How to Ride the Subway in High Heels

42nd St-Bryant Park

As I teetered towards my subway stop, I debated my approach to my destination. Today is a “do it in heels” day after my flats got soaked in the rain yesterday.

I decide the C train is best, living at the end of the line has it’s advantages. It sits in the station empty until departure time and you’re guaranteed a seat, sitting is optimal when navigating the city in heels. It’s a longer ride, as it’s a local train and stops at every station, but I will sacrifice time in exchange for knowing I’ll have a seated ride.

When I get to the platform, the C is noticeably absent… but she generally doesn’t stay gone for long. I walk down the subway platform to where the front of the train will arrive, I know that all of my options for the rest of the trip are best served if I stay to the front of the train, and it’s more efficient to walk it while I’m waiting than to do it later. This will shave minutes off of your commute time, valuable minutes that you’re planning to squander on the local train.

An A, the express train arrives but I pass on her shorter but crowded standing room only ride in favor of the C’s longer seated one. She leaves me at the station.

I wait, and my desired C train stays away.

Another A arrives, so I take it. I waited long enough. I say a silent city prayer that someone near me gets up at the next stop so I can sit. I ponder my transfer options. To get to Bryant Park, I have several options…

One, screw the whole transfer nonsense and walk from 42nd and 8th Ave. This is my preferred option generally, I need the exercise but it’s not good for high heeled shoes or rainy days.

Two, get off at 42nd St and take the 7 train one stop. Good for rainy days, but bad for high heels. It’s nearly a block long walk underground and there’s a precarious steep ramp involved that I’m terrified I’m just going to topple over on one day.

Three, transfer to the B or D. This could be done one of three places, 145th St is no good because the transfer involves stairs. 125th is iffy because the train is likely to still be full. Lots of people get off starting at 59th St, it’s my best bet for a seat.

I choose option three… I get off at 59th St, and a minute later a B arrives across the platform. I get a seat, I go my two stops, and then I’m at 42nd St-Bryant Park. I note when I get off the train which car and door is nearest to the stairway so I can make for swifter exits in the future. Near the front, but towards the back of the second car… and this will bring me to corner of 40th St and 6th.

I note that the subway exit from the B and D is marginally closer than the nearest one off the 7 to the office. It only takes two street crossings to get to my office, where as the end exit off the 7 takes four.

These are all the little things you think about on the way to work at a new location, when you want to conserve every step. Soon, it will all become routine. I won’t even think about it.

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