The Subway, or train as we native New Yorkers like to call it, is one of the best ways to explore the city. The train runs in four out of the five boroughs. We’ve got it in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. However, Staten Island, the forgotten borough as I like to call it (hey, at least I think about it enough to give it a name at all), does not have the train. The people who live there are stuck with a life of busses and ferries. Anyway, the train has different lines which are grouped together in different colors. Growing up, my go-to trains were always the B and the Q. lucky for me, I lived by an express stop. Basically, in my area of Brooklyn, the B and the Q ran parallel, yet the B skipped a few stops at a time while the Q ran local. What this means is that I could generally hop on either train to get to where I needed to go. I didn’t need to think about local versus express. It also meant that late at night or on the weekends when the B didn’t run, I wasn’t left without a train option. I felt spoiled, having access to public transportation 24/7.
I started taking the train alone regularly when I was 12 and no longer allowed on the school bus. It was only two stops between my home and my school, plus about 15 to twenty minutes of walking time. And I wasn’t the only one who had to do this. Most mornings I took the train alone, but in the afternoon I generally walked to the station and took the train with a few friends. And these friends actually lived even farther away than I did, so they would get off at the same stop that I did and then have to take a bus even farther. Luckily, that was not my life. At this point in my life my mom got me my first cell phone, since I was traveling alone and she wanted me to have something in case of an emergency. But the truth is, I always felt safe. Even when I traveled late at night, I never feared. Luckily, I lived in a good neighborhood, and the trains are well lit. when I would get off the train, one side of the street had plenty of stores with lights in the front, so I would walk on that side. I would pretend to be on my phone so that anyone looking at me would know that someone was expecting me home soon, and by the time I got to my own block I felt totally fine. It was well-lit and a quiet street, so I knew that people would hear me if something went wrong. I have a front door and a back door entrance, so depending on my mood I would choose which one to use.
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