The Canal Street train station is located on…Canal Street in Chinatown. There used to be a venue here called The Knitting Factory, which has since moved to Brooklyn. But for many years, it was located a few blocks from this train station.
The Knitting Factory had shows that started at reasonable times, and as such, ended at reasonable times. This should have been a plus, but the MTA does not like its riders having any positive advantages, so they made sure to turn this positive into a negative.
Case in point, the sign located on the N train platform that reads “Late nights, N runs on local track”.
Okay great. But WHAT TIME is “late night”? Was this sign made up by a youngster for whom getting home and into bed by midnight was a regular occurrence and not exactly “late night”? Was it made by a suburban housewife for whom staying in “the city” past sunset was “late night”? Who knows? Certainly not anyone who would need to know. Like me, who needed to know in order to get home.
Many nights, I would be leaving The Knitting Factory…let’s say around 10:00 pm-ish. Is this “late night”? How am I supposed to know if I should be waiting for my train here or on the local track? And where exactly is the local track? Well let’s find out, shall we?
In order to get to the local track from this platform, you must first walk up 21 steps. Then you walk up a little bit of a hallway, then down 23 more steps, through an underground tunnel, then up 25 steps and there you go – you are on the local track.
Now if you are reading this and thinking “so you are complaining about having to walk up 21 steps, up a little bit of a hallway, then down 23 more steps, through an underground tunnel, then up 25 steps? That doesn’t sound very far you lazy piece of shit”. NO . THAT IS NOT THE PROBLEM ASSHOLE.
The problem is that if you are waiting for your train on this track, your eyesight does not travel far enough for you to see up 21 steps, down 23 different steps, through an underground tunnel, then up 25 more steps. So you cannot tell if your train is here or there. Now do you see the problem?
So you wait on the N/Q train shared platform because you need to take an N train. A Q train passes. That is not your train, you need the N train. Just because a Q train came instead of an N train, does not mean that it is “late night” and your train is not stopping here. Because see, both the Q and the N stop here. So your train could be next. But what if it isn’t? What if a second train comes and it too, is a Q train? Does that mean it is “late night” and your train is up 21 steps, down 23 different steps, through an underground tunnel, then up 25 more steps? I don’t know. Because see, when I leave work every day, I wait for the N train on a platform that is shared with the N and the Q and the R train. If I miss the N train that I can catch if I leave work 4 minutes early, then I stand there forever and its usually a pattern of two back to back R trains, followed by a Q, then by a third R train, another Q train and then the N train.
So now standing here on this train platform and a second Q train comes, can you really be sure that it is “late night” and the N train is not stopping here? I don’t think so.
Now what happens if you just go straight to the local platform? Try your luck there. What if no N train comes there either? What if you get two or three back to back R trains and decide “well okay, it must not be “late night” so I guess I will go down to the express track”. What if as soon as you leave, an N train does come on the track you just left? Only you do not know it because you are too busy walking down 25 steps, then through an underground tunnel to walk up 23 steps, then down a hallway and then down 21 more steps to the express track?
Why wont the MTA just fucking TELL YOU what time is “late night”? Why can’t the sign simply say “N runs on the local track after <INSERT AGREED UPON START OF LATE NIGHT>?” rather than the confusing “late night” time they give you instead?
WHAT THE FUCK TIME IS “LATE NIGHT”?
Am I right? I am right.
NOW. Rant #2.5. I went to the Canal Street train station to get a picture of HATE to post here. Oh the MTA how much do I loathe thee. When I got off the train to take the picture, I noticed that the sign has been changed. It has not in any way been changed to tell you what time “late night” is. Oh no. It was changed to this:
As it turns out, as of yesterday, the R train is going to be making all R train riders want to murder for the next FOURTEEN MONTHS. The tunnel it runs though is going to be closed so the MTA can repair all the damage done by Hurricane Sandy last year. So now the R train is going to do some weird things. In relation to the above sign, it is going to run as a shuttle service in Brooklyn, serving only the end of the R line stations starting from where it last meets up with the N train, and continuing onto R-line specific stops.
This sign tells you that during “late night’ (WHAT TIME IS LATE NIGHT) you are to take the N train and transfer for the R at 36th Street. That is correct. You may think the only infuriating thing about this sign is the “late night” confusion. But it isn’t. Because on weekdays* the R train is NEVER running to Brooklyn at ANY TIME OF DAY ON ANY WEEKDAY* for the next FOURTEEN MONTHS. So what happens if you need the R train? You end up on this platform. You look at your watch and think “Okay its 5:00, that is not “late night”. So I must need to go to a different platform”. So you go up 21 steps, down 23 different steps, through an underground tunnel, then up 25 more steps to the R train platform. Then once there, you find out that the R train is not going to Brooklyn because the R train is not going to Brooklyn for the next fourteen months. So then you have to walk back down 25 steps, through an underground tunnel, up 23 steps, down a hall and down 21 more steps to get back to where you just were.
*BONUS The R train IS running to Brooklyn on weekends only. You would be catching it on this platform 24 hours a day all day Saturday and Sunday. Even during “late night” (WHATEVER THE FUCK TIME LATE NIGHT IS).
And this is how and why I found it easier taking trams in foreign countries, even with stop names like this:
|U Libušského potoka||17:06||1.002|