The following day I dash down the steps to the A train platform just as the train pulls in. Oh this must be good luck! It is not often that the train and I arrive at the same time. Actually what is better luck is when I am stupidly racing down the stairs in my irresponsibly high heels, begging for an ankle fracture, and the train conductor sees me … and waits. Yes, waits!
I hop into train car number two and the doors shut right behind me. You-May-Have-Contacted-Me has come in from Philadelphia for a work assignment and we have a date at a place called Kemia. I choose it partially because it is convenient for me, but mostly because it has the BEST happy hour. From 3 to 8 pm, all the appetizers are half off and the martinis are $6. The last time Siobhan and I went there, we ate and drank like maharanis and the bill was something ridiculously inexpensive like $60, with tip, for both of us. And when I say we eat and drank – we did. We had five appetizers (one was a salad) and beignets for dessert and countless martinis.
The train pulls into 175th Street on-time, with ease and no worries. At 168th Street we come into the station a little slowly, but I don’t think anything about it. It is not until we are half way to 145th Street that the train takes a break and stops due to traffic ahead. We wait 10 minutes, arrive into 145th Street and start again, only to take another 10 minute break JUST before pulling into 125th Street.
Fiddle faddle. I look at my watch and see that my date starts in 10 minutes, there is NO way I will arrive on time and there is NO way I can inform You-May-Have-Contacted-Me know that I am running late because I have no cell phone connection underground. At 125th Street I debate getting off the A Train and crossing the platform to the D. But the D will take me to Bryant Park and I would have to walk back west, so I stay put on my slow moving to train.
Arriving into 59th Street is painful, because by this time, those of us who got on in Inwood and the Heights want to punch someone in the face because we’re annoyed with how long this has taken. What should be 20 minutes to Midtown, was 20 minutes to Harlem, and then another 20 minutes to Midtown. I don’t like to be late, especially not for a date, but we are at the mercy of the MTA.
I just hope my date is still there when I finally arrive. And if he is not, it won’t be the worst thing because I will have delicious Kemia delights to eat and drink! This is the one of many things I like about New York. You can go to restaurants and eat alone and no one looks at you like you are Sad Girl, with no friends in the City.