THE ULTIMATE RIDE
The cast of characters:
THE CAPTAIN: Kool-D
THE VULCAN: R30
THE LIEUTENANT: Christopher Rivera
THE DOCTORS:: skfny and Mrs. Skfny
THE COMMUNICATOR: 1 South Ferry 9
THE SICK ROOM ATTENDANT: Dtrain22 and his trusty cooler filled with Grape Soda and other drinks
THE VULCANS (WHO ALWAYS CONSPPIRE SOMETHING: Chapter 11 Choo Choo and David J. Greenberger
THE HITCHIKER: RIPTA42Hope Tunnel
A beautiful warm 2 days await us Ultimate Riders, I actually was the last one to show up at 12:04 but a signal problem at 110th/CPN didn’t help matters. After some photo ops outside 148th St./Lenox, we “purchased” our Metrocards and are off. During this part of the ride our Vulcans (LOL), Choo Choo and Greenberger tagged along.
First train was the #3 to 42nd St./TS, no problems there, so I took my soft tacos from Taco Bell (they were taunting me not to stuff them), but I don’t care, I was HUNGRY. I finished my 5 sandwiches before we hit Times Square and the transfer to the #1 to South Ferry. We were at the 40th St. side and the West Side IRT master tower, so we went upstairs for a quick filming of us describing the tower. The Tower Operators didn’t want their faces on camera, so they pulled the blinds down. Back downstairs for the #1 and a good ride through SF loop and back to Chambers. We just missed our scheduled #2 train but since both the #2 and #3 must be used in both Brooklyn terminals, we opted for the #3. (I think at that point Choo Choo and Greenberger broke off from us, but they would be back later on today). Good ride on the next #3 train until we hit our first DANGER WILL ROBINSON episode, a nasty TSS on the New Lots platform warned us not to film anything and nearly ordered us off the train. The film crew informed the TSS the permit they had, but he wasn’t too swayed. The TSS held the door as they we closing, but he gave up.
Back to the ride: We took the #3 back towards Franklin for the #2 portion to Flatbush and back. We missed the R142 #4 train at Utica so we stayed on to Franklin, used the Shuttle staircases at the north end to cross over for the #2 and took that to Flatbush. We walked to the front of the train so we can cross round to the other train, and we caught that too. Back to Franklin and we stayed on the #2 to Nevins, where Gena had to meet someone to pick the boom mike (I think), she had to go outside. We hopped the first PM rush #5 train from either New Lots or Flatbush and headed to Brooklyn Bridge for the #6. Things went cool until at Canal St on the #6, a HUGE herd of summer camp kids got on and were in on the fun we had too. There were from the PAL in Hunts Point and we had fun talking to them. We got off at Grand Central and went to the shuttle platform for some walk-bys there (we did plenty of these walk-bys at different stations.). We took the shuttle back to TS and did some more walk-bys, despite the crowded area (rush hour was starting). R30’s father met us for some sushi and drinks we can use. After a few thank yous, we are off again. We got off at Union Square and caught up with Choo Choo again for the ride on the Q local to my favorite Brighton line. Some of us wanted to use the restroom and I got them off at Church Ave, despite a poor choice. I saw some old friend at Church Ave, we chatted and now back on the Q to Brighton Beach. Since we passed by my stop, Newkirk Ave (twice), I figured we can get some pizza on the fly. Second DANGER WILL ROBINSON melee was the T/O’s at Brighton Beach, one jokingly told us not to do any filming, but he knew me so it was OK. P/A over the speakers at BB informed us “due to a passenger requiring medical assistance, there is no Q express service at this time.” We caught the next Q local back to Newkirk for the pizza, and since LoDuca pizzeria was outside in front of the station’s entrance, I arranged 2 pies to be delivered to the fare control area. Back to the ride, a Q diamond hurried in and we got on quickly after I screamed out loud to get on (they were all the way in front of the platform.). We took the Q to the shuttle to what Chris called the “Crime” line, the C line for its poor rush hour frequency. But we didn’t wait too long, and Choo Choo did entertain us with some photos as we were relaxing. Next was the C to Hoyt St. and I was looking all over for Greenberger, but Choo Choo told me he was waiting for us at Euclid. So it was the next C to Euclid and Greenberger ran towards us, while out hitchhiker, RIPTA42HopeTunnel, entered Euclid fare control for the ride to the Rockaways. We used the Lefferts A first, and it was SHOCKING, that this was Choo Choo’s first time he rode the A to Lefferts. At Lefferts, we didn’t have time for photos, the next A train back to Rockaway Blvd was leaving and we had to catch it. Back to Rockaway Blvd and we were on the wrong side (East side of Cross Bay) and had to walk over to the F/T stairs at the west end. I knew the platform was crowded, so the A to Far Rockaway didn’t show up yet. 10 minutes later, an R32 A to FR pulled in and we had the BEAUTIFUL ride to FR. At FR, Gena asked the S/A for the key to the restroom, and the S/A called his supervisor twice and refused to hand over the key. (WTF is wrong with Transit Brass at 370 Jay? There is never any coordination, and the troubles we had with the bathroom breaks only underscores this point.) We took the R44 A from Far Rock back to BC for the changer over to the RP shuttle, and I was having fun with an unlocked door at the last car. I got through the first time, but when I went back to the last car and tried it again, I was locked out. The laughter of my fellow riders was priceless, and I’m sure Choo Choo had the shots to prove it. We changed at BC and the next DANGER WILL ROBINSON episode took place, the S/A requested our permit and the crew showed him the permit. The S/A was being very cordial about it and sent us on our way. The shuttle we were on was a long wait at Beach 110th St. for one of the trains to leave RP. So it was an even longer wait at RP and we used the 24/7 bathrooms wisely once we reached there. Now since it was getting late, a stirring debate on whether to alter the route slightly so that we can see the rarely use Lower Bergen during the F line G.O. (express Manhattan Bound from 4th Ave to Jay St.), raged on, and we eventually during the course of the night, agreed to see Lower Bergen, despite it would take us out of the way. Now we really PAID THE PRICE FOR THIS, BUT IT WAS WORTH IT.
Back at Broad Channel and we were having fun at ourselves. As an R44 A train pulled in on the opposite track to FR, the “3 RF stooges”, R30, Choo Choo, and Mr. Greenberger ran to the south end on our platform for the photos and runbys, the T/O blared his horn in approval of us. We hopped on the A to Broadway Junction for the L, and decided not to go to Rockaway Parkway and save that for the 2nd day. We took the L towards Manhattan and when we got to Jefferson St, whoops next DANGER WILL ROBINSON confrontation. The C/R had the nerve to stop us before we got to Jefferson St to look at the permit, and prevented the doors to open until he was satisfied with the permit requirements. So we sat at Jefferson with the doors closed for a minute before we were able to take off again. L to 8th Ave, upstairs where I suggested the E to Queens, then the G to Brooklyn. We took the A to 50th St., saw the lights behind us (we were in the last car, then the E from 50th St. to Roosevelt, then Christopher had to rub it in by showing off the line we would take, his V line back to 65th St.. I and Chris were at each other’s throats on the V line, how I hated it and gave G line riders the shaft, and why Chris loves riding the little-used V line. It was fun for other riders to see us argue ourselves to death. We would argue over the Marcy Ave routing later on (read on!).
Troubles started to brew at 65th St.. we did some walk-bys and other filming took place, but we spent a good hour waiting for the G train. The first Manhattan bound E local pulled in, we skipped that, and then another E local came in. I was trying to pull in the crew into the E and take that to Queens Plaza, we decided to skip it. BIG MISTAKE: A 4 car G train came in, but it was doing a BATTERY RUN and we were victims of this travesty. To add insult to injury, Mr. Greenberger was showing off his portable fan while we were suffering in the oppressive heat in the station. Dtrain22 was tired (from all those sugared drinks, no less). Chris begged a store upstairs that was closing (we heard the shutter gates rolling down) to send us some food downstairs, but you know that was to no avail to us. From 11:12 to 11:50 we waited, an E train came in and we took no chances. R30 asked the C/R if he saw an idle G train at 71st Ave, he said no, and we concluded that we should get off at 23rd-Ely for the transfer to the G. While running to catch the G, the airport runners were operating in the opposite direction so we had to hoof it the long way no use as a treadmill for us. We caught the G, but the G.O. for the 2 section G was in effect now and we had a treat for us in store. The G line was single tracking from Nassau Ave to Bedford-Nostrand, one of our interesting G.O.’s we experienced during the night. After a short wait for the G shuttle to Hoyt-Scher, . I was hoping for the crew that we can make a good connection for the A train, NOT! The damm Manhattan bound A train dissed everyone on the G train and made us wait 20 minutes for the next A train. I was FURIOUS, and steam came out of my eyeballs, so I marched over to the tower, it was closed. We agreed that Jay St, should’ve held the train. The A to Jay St came, we used that to Jay, then F to 4th Ave. A garbage train was sitting at the Manhattan-bound track, so R30 and Greenberger took no chances and advised us to stay on to 7th Ave. While waiting for the F to lower Bergen, I noted 2 plainclothes officers talking to some people, one of who received a summons. The officers went to the other end of the platform and an F train came in, but I misjudged the time by telling the film crew that is might be 10 minutes for the next train, when it showed up early. Choo Choo Greenberger and RIPTA42HopeTunnel all got on so that was it for them, we said goodbye to them. I was yelling for the crew to come down while I held the doors on the F train and that got the officer’s attention. They stopped R30 about taking pictures, but they were cordial about it, then they stopped Gena and asked for the permit, no problems there. I made a joke as one of the officers was approaching the staircase that Dtrain22, 1SF9, and Chris were sitting down, to “get up, none of you are pregnant”, no tickets were issued. We got the next F train, it was already 2 AM and our tired souls were sleeping off and on, Dtrain22 slept the most during the ride. We took the F to 14th St., then the long passageway to our “BRAHS” subway line, the #1 train. Gena asked S/A (Badge #12266) for the restroom, she refused, was very rude to Gena, and refused to acknowledge the permit. Some Redbirds were used on the garbage train on the S/B express track, we drooled in enjoyment. 1SF9 puts on his #1 t-shirt and RF’s the ride all the way up to 242nd/VCP, as Dtrain22 continued to do photos at every stop he got a chance. At 242/VCP, the film crew tried to access the crew room, the TW/O’s and TSS told her a lie that the restroom was not working, and we had to hang on to 207th St.. At Dyckman, two things happened: 1. The supervisors at 242nd/VCP put out an APB on us because we are “con artists” asking for bathrooms and 2. The train relayed back to middle track halfway to 207th St., and wrong-railed down to 168th St. (It was single track from Dyckman St to 168th St..). We took the A to 207th St., and I was nearly DQ’d for tiptoeing out the Auto entry gate. The crew tried their luck with the S/A and after a few words being exchanged and the S/A’s request to see the permit, she gave up the key. Personally, the S/A at 207th St. was the nicest one we encountered and she did listened to us as she read the crew’s permit from NYCT.
After the 207th St bathroom break, it was time to take the last A local to 59th St. (The next one would be the first S/B express, it was close to 5 AM when we left 207th St.). We made better connections at this point, hurried to the D train at 59th St., then the TUNA INCIDENT. Yes I was hungry and while 1SF9 was sleeping on some seats in front of me, I whipped out my can of tuna and made 3 bagel sandwiches. A transvestite was sitting across from me, she (eh! Meant he) was looking amused at my tuna sandwich preparations. And the can was made from oil, not water, so I might have ticked off Train Dude in the process, the window was filled with oil now when I drained it out. We did a quick shuttle to 205th St. and back, saw a D train being put-in to BPB and caught that back to 161st St. for the IRT Bronx Els., next on our list. The #4 to Woodlawn was first, I fell half asleep now at this point, but we had to keep awake because it was inbound rush hour, now back on the #4 to 149th St./GC for the #2. To keep myself awake, I sat to a fine mystical woman with nice shoes to boot (LOL), she got off at Allerton Ave, no luck there. We took the #2 and R30 saw some redbirds at Unionport Yard, took the #2 back to East 180th St. for the #5 to Dyre. Saw a Chinese battery seller on the #5 thru express at 7:30 AM, we held on to 125th St. for the #6. Best bathroom break, we used the crew quarters at PBP and it had soap dispensers yet. I reminded everyone that ALL AM #6 trains from PBP were express, nice ride to Manhattan; the train was empty all the way to 59th St. in Manhattan. Queens was next, a change of film crews was warranted at the Flushing platform of Grand Central. Gena will catch up with us later on the 2nd day. All redbirds treated us for the ride, six consecutive R36WF sets to be exact we saw, so that’s all 3 redbirds at the Main St. Terminal. Express service was suspended for signal work midday, plenty of activity going on at the express stations. Saw Main St and the Lippeman Plaza ADA Fare Control area and went back to QBP for the N or W. skfny and Mrs. Skfny arrange for some late breakfast from their family, we caught up with them at 36th Ave/Washington Ave, THANK YOU. Astoria then the long N train through the rathole, and Fred’s Slime Bitch line territory, I slept through most of it. Change ends at 86th St., for the N back to 62nd St., we saw how HORRIBLE the canopy was at 62nd St. on the W, plenty of big holes worse than 4th Ave or Smith-9th St. stations on the F line. Took W to CI, saw the big steel beams being erected all over the station, took a walk-by there and caught next W train out. The C/R told us on the leaving W train, that once the bell rings, he will close the doors and we will be left on the platform for the next train, we got on anyway. Took the W to 36th St., then R to 95th St. for another bathroom break, this time no key was needed. R to Pacific for the M and now Chris and R30 had a plan which I though might not work, to access Marcy Ave, we have to transverse the Williamsburg Bridge THREE times, once to Hewes, then J or M back to Essex, and the required stop for Marcy, then another J or M back to Eastern Division stations we didn’t hit. Even the brainstorm of this plan, Chris said the he will go out of the race if his plan makes up caught up with the J/Z skip-stop service. J to Broadway Junction, then L to RP and back to Myrtle-Wyckoff for the M. In the travels we saw the R40M at ENY Yard, the same one David Greenberger is talking about it today (did it get to CI yard yet?) it was signed N. After a long holding time on the M, we took off to Metropolitan, came back to Myrtle, as the last Z skip-stop train left Myrtle for the PM rush, so Chris was safe. R30 arranges RIPTA42HopeTunnel to meet us in the train at Crescent St. During the J train ride, a female preacher serenaded us with her sermon from Broadway Junction to Jamaica Center, a so-called food and charity worker comes in the car be he was overpowered by her sermon and gave up at 104th st. Jamaica Center was our last bathroom break and it was E to F, then back to Manhattan. I chatted with another fine woman and she got off at 21st st/Queensbridge, many passengers though that this was a high school or college project we were working on. Man I couldn’t wait to Avenue X and we did the walk-by at Fulton St and I did a shooting of that 10 year old sign at Fulton St (Closed from 1 AM Friday to 5 AM Monday) this should be very upsetting to NYCT brass.
Final stops were at Avenue X, we took a shuttle bus, I got off at the West 8th st stop and walked over to the closed Ocean Pkway station (sign said Q trains go to Manhattan AND QUEENS, DUH!). No more subways at this point, it was my B68 and a fast ride back home.
THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTED US.
Car numbers might have to wait until tomorrow, that will be Part 2 of this post! Sorry I am having a busy day now.