Wednesday, June 14, 2006

field trip

This morning I left the house a little later. Wednesdays are my days when I'm allowed to be a little more relaxed, not as stressed and crazed like most other workdays.

I walked down to the 137th street 1-line stop and was confronted with a long line of folks. This stop is always much more crowded with people than 116th ever was. People lining up to do something with their metro cards...people buying day metro passes...maybe they can't afford the month passes which go for $76 and are forced to pay more by buying $2 day trips. Not sure.

But today the group was different: 50 or more eight year olds single-file waiting to pass through the service entrance and board the next train. Yep, field trip.

I thought what an undertaking it must be to take children to the museum in this city. Instead of piling in a big yellow bus, these teachers and aides and parents were herding rambunctious kids onto a busy morning train. Most of the morning commuters were already busy at work (it was 9:30 by this time) but there were still enough that I can't imagine what it must be like trying to make sure that everyone has their buddy and no one gets lost.

One original idea to help if one of the children did straggle: they all had labels on with their school name and phone number or a piece of yarn around their neck with the sign that branded them property of their institution. I headed as far away as possible from the gaggle of giggling boys and girls and wished them on their merry way to their day out of school.

When I got to work I discovered that someone had been knifed on the C-train yesterday. It's the other train that I now take on my way home. (usually the A since it's express and can get me up to Harlem in half the time.)

A good reminder that although it's easier to buy $5 lattes just about everywhere in the city (although there are no Starbucks in my hood as of yet), you still have to be on your guard. You still never know what the city's subway will bring your way.

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