• Allie From The Valley

Let's Talk Transportation

The subway. Perhaps one of the biggest differences that sets Los Angeles and Manhattan apart. In Los Angeles, we spend hours of our day driving in traffic from point a to point b. This time is generally very passive. We know the route of our work commute and if we don’t there is a little voice in our phone that reminds us where we are going every step of the way (we call this voice Siri). In New York, on the other hand, our time in transit is much shorter and, if I might add, much less passive. The mere fact that we are in the same area as dozens of strangers without the shield of a car to create our own space, forces us to be on our toes at every minute. A stranger can talk to us, whether we like it or not and there is no choice but to interact.

Does this make one form of transportation better than the other? It’s too soon for me to make that type of decision as I’ve only lived the New York lifestyle for the past week and a half, but I will say both types of transportation have their pluses and minuses. For someone with anxiety, like myself, subway transit has given me WAY less time to actually have my anxiety attacks. How so? Well, I find that I have most of my anxiety attacks while doing passive activities. Frequently when driving, I find my thoughts running wild. This past week I’ve had hardly any anxiety whatsoever, which I attribute to the fact that I have been a less passive person. I have been alive and vibrant and IN. THE. MOMENT. Okay, okay, I’m sure this less passive Allie is also due to being in a completely new environment, but I am also convinced that not driving has reduced my anxiety.

Another plus to the subway is that I don’t have to pay for parking or gas… or all the freaking parking tickets I would get on the regular living in the most popular area in Los Angeles, Santa Monica. It’s amazing how much money I am going to save on that alone… and gas? No sir, no need for gas for me for a very long time. All I have to do is purchase one unlimited subway pass a month and then I am good to go. It’s amazing!

The minuses to the subway? I may still be on the high of the city, but I can certainly foresee what the major bummers of this system might be. For one, wonder if it’s just one of those days and I AM having an anxiety attack and I still have to take the subway… each that would suck. Because there is no privacy in the subway, that anxiety attack is just going to be a very public moment… NOT. IDEAL. AT. ALL. Also, when a train is unexpectedly down, it seems that the odds of being late to wherever you are going are much higher. Maybe I’m just a control freak, but I HATE being late and to be honest I don’t hate a lot of thing, so this is saying A LOT.

A huge plus to Los Angeles traffic and the driving lifestyle is that I get in so many phone calls during my long commutes. The number of people that I’ve been able to keep in touch with over the years of driving is actually insane. Now that I won’t be driving, I am really going to have to plan into my schedule time to call all my favorite people. Another huge plus to driving is that you are in your own environment, so if you want to blast some classic Blink-182 and singing it at the top of your lungs… maybe even throw in some fun head bops and fist pumps… be my guest. No one in the car next to you is going to be mad at you, heck if they even notice, they will probably find joy in your enthusiasm. If I did this in the subway on the other hand, people would not be happy with me. I know this because when I even talk too loudly I’ve been shushed… no joke, I’ve already been shushed twice since I’ve arrived (to be fair, I am pretty loud, but shushing people is so rude… at least on the west coast).

Alright, alright, that’s my rant for the week. Just a little food for thought. Happy Monday, Kids!

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