NYtick: don’t take the similar but wrong subway – hoofing it across Queens to LGA – wasteland or gem?

The New York Subway has myriad ways to confuse riders. One easy trip-up is the the cluster of similar lines that run on the same tracks in central locations then branch out farther in the boroughs, like the A/C/E at Port Authority Bus Terminal and the 1/2/3 at Times Square.

Friday evening The Rapid Traveler decamped from the office on a well-trod route, the 2/3 up to Times Square changing to the N/Q at Times Square, up to Astoria Blvd to meet Mrs. Rapid Traveler at Neptune Diner for his burger and her grilled octopus, and then the M60 bus over to LaGuardia (LGA) for their flight down to Ft. Lauderdale.

Nose buried in magazine, The Rapid Traveler changed trains at Times Square and hopped on the R. Oops. And he didn’t notice until well into Queens at Steinway St. His mistake in lack of care was that he saw the N sign on the platform and always thinks of the N and Q paired together since they run the same route into Queens, one local, one express, but at Times Square the N and R share the same track, both local, while the Q is on an express track.

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Not Astoria Blvd, this looks to be fun

Doors closing at Steinway St, the option was to either get off at 46 St and cross Queens by foot or go back to Manhattan and pick up the the N/Q. Taxi not an option for the stubborn Rapid Traveler.

46 St and by foot it was, Delta alleviating pressure with a typical 1 hour delay (grew to the standard LGA 2 hours), The Rapid Traveler set off towards Astoria Blvd.

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The Queens that Manhattanites talk about

Complacency breeds mistake and The Rapid Traveler was guilty. But, he had a vigorous constitutional, saw a Greek supermarket and bakery that warrants further exploration, and was in time for his flight. Just no burger, though Mrs. Rapid Traveler had a strawberry ice cream soda while she waited.

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The Queens that Queensites talk about

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  • Mike

    Theres a lot more of queens thats nicer than msnhattan than those shitty areas you took pics of. Btw, astoria sux. 🙂

  • @Mike – can you provide some recommendations? Other than heading to LGA or Flushing Chinatown we have not previously explored.

  • SC

    For foodwise, I recommend checking out Jackson Heights. Various ethnicities are represented there, food is cheap but of great quality and proportion.

  • Kar69

    Take a stroll through beautiful Forest Hills Gardens- then stop at Rego Park at 63 Str for food -great prices for fresh produce and food at Russian or Korean stores, especially the one farthest from Queens blvd, I go there from Manhattan to do food shopping, quick 15 min from midtown..

  • Very true, it’s kind of confusing when tracks are shared or go similiar routes for long ways. Gotta double check the train before continuing he magazine reading 😉

  • @SC and @Kar69 – thanks for the great suggestions, anything with food and Mrs. Rapid Traveler is game.

  • LarryInNYC

    There are plenty of New Yorkers (this one included) who still refer to the subways by their original corporate designations — the IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit), IND (Independent Subway) and BMT (Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit). So, I might tell my kids to take the west side IRT to 96th street and meet me at the 95th street side of the control house.
    .
    The thing is that these lines were all combined under city ownership in 1940. I imagine it’s disconcerting to someone to get directions that involve a train line that hasn’t technically existed for over seventy years.