The F-in’ Mess on the F Line

01/19/2011 12:59 PM |

Emphasis on the F
  • Emphasis on the F

Because of the weekend and holiday, yesterday was the first day most straphangers got a taste of life on the newly fucked F line in Brooklyn. At Fourth Avenue, Manhattan-bound riders made their first trip onto the slippery boards of the mid-track temporary platform workers installed over the last several months; unlike the old platform, this one offers no protection from the elements, and it debuted the same day as a frozen rain storm, just so everybody could be sure of what the future would be like. (Thanks to the older Asian woman who silently shared her umbrella with me for several minutes until the F arrived. I looked so despondent because the pharmacy had just told me my health insurance had “expired,” leaving me without life-preserving insulin.)

And the riders at Fourth Avenue are the lucky ones.

Life is harder for passengers at many other stations, which have lost one-side of service altogether. (Better to stand in the rain than not be able to get a train!) Local councilman Brad Lander has a helpful suggestion that could ameliorate the problem, the Park Slope Patch reports: extending the B68 past Bartel Pritchard Square to the Seventh Avenue station, for 15th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway riders. It would be amazing that the MTA didn’t think of this by itself, except of course they didn’t—they’re the fucking MTA! (Maybe they can enact this plan and add a surcharge for the ride?)

In the meantime, the web is abuzz with gripers. The Times took a coolheaded approach, simply chronicling the extra time that would be added to a commute. It was a smartly pre-emptive tone, as many of the commenters took the opportunity to mock the “yuppie whiners”. As Larry writes, in a fairly representative comment, “the only thing I have to whine about is all of these displaced young immigrants to ‘Brownstone Brooklyn’ from Nebraska who never stop complaining. Get a life, sweetheart, and you poor thing, adding an extra 10 to 12 minutes to your daily commute — why that is utterly outrageous. Perhaps you should sue.”

I don’t know; I’d be kinda pissed for the inconvenience if I lived a little further on down the line. Thankfully, one of the lovely ladies at Fucked in Park Slope helped explain a bit better why this shit sucks in a lengthy diary of her weekend. Here’s just an excerpt:

Saturday, 3PM:

Text your dinner party guests and hint to them that “you’ve heard” there might be “something wrong with the trains” and that they should “check it out” before they leave. This will be your tactic for the next 5 months, as you try to trick people into coming to see you. You know that this charade will probably only work one time per friend, so you vow to make this visit count.

Answer frantic texts from your dinner party guests as they want to know “what the fuck is a shuttlebus” (these friends live in Manhattan, of course) and can they take the R train instead? “Funny story,” you text. “R trains aren’t running this weekend, or for the following two weekends LOL.” You wonder if they will ever show up, and regret buying so much wine.

Saturday, 7PM:

Your dinner party guests arrive, saying that they took the N to the 4th Avenue stop and walked in the FREEZING COLD to your apartment. It must have been, like, 75 blocks or some shit. You apologize on behalf of the MTA. You’re going to be doing this a lot.