Commuter Musings

I was almost hit by a car this morning.

I don’t want to over-dramatize this. I’m totally fine. For the most part, I was not actually struck by the car. And it was entirely not my fault. (Mom.)

Here’s what went down.

I was walking to my office from Penn Station, like I do virtually every single day. I have to cross a series of streets and avenues to do so. In the name of total disclosure, I’m admitting right here and now that I do not always wait for the walk signal. If no cars are coming, I cross the street.

This is not just a me thing. This is an everyone-in-New-York-who-doesn’t-have-time-to-wait-to-cross-an-empty-street. (Insert: “New Yorkers are so impatient” joke here.)

Despite my penchant for (not actually illegal)(I don’t think?) jaywalking, I’d like to point out that in this case, I was crossing 9th Avenue because the crosswalk sign was telling me it was my turn to walk. The little white man was fully lit. It wasn’t even a blinking red warning hand.

So I crossed.

I was aware of a black sedan that wanted to turn left onto 9th Ave. He was slowly inching out, and I figured he was just waiting for the person crossing in front of me and me to get to the sidewalk. Then he would turn because his light was green.

Just because I know my mom is going to read this and think something to the effect of “If I had only just never let her leave my womb, this would never have happened!!!!”, I feel the need to point out that there was no way I could have seen this coming or prevented it. Short of just never crossing the street ever. I did what any normal person would have done. I crossed when the crosswalk told me I should cross.

Anyway. I was about two steps from clearing the front of his hood when I realized he had no intention of stopping and was in fact speeding up to turn.

I’d love to tell you that in that moment, time slowed down. Or that everything crystallized and became very clear for me.

In reality, it all happened super fast. But in a fit of The Next Karate Kid-edness, I slammed my left hand down onto the hood of his car and vaulted the rest of my body clear of the car.

The moment my feet hit the ground (and the driver apparently registered that the loud thunk he had heard was his car making contact with a human being), he and eye made equally wide-eyed eye contact. Both our mouths hung open for a second in total shock. (Well, his mouth was suspicious shaped into words something like “oh ship”, but I’ll leave the speculation to you.)

It was at that moment that I had no idea what to do next. Technically, nothing had happened. He had done something stupid (not watching where he was turning…I have no idea what he was looking at) and kind of illegal (turning into a crosswalk where pedestrians were walking), but technically nothing bad had come of it. I was so shocked and flustered, I honestly just kept walking while making furtive glances over my shoulder to see if anyone had noticed. (I honestly think no one did. Or they just didn’t say anything.)

To the driver’s credit, though he had started to just drive away, I watched him pause for a few seconds, obviously wondering if he should get out and do something. I guess he took the fact that I was not hanging around as his cue to vacate the scene. I don’t know what else I would expect him to do. (“Hey! Hey, you! Buy me a coffee for almost crippling me!”)

The point is, I’m totally fine, if not slightly rattled. But honestly, I have to chuckle at the fact that I’m pretty sure if any of us are going to walk away with a phobia about this, it’s the driver. He’ll become one of those guys who always thinks he’s hit someone because he almost did!

The kind of ironic thing is that just this morning, I was having trouble coming up with a blog topic and was thinking, “Man, it has been a really long time since I had a classic New York moment!” I should have just given it 45 minutes.

So anyway. That’s the story of how I almost-and-sort-of-did get hit by a car.

 

You guys. Winter has broken me.

And by that, I mean I finally bought a puffy coat. It looks like this:

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So…yeah. It happened. Because while afternoons have been strangely balmy in NYC lately, mornings and evenings spent commuting to and from work have been rather uncomfortable.

Plus, on days like today when I feel like my body just might be trying to get sick, nothing feels enter than wrapping myself in a cocoon of synthetic down and a giant scarf and just pretending no one else is around.

Though, to be fair, I do the pretending part anytime I’m on the train.

Anyway. It’s big news in my world.

Speaking of actual news, the next month and a half has somehow gotten kind of busy. I have a lot of catch-up dates with friends, I’m going to Salt Lake City for Alt Summit in less than two weeks, then I’m off to Vegas for Super Bowl weekend. Then I basically have to start packing up my life because a move will be right around the corner. Wacky.

So what I’m saying is, if I am getting sick, lets get this thing over with, shallll we?

Happy Monday, you gorgeous people.

Side note: I’m chalking it up as a success that I even know it’s Monday because last Friday as I was leaving the office, I turned to one of our editors and said, “See you tomorrow! …oh wait, I mean Monday.” And then I walked away and suddenly started to doubt what day it was. Would I see her tomorrow, and now she thought I was a total moron? I literally almost turned back three times to correct myself until it finally dawned on me that it was, in fact, Friday. I have no idea, you guys.

In other news and my mental lapse aside, things seem to be on the up-and-up for me. The LIRR is back to its normal schedule as of today. (I know, I never thought we’d see it either.) And the nagging pain in my left heel that has kept me from running the last couple of weeks finally seems to be subsiding. (Plus, I’ve been reminded of the butt-kicking abilities of the Stairmaster. Seriously, guys, there’s a reason why hardly anyone is ever on the thing. It’s hard.)

Plus, last night I booked my ticket to Vegas for a weekend with some of my oldest friends, meaning I will get to escape winter this February and hide in the desert.

Plus plus, in a freelance miracle, I received the check for the project I just finished less than a week after I turned it in (still waiting on the one that I’ve been owed for a couple of months…grumph), so I was able to pay off all but the last bit of my credit card debt. It’s kind of crazy to think it will all be paid off most likely before the Vegas trip. Yay!

So, en general, things are going well. We’re also starting to think about our move to Brooklyn this spring, which has me excited partly because it will mean the end of the LIRR and partly because it will mean a new apartment to decorate. (I am who I am, you guys.)

Plus, we will only be looking at dog-friendly apartments. So there’s that.

Some how this post turned into a State of Justine address, but I guess I just want you to know I’m doing all right.

How are you doing?

1. Why their friend is talking to three guys and sleeping with a fourth.

2. Why their boyfriends’ moms hate them.

3. Why their hair gets oily.

4. Why people need to not get involved in their lives. (Here’s a hint: Don’t speak about your life at full volume on the 7 a.m. train.)

5. Why they don’t care what people think about their lives. (Noted.)

6. What they’re going to name their children (though one wasn’t sure how to spell the name she likes…).

7. Why secret Santas at work are awkward (“What if I get an old lady?”).

8. The pros and cons to big purses. (I can actually relate to this one.)

9. Whether or not one should pursue a relationship with the guy at Starbucks who talks to her.

10. A variety of other topics all punctuated with “see what I mean?”

And all without any transition. It’s too early for this.

UPDATE: “I was so sick, I like, turned my phone off. That’s how you know how bad I was.” <-- ACTUAL QUOTE FROM ONE OF THEM. I mean, seriously.

It is officially really, really cold out. Bitterly cold, you might say.

It’s around this time of year, when the morning train platform starts to feel like its own form of torture, that I usually find myself thinking about the same kinds of things:

Is it going to get colder? Am I going to start hating my commute again? Is this the year I finally crack and buy a puffy winter coat?

I’m dangerously close to conceding on the last one. Sure, I would prefer not to look like a marshmallow, but these freezing temperatures aren’t messing around.

From there, I start making a list of all the cold-weather items I should probably add to my list. And since it has been a while since I blogged, I’m sharing it with you. I’m also hoping to hear your recommendations if you’ve purchased one if these items (or something similar) with great success. Most of my readers are in the Midwest or on the East Coast, so I know y’all have some winter wardrobe advice.

Must-Haves for a New York Winter

H m
$13 – hm.com

180s glove
kohls.com

Faux fur hat
$26 – oliverbonas.com

 

It seems that things are finally inching back to normal. As I write this, I am sitting in a train en route to my office.

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Sure, my office isn’t opening until noon. And, okay, the trains are only running every hour. But I’m still going to chalk it up to progress.

Also, commuting off-peak? Rules. This car is practically empty, and I got to sleep in.

Actually, this last week has been the first time in a while that I haven’t felt tired all day long. It’s amazing what sleeping instead of commuting can do for your well-being.

But while I’m bittersweet about giving up those extra snoozing hours, I am excited to get back to the city and back to normal life. (Check back with me after it starts getting really cold and see if I still feel that way.)

Hope everyone else in my area is getting back to normal soon, too!