Showing posts with label LIRR. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LIRR. Show all posts

26.7.21

I Go Walking Often in New York City: Tunnel Portals and Asian Comfort Food

In this blog post, I reflect on the relationship between walking and wandering in the city. And how I found the East River tunnel portals in Queens.

Greig Roselli stands and poses inside the Hunter's Point Avenue station in Long Island City, Queens.
Standing in the Hunter's Point Avenue Subway station in Long Island City, Queens

New York City is a town made for walkers. Maybe I’ve said that before — I can’t remember. But it’s what I lean on most for support — a good, healthy walk. 
Depicts grade level commuter rail tracks that carry Long Island Railroad trains to Long Island City in Queens
In Hunter’s Point Avenue in Queens, many grungy industrial fabrications are revamped into chic habitations for the young and trendy set. Getting out of the subway, I marvel at how often I take the 7 train but never get off here. A guy compliments my glasses. “They’re from Warby Parker,” I say. “You can order them online.” I still feel like I’m in high school whenever an attractive man compliments me. After a bit of stumbling around — passing loads of runners and dog walkers — I find what I’m looking for — yay! 
The East River tunnel carries Amtrak and Long Island Railroad trains from Penn Station into Queens — there are four tracks to the tunnel and each track has a tunnel portal.
One of the tunnel portals that @Amtrak and @LIRR use to go under the East River. It’s a complex network of trains and track interlocking in this area. It’s a rail fan’s compulsory visit. We ride subways and trains every day, oblivious to the painstaking labor and deliberation it takes to run everything smoothly. A job I don’t have the constitution for because I’m too much of a dreamer. The air feels crisp tonight, and I don’t feel anxious. It feels good to meander and poke about a city I’ve lived in for ten years and still find something new and unexpected. Tip — @yumpling on Vernon Boulevard is good (stupid good). 
Wire fencing keeps folks from entering the active Long Island Railroad grade-level tracks in Long Island City, Queens.

31.5.21

Travel Diary #34598: On A Memorial Day in Oyster Bay, Nassau County on a Wet, Rainy, Cusp-of-Summer Afternoon


In this post, I recount a Memorial Day weekend outing to Oyster Bay.
It’s Memorial Day, y’all. Do you think of history when you think of Long Island? Did you know that Teddy Roosevelt, the 
26th president of the United States, was a New Yorker — and he had a Summer home in Long Island? It’s a beautiful area. And you can climb up a hill and see where he’s buried (and get a nice view of Long Island Sound). 


And we hung out in a nature preserve. OMG. I felt like a kid. Going down random trails. Even though it was rainy, it was glorious. And I cooked a whole chicken and watched Dangerous Liaisons on HBO Max — the one with Glenn Close and John Malkovich as conniving ex-lovers in nineteenth-century France. It was a fun diversion. 

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20.5.11

Journey to Montauk: Feeling Strangely Homeless on the Long Island Railroad

If you live in New York City and happen to be bereft of living quarters for a night, try this relatively cheap alternative.
RIDE the LIRR!
On My Way to Montauk!
Get Your Ticket at Penn Station
Yes, get your ass over to Penn Station. Take a Montauk bound train. You'll have to transfer at Jamaica, though. The seats are not terribly comfortable. So, try to find one of those facing seats so you can prop your legs up for the ride. If you take the midnight train the initial thirty-five minutes will not afford you much sleep time because you will be sharing the train with night-time revelers. Mostly Long Island kids with a penchant for partying in Manhattan. They're mostly white kids who may or may not stumble into your car seat half-drunk. Mostly harmless.

Since you are bereft of a home for the night, make sure your backpack has a toothbrush, toothpaste, extra pair of socks and some reading material. Also some snacks. the Long Island Railroad does not have a snack bar on board. You can load up on stuff at Penn Station but the prices are steep. I suggest buying your food somewhere else before you head to the train station.

A one-way train ticket to Montauk will cost you about 18 dollars one-way. That's off-peak prices. The return ticket will cost the same unless you return to New York City during peak hours (any time from like 8 until 10:30 in the morning and rush hour in the evening (4-8). It's not a free night on the LIRR but it is a helluva lot cheaper than a hotel room.

I have to stop here by saying that one could probably find a cheaper room to stay in New York City. The LIRR to Montauk suggestion is only for those lazy sons-of-bitches who just so happen don't have room accommodations -- or did not take the time to scour the city for a room, or just shit out of luck and rather not ride the L train all night (did that, not going to repeat it: Canarsie is scary).

There Are Toilets in Almost Every Car!
The good thing about LIRR trains is that they have toilets in every other car. Don't lose your ticket though. It's gold. The conductors are vigilant about checking. So keep it handy.

From Penn Station to Montauk is about four hours. If you position yourself right you can get about two and a half hours of sleep. The lighting is harsh on the train (a double-decker!). So put a towel over your head. At one point I had my shoes off and I had occupied four seats all around me with my backpack and other such stuff. The key is to make yourself unapproachable. If you are traveling the LIRR for living space you don't want neighbors. All you want is a place to sleep.

I didn't calculate this SNAFU but once I got to Montauk (I had left NYC at like midnight) it was like four in the morning and the next train to NYC wasn't scheduled to leave for another hour and a half.
Photo by Bridget Shevlin on Unsplash
Montauk is Really Beautiful at Four in the Morning!
That really sucked. BUT. Montauk is beautiful at four in the morning.

1. There were no people
2. I am not used to this reality
3. I saw three deer on the road
4. The air is crisp and clean
5. Birds singing!
6. No people
7. I was dancing and singing!
8. The pretty manor in Montauk is awesome.
9. Too bad I am broke and can't stay there

Take the Return Trip and Feel New York City Again (Blechhhhh!)
The return trip was quiet until the train reached the New York City area and the car filled up with early morning commuters. Some kids who live in the Hamptons got on board and did their homework. A perky businesswoman sat next to me and filled out boring reports. I had to pay an extra six dollars because I returned to NYC during peak hours.

Here Are Some Practical Tips
The trip is about 45 dollars. The benefits are:

1. Toilets!
2. More comfortable than the subway
3. No one bothers you
4. Fewer stops

The negatives:

1. No vending machines
2. Long layovers
3. I could probably find a cheaper hostel
4. The seats do not recline

On My Trip to Montauk, Though:
Next time I go to Montauk, however, I think I am going to check out the lighthouse.