Wednesday, December 21, 2005

NYC Transit on Strike

A week ago, Sunday, after I layed a dozen rainbow roses on the sign of Imagine near Strawberry field in the park, I went to take the subway at 72 and broadway to go home.

While I was buying my transit card, a reporter walked up to me, asking me: Can I ask your opinion about the negotiations of MTA and Union. They are from channel 7.

I answered their question, looking into the camera from time to time, primarily by saying: I don't know what is the right increase necessarily, 2% is low, 8% is probably high. Hope they reach an agreement.

They did not. From midnight last night, MTA workers are on Strike. Subways are locked up, buses stopped running. Madison Avenue looks so empty and I can cross it when green light is on. It felt surreal. Cab drivers were all happy and friendly. They charge $10 as a start and you might have to car pool with fellow new yorkers.

I was late for work yet again, but felt this time I got a reason. But my boss know that I leave 15 blocks away and I can basically walk. I made a point of the difficulty of getting cabs. I was actually pondering the possibillity of not going to work, but I knew better. I showed up and it was a busy day.

At night, I went for Chinese food and easily got a cab home. I know so many people were stranded in train stations to go back home to long island or up state. I know I am lucky.

The christmas time of New York is still beautiful. Bars are still packed with holiday parties and people living in Mahattern, getting their last fun drinks before heading home for family obligations and haning out with distant relatives.

New York, even when its artellery is stopped and 7 million people have to find alternatives, it still looks strong, charming and optimistic.

The gracefulness and calm of this city tells you how much it has went through, coped with, and thrived.

I remembered the day of 9/11, the blackout in 2003, the night when I had to hitch hike to get home and some nice couple picked me up and sent me home which was in the darkness. My heart was full of brightness and warmth.

If a city can recover from dust, tears and darkness, why can it not hold together for a time when some of its people are asking for their well earned rights and compensation, taking a risk by having a voice.

This city is of great understanding and believe in risk taking and voicing of concerns. People are not complaining, they are dealing with it, they are finding ways to get on to their business, earn their living, and wait for a Christmas time when the beloved subway, albeit dirty and tempramental sometime, to be up and running again.

I will try not to be late tomrorow morning.

Rumors on the street is that the strike will continue through Sunday, Christimas time.

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