This morning's ride was utterly uneventful. The evening, as it always does on Wednesdays, brought me to the 57th Street Station - still the signs on the center tracks state on the Queensbound side that a Brooklynbound Q will be departing... who knows. By sheer luck of being in the right place at the right time I snagged a seat, but a decent handful were left standing.
One of the standers was a cute British girl who'd gotten on at 57th with me, but unfortunately traveling in the wrong direction. She was clearly a hip-to-the-jive city chick, not brand new to NYC but not too native either. She'd asked fellow standers enough to know that she was headed the wrong way, but was going to rectify it herself (damn it). After watching her peer at the map all the way to the next station, which is of course 5th Avenue, I decided I should share with her what I knew and she clearly didn't.
Which I did as we were pulling in before she made the tragic mistake of getting out. And which is this: at 5th Ave there's no cross-over; she'd have to have gotten out onto the street and then gone back in. Then, if she'd had an "unlimited" card rather than a pay-per-ride, she would have undoubtedly gotten the dreaded "just used" message that persists for a full 18 minutes. Even with a pay-per, she'd have wasted another $2.25. I didn't get into all that though - just that she should wait one more stop (to 59th), where she could simply cross the platform and take the train on the other side. She smiled and was very sweet and cute about it and it was quite a satisfactory exchanged. "Wicked" sounds fantastic in a genuine British accent.
I was sitting on the outside of the train, as it were, so that when we pulled into 59th Street I had a clear view of the absolute mob waiting on that center platform - it was quite intimidating. Surprising for 8pm. When the doors opened, Miss Britt turned around and gave me another thank-you-and-smile. I tried quickly to turn my open-mouthed crap-that's-a-lot-of-people gape into an I'm-cool-no-problem smile-and-nod. I'm sure I looked hilariously absurd. I hope she enjoyed it.