How I Almost Died in NYC.
First off, New York city was absolutely a dream. It was SO AMAZING. It was definitely one of the highlights from my trip. It was so surreal to visit the 9/11 Memorial. I grew up just 30 minutes from the city when that took place in 2001, and I still remember that day like it was yesterday (especially the smoke in the sky!). It was amazing to see the memorial and the new World Trade Center that was built.
It was also just so amazing to walk through the town full of ginormous sky scrapers! It was a blast visiting Wall Street, and downtown Manhattan. It was fun going through the street vendors and it was fun giving a bag of delicious zeppolies to a homeless man!
By about 2 or 3 o’clock, I could tell my parents and brothers were beat and they were ready to go home. There was still SO much I wanted to see though! So I suggested that I go meet up with one of my sisters, Olivia, who had been interning in NYC for the summer. It was a great idea. So we all headed to the nearest subway station.
Once we got to the stairway heading underground, my dad quickly swiped in metro card, pushing me through the rotating metal bars, and quickly spit out directions for what train I need to go on and what stop I needed to get off at.
“GET ON THE A OR THE C TRAIN, UPTOWN. GET OFF AT COLOMBUS CIRCLE. GET ON THE A OR THE C TRAIN. COLOMBUS CIRCLE. STAY SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE. DON’T BE ALONE.”
He told me it would be a 25-minute ride until I would meet Olivia. So I frantically ran down the stairs, carefully surrounding myself by other people, and I quickly scanned the underground trains to find the A or the C train. Right as I got down stairs, a C train was arriving. Seeing the “C”, I was like Ok! Here I am!
I get on the “C” train, and every seat is taken. I stand next to the door and wrap my hand around the germy pole knowing that millions and millions of hands have touched it, and it has probably never been washed.
I look around, and I am the only Caucasian girl on the train. I look up to the computerized screen telling everyone exactly which stops the train will be taking next. The first stop is “Brooklyn Rd” or something. I have seen Gossip Girl enough times in my life to know that Brooklyn is the opposite side of Uptown. But I also think to myself, it’s okay. It’s probably just a street name. After 2 stops, I could not see “Columbus Circle” as a destined stop we would be taking. I start to feel worried and I start to feel sick. I turn to a woman next to me and ask which stop Columbus Circle is at. She opens her eyes widely at me and says “You’re going the wrong way.”
She tells me that if I wait two more stops, I can get off at Utica, cross over, and get on the A or C going to Manhattan, and I won’t have to pay again.
It has been 30 minutes already. Olivia and my parents expected me 5 minutes ago, there is ZERO phone service in the subway, and I am still going in the opposite direction of where I needed to be. After [what it felt like the longest] 2 next stops, I followed my new and only friend (acquaintance) out of the train, she pointed to me telling me where to go, and I ran up the steps and around as fast as I could to get to the train I needed to be on. I got to the deserted place where I waited forever for the next C train to come. There were barely any people waiting, and the people that were waiting, were a liiiittle sketchy. Finally, the “C” train to Manhattan came and I got on as quickly as possible and took a seat. I looked everywhere to find a computerized sign telling me which stops we would be taking, but to my horror, there were not any.
For the first few stops we made, I recognized the names purely because I had just stopped at them from my first train. Olivia expected my 45 minutes ago. I started to get worried that she would just assume that I ended up leaving with my parents so she would then just take the train home and I would be stuck and forever lost in New York City.
At one point, the subway made a stop and several inner-city people entered the train. As I was sitting on the side of the subway facing the people, a creepy man came up to me, holding the bar right above my head, inches away from me, standing over me, with his eyes glued on me. I didn’t ever really look at him, all I could see what that he wore a dew rag, his pants were on extremely low, and he had a chain coming from his belt buckle going into his pocket. I felt scared, and extremely alone.
I kept thinking to myself “What am I going to do? Where will I go? What if Columbus Circle isn’t even a real stop? Will I ever see my husband again?”
After what felt like hours, I finally heard the intercom say “Next stop, Columbus Circle.” I died. I was so excited. The second we stopped, I bolted out of the train, upstairs, and I called Olivia.
The first thing Olivia says—nay, SCREAMS at me is “JANE WHERE ARE YOU? WHAT HAPPENED? MOM AND DAD ARE WORRIED SICK, THEY ARE LITERALLY ABOUT TO CALL THE COPS. THEY THOUGHT YOU HAD GOTTEN KIDNAPPED JANE.”
As horrified as I was to learn all of this, I was so relieved and happy to be alive and at freaking Columbus Circle already.
So that was probably the craziest, most adventurous story from my trip! First time ever riding the subway alone and of course I go the opposite direction! I guess I wasn’t close to dying, but I have never felt so scared and helpless in my entire life! My dad claims that his instructions were specific, but I beg to differ:)
Other than that, the rest of the city was SO FUN with Olivia. We walked all around Central Park (my first time ever going through) and we just sat on the grass and caught up for a while. We then started walking toward Time Square! On our way there, we stopped at my FAVORITE EVER pizza place in New York City, Rays Pizza. The pizza was SO GOOD. It made me so sad to live in the West Coast. After scarfing down my two, huge pieces of pizza, Olivia and I continued to Time Square.
It was so crowded but SO exciting! I had my Nikon around my neck the whole day and I took hundreds and hundreds of pictures! I wish I could share them all! At one point in Time Square, Olivia and I thought it would be fun to take the most hideous pics of us opening all of the holes in our faces as wide as we could. The pictures were so hid and I’m pretty sure everyone walking past us were horrified. But it was such a funny memory, and hilarious, ugly pictures (that we will never share with anyone:) that we will always remember!
After Time Square, we walked a million blocks to Penn Station. My legs were SO tired by the time we go there. I wish I had a fit bit just to see exactly how many steps I walked that day!
We stopped at Auntie Anne’s to buy a $4 water bottle (much needed), and finally we got on our train (which is 100059483 times better and nicer than the subway) and we just talked for the whole 45-minute train ride home.
New York City was a dream. It was so fun and amazing to visit after 6 years. It was so scary and crazy to ride the subway for the first time ALONE, and to wonder if I would get out of it alive or not. I am so sad Chris couldn’t come with me but I am so excited to take him back.
Thank you so much for reading!
P.S. I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in SO LONG! This week has been crazy, but I promise I will be better now:) xoxo