As a single, childless adult, it's my duty to schlep to everyone else on the holidays. Christmas means I visit my mother's side with whom I grew up on the eastern end of Long Island. For those familiar, traveling to the Hamptons from NYC and back is never easy and a commute I loathe. Most holiday mornings will find me at my computer weighing the LIRR v Jitney options as I neither own a car or even a licence at this point in my adult life.
LIRR Pros: $14.50 one way or $29.00 round trip, impending traffic is irrelevant
LIRR Cons: Penn Station, taking two trains to get to Penn Station and hoping the MTA's holiday subway schedule doesn't fuck me over, maneuvering luggage/bags/coffee/etc through various turnstiles, having to wait until 6 minutes to departure to figure out which track I'll have to herd onto, transferring at Jamaica, I'm lucky if there's four departures a day and none of them will be timely for when I'd like to arrive either in Southampton or back in the city
Jitney Pros: complimentary coffee/juice/water/NY Times/snack, a departure every hour during a twelve hour period
Jitney Cons: $29.00 one way or $54.00 round trip, the other passengers, being crammed in a bus seat with some toolbag in front of me reclining his into my lap and the passenger next to me having a lap dog constantly needing attention, crawling in the inevitable LIE traffic, transferring from the F to the A to the 4/5 to Grand Central to catch my departure and again, the MTA's holiday subway schedule/station maintenance likely fucking me over
So yesterday, I decided to try something I've never done before: Why not try the commute from the LIRR outpost at Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn?
Loveofmotherfuckinggod, why haven't I done this before??? After a $8 car service ride that took 8 minutes, I arrived in time to stock up at the onsite Starbucks, purchase a ticket on the track adjacent to mine (there's only four and each is clearly labeled as to which departures will be leaving and when) and settle into my seat. The only drawback was the 25 minute wait at Jamaica, but I used the time to finish my coffee, get in a nic fix and call my father and stepmother to wish them a merry Christmas.
The commute back was just as pleasant and I was easily able to hail a cab in the pouring rain once back in Brooklyn. Should the weather be better or if I wasn't laden with packages, I could easily take the G from Carroll Street three short stops to Fulton Street and walk the two blocks to the LIRR outpost or vice versa. As the outpost is in the base of the Atlantic Terminal mall, I could kill time getting my shop on if need be.
The discovery of this commuting option was one of the best holiday gifts I've received.