|How to Survive Penn Station Without Really Tryng|
There's an advertisement on the subways that you might have seen. It describes a project in the works - the largest public works extravaganza in the country - known as East Side Access
: a portal from Grand Central Terminal that will outsource time and trains from Penn Station. As the sign says, "Commuting will be 40 minutes shorter. For 80,000 commuters. That's a lot of minutes."
Unfortunately, that architectural endeavor will not be done for some time and, if the 2nd Avenue Subway is any indication (shout-out to the Sandhogs
!), that some time could mean years. So we're stuck with Penn Station for the time being.
Crammed in between Madison Square Garden and an underlining subway hub, the intersection of the LIRR, Path, Amtrak and Acela is a transportation nightmare for anyone trying to get somewhere fast, especially around peak hours, when tolls almost double for whatever the reason. Tourists gawk at the food options; commuters stare faceless at the Big Board; and the stampede that follows a train track appearance is something out of Jumanji.
Ever since I jumped ship from Long Island to Manhattan, I have become a master commuter and Penn Station aficionado. Babylon, Hempstead, Port Washington, parts of Jersey, the 1, 2, 3, A, C and E lines - you name it, I've ridden it out of Penn. Nonetheless, my experiences are still filled with fear, anxiety and a pace that would make Jesse Jackson look like your grandma. We all have that friend in Jersey or Long Island that insists we come visit them. With that being said, that means you have to suck it up and deal with it.
But don't be scared. We here at the Voice have compiled a list of tips to get you in and out of Penn Station safe, sound and emotionally stable.