Getting my bearings…sort of

They make it hard, they really do.

Post boxes are painted a dark green with no signage. Yeah, the US Postal Service wants you to mail things. The MTA, on the other hand, likes to play “find the entrance” when it comes to subways. We all know there is a subway, so what’s the point of trying to hide it?

Except for…. the new 2nd Avenue line aka the “Q” train. Vast, curved glass roof with well-lit entrance and escalators. Well, of course, I couldn’t find it, I was looking for the little green railings and dank concrete stairs with no signage. Jeez, guys.

There’s a Brit in charge of fixing the MTA – yeah, right.

Penn Station is another gateway to hell. For a start, there’s Penn Station for the subway, Penn Station for Amtrak, Penn Station for New Jersey Transit Penn Station for the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). And, just to make it really difficult, there are multiple entrances and exits, some several streets away.

Not only do the signs disappear and reappear later, so do the platforms and trains. The E train was running on the central express track. Sooo easy, right? Nope. There was no signage (are you reading this my British mate running the place?) indicating where the central express track could be found, and it wasn’t just me. In the end, I made a stab at it and found it.

Then you get this.

“ThisisaBrooklynboundexpresstraingveertheRlineanditisanEXPRESSpeoplethatmeanitdon’tstopatsomestopsLookaddamapifitdont’stopatyourstopgetoffandgobackonestopOKPEOPLE?” Ok

Beware the B, D, F and M Line – the orange one on the map. I’m happily rattling along towards 47-50th Streets and expecting to go left and the Upper East side.

            “This is an east-bound M train to Forest Hills.”

No, no no, when I got on it was a D train, I swear. Get off at the next station and head backwards.

It’s pretty amazing that I got myself to Brooklyn Grange, the urban farm on top of an old Navy building in Brooklyn. Isn’t it? But you know what’s coming –this time with a bus.

First, I stand on the wrong side of the street for a good 20 mins in blazing heat.

“No, you wan a B69, ova thayre, ova thayre”

I’m 60, not deaf.

So, I went ova thayre….B57, B67, B57. I’ve been ova thayre baking the other side of my body for 20 minutes when another B67 arrives.

Do you go to Jay Street, I asked?

“All deez buzes goda Jay Street.”

Of course, why wouldn’t they?

…and they still have all these pennies and five-cent pieces…….