3rd (Avenue) Circle of Hell – That’s a Big Honking Suitcase

3rd (Avenue) Circle of Hell is a semi-recurring series where I complain about things, mostly involving commuting. It’s petty, it’s a waste of time, but it makes me feel better.

Did you know that the Lexington Avenue Line of the NYC Subway System carries 1.3 million people every day? To put this into perspective, according to the MTA, this is more than the daily ridership of Chicago’s, San Francisco’s, and Boston’s mass transit systems. Combined. 

That’s a lot of people. So when I say that it occasionally takes two or three trains to pass before I can find enough space to get my little old self into a subway car, I’m not exaggerating.

You know what that crowded train doesn’t need on it, at 8AM? Bikes. Or suitcases.

And when I say “suitcases”, I don’t mean that little overnight bag. I don’t even mean that compact rolling-bag that is small enough to fit the flight regulations for a carry-on. If you can fit it in an overhead compartment, I’m almost okay with you getting on the train with it. Is it a pain? Sure, but I know you have somewhere to go. And for the most part, people with these kinds of suitcases are courteous: they try keeping it directly in front of them, or keep it in between their legs, or try to make it as inconspicuous as possible. I appreciate that.

Not this buddy on the train yesterday morning.

It was actually a pleasant commute for two whole stops: the train wasn’t particularly crowded. I didn’t have a seat, but I wasn’t smashed up against some smelly construction worker either. I was the only person standing in my part of the car, and being the normal-sized person that I am, that meant there was plenty of space around me for others to get up, sit down, or move around. Easy peasy. Sigh of relief.

Not for long. So after two stops, this buddy (I don’t like saying stronger words than that when I’m subway-raging) gets on the train with this massive suitcase. Big, like, I can fit my entire person in there without even really feeling uncomfortable. Or I could fit all of my clothes (ok, well, all of my pants, at least). Or I could go away for a month and never have to repeat an outfit. I found a handy picture to demonstrate:

I said I was okay with the small, left-hand side suitcase. The right-hand side? Not so much.

“But Cindie, didn’t you say the car was empty, that there was plenty of space? It seems like the perfect time for that big suitcase.”

Well yes, I did say that, which makes this buddy that much more of a…buddy. He had an entire car to move around (there was even enough space behind me for him to drag the dang thing through without any issue. However, instead of being courteous and standing out-of-the-way with it, he proceeded to find a sliver of an available seat (I had judged it to be too small for my own butt and he was at least twice my size, girth-wise). Dragging his suitcase over my feet paying no-never-mind, he jammed himself into the little open space and had his suitcase take up the entire walkway in the middle of the car.

You know what, buddy? That’s not how we do things on our morning commute on the busiest subway line in the country. How rude of you.

That’s it, that’s all I have to say. I just wanted to vent about it, so thanks for listening.


4 thoughts on “3rd (Avenue) Circle of Hell – That’s a Big Honking Suitcase

  1. And this is exactly why we need a 2nd avenue subway line…to ease some of this congestion and do away with some of crazies! You must have gone insane when the 4/5/6 was down on tuesday morning!

    • Indeed. I work a few blocks from one of the new stations, and while it’s a bit of a pain dealing with the construction and blasting, it’s going to be well worth it!

  2. That is the worst. WHERE ARE YOU GOING? Just take a cab, man! It’s not worth it. The bikes piss me off, too. Someone was chilling at 7 AM when I got on the train the other morning with their bike and giant backpack, playing on their cellphone and not paying attention to anything at all, including the swarm of people trying to get into the crowded subway car and tripping over his bike. Why don’t these people just ride their bikes to wherever it is they are going?

    • UGH, I know. I really thought there was an MTA “rule” about bringing bikes on the subway during rush hour, but apparently it’s only a courtesy…which we all know is something that people lack.

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