OK, this time I hope I’m not jinxing us all. We had the traditional First Day of Spring / Revenge of the Groundhog storm last week: over a foot of heavy snow in Brooklyn, which turned to ice and snow as it melted over the next two days. I do not mind snow, I do mind ice, especially black ice, the patches which masquerade as puddles. Finally though, the snow is down to patches, the sun is out again, and the air is losing its chill. I’m wearing only a pleather jacket over my sweater and blouse today, not the double-layer coat I wore yesterday when the winds were cold. Not only do I feel less frumpy but I feel hopeful.
After all, it’s almost Q2 again. Soon, I’ll be back at Merkle NYC in Midtown, not schlepping 2 – 3 times a week to New Jersey for on site client work. The constant commute – subway to town, bus to NJ – is not nearly as bad as the car-bus-ferry-hike I once did years ago to my first job out of UBC, located for some reason on Bowen Island off North Van. But it also doesn’t have the beauty of that other long -ago multi -step commute, and while a long commute can be made more bearable by the beauty of coastal BC, a long commute is decidedly not improved by the ride through suburban NJ. While some parts of Jersey are pretty and well cared for, the views I see are only those of run down sprawl and acres of polluted wetlands.
The view is much better on an alternate route, with a long drive up the Hudson River via the West Side highway, and a crossing at the George Washington bridge, but that shuttle design combined with the poor repair of the highway, is a tooth shaking and nausea inducing ride, and I often jump off at my destination trying not to vomit while holding my shaken head. I usually take it home anyways, as it’s far faster than the plush NJT bus, and listen to Matt Good Band as I go past the glassy towers of the West Side, seeing the Hudson and the residential towers as if they were English Bay, usually exhausted from the stress of being on site working with a challenging situation.
Or, to put it in soundtrack terms, the ride from Port Authority Bus Terminal to NJ is Oingo Boingo “Just Another Day”, a deceptively cheerful song about the end of the world. The ride home, on the corporate shuttle, between the water & the glass towers, is Advertising On Police Cars, a slow anthem of dystopia and disillusionment. I will be so thankful to return to my alternating days of biking to work to upbeat EDM in the Tiesto podcast & bouncing in to work.
Last week of March. It’s spring. I’m thankful it’s time to renew and reboot, to change the soundtrack. I’m thankful the travel to this particular assignment is almost over. I’m thankful to be able to ride to work again soon and to be working somewhere near the gyms I meet my friends at after our days are over. I’m thankful my long commute days will be going the way of those last few patches of snow.