Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Judyta Banach Activity#4

Question #4- Find someone at Grand Central who is “reverse commuting” and find out why they reverse commute.

Reverse commuter is a person who takes a trip from metropolitan to suburban area. For this activity I had to find someone at Grand Central, who was going out of the city. I decided to do my “scavenger hunt” on Monday morning. As we all know the station is always busy, so at the beginning it was really hard for me to find a person that was going in different direction than everyone else. After sitting there for some time I noticed a woman heading towards a train that was scheduled to go to Long Island. Karla was a babysitter working for a family living in New Rochelle. Her job in the house was to take care of two boys, a two year old and a seven year old. She told me that she used to work in Manhattan, but do to a bad economy, she had to start commuting to Long Island. Karla was happy with her current job, but the downside of taking LIRR everyday was highly priced train tickets and the extra time spend traveling.

Question #5-Ride one of the train lines from the start to finish [ie. Get on in the Bronx and off in Brooklyn] – who is getting on and off as you ride? What does this tell us about the neighborhoods they go through it? How do you personally feel on the train through this ride [Are people looking at you]?

For my trip across the New York City boroughs I chose the M train line. It runs from Middle Village in Queens, passes through Williamsburg and Manhattan, and stops in Brooklyn. Between 10 AM and 3 PM during the week, the M train runs only from Metropolitan Ave through Chambers Str. I picked this subway because it passes through so many neighborhoods and this allows commuters to observe the change in the communities. Because the train station at Metropolitan Ave is located near Catholic High School and stores such as Kmart and BJ’s, the train was packed even though it was its first stop. There was lot of kids going back home as well as people with shopping carts. The one thing that caught my attention even before the train got out of the station, was how teachers from the local high school stood near the train station, and told kids to get into the train and busses and not hang out on the sidewalks. The people that get into the train in the next few stops were mostly white people. Many of them looked like they had white-collar profession because they were dressed very nicely. Then, from Myrtle-Wyckoff until Lorimer street stop the population was more diverse, meaning that I was able to see White, Hispanic, and Black people getting in and off the train. There were also many older people as well as pregnant women that get out on the Flushing Ave stop, where the local hospital was located. At Hewes Str. and Marcy Ave, there were a lot of Jewish people, mostly mothers with kids that “joined” my trip. Once the M train hit the borough of Manhattan, I was able to see people from all over the world. The last stop was Chamber Str., where most of the people transfer to 6 train. The M train runs outside until it hits Essex Str. in Manhattan, and that helped me to see the neighborhoods even more. From what I was able to observe, most of the train stations were located in the busy streets where the life of the community was centered. For the whole trip I felt very comfortable with the people sitting next to me even though the train was a very diverse one.

1 comment:

  1. FROM ALINA: I learned something from your blog: the term reverse commuter. Now I can go home and call my dad that. It was a good idea to do that at Grand Central because it is a major train station in NYC (obviously). I probably would not have thought of doing that if that was my assignment.