then my sister texted me, “I heard the G derailed?” It should be noted that my sister doesn’t even live in the state of New York. And I had attempted to ride the G twice since it had derailed. How she found out before me is anyone’s guess, but when I verified her text through a quick Google search I was momentarily stricken with grief, followed by a weird sense of ownership and pride in my little, struggling subway line. “We can get through this!” I thought. “It’s not the G’s fault!” I exclaimed internally as I was at the bank and didn’t want to warrant any suspicious glares. And then it apparently wasn’t that bad because it was back up and running less than 24 hours after the derailment. “I knew you could do it! I’ve seen a lot of shit these past couple months, but I came back to you because I believed in you!” I triumphantly marched down to the G station Friday night, swiped my card, and took my spot on the platform, all while chanting “USA! USA! USA!” (Again to myself because I was alone in public) I took a brief moment to take in the service change sign posted on the platform. “No G trains at this station weeknights 11:00 PM-5:00 AM Monday-Friday.” I looked at my clock on my phone. Fuck.
Thanks for reading folks and remember-
-Off the G