Thursday, September 29, 2011

Commute time

Man, I spend a lot of time on the subway.

It's about a half hour to work in the morning - that's not bad. By comparison, it took me half that time to get to campus in Nashville, only because I went at off hours. During rush hour, it would have been close to a half hour.

But in Nashville, yoga was just a few blocks from campus, and capoeira was about 20 minutes away.

Here, it takes me about 20 minutes to get from work to get to yoga. That's not too outrageous. Getting to capoeira from work, though, is close to an hour, and so is getting to my handstand class. (I have to take four trains from Midtown to Brooklyn to get to handstands. Four!)

So here is a story problem for you: If it takes Turducken 30 minutes to get from home to work, and at least 45 minutes to get from work to capoeira, how long does it take her to get from capoeira back home? Does it change your answer if you know that, geometrically, the three points are the vertices of a right triangle, making the trip home the hypotenuse as the eagle flies? Does it further change your answer if you realize that she is not an eagle, and, because of where the subway lines run, she actually has to go farther out of her way to get home?

The answer: Home-work-capoeira is 75 minutes or so. Capoeira-home covers more miles and takes 45 minutes. This is why I always travel with a book.

Theoretically, I could move close to work. But dropping that commute wouldn't make up for living in Midtown. Or I could stop going to capoeira and handstands, but despite the diversity of the city, there are no perfect substitutes (in the economic sense of the term) for either.

I don't particularly mind the commute, since I can read, except for the handstand one - all that train changing is seriously annoying. However, people seem to be impressed. "You go all the way to Astoria for capoeira?" Seriously, I don't think they'd be any more impressed if I actually went down to Rio every Saturday. (You know, that would only take five hours via Concorde...)

The thing is, my commute time adds up to about two hours on days I go to work and capoeira. The people who are impressed live outside the city and spend an hour each way just going home-work. You do the math.

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