The transit strike continues through day two. I made my way back to work after two days off, one because of a pinched nerve, the other because of the strike. W and I caught a cab this morning near our apt. The twenty-minute cab ride took an hour. Imagine it: hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers (I don’t have real numbers on this, but it must be that many if not more) are underground on the trains at all times; today, they were all above ground today. Many stayed home, and so were off the streets, but many, many did not, and so they trudged through the swamp of other people to get to their jobs. Moreso than ever, the city is a human traffic jam. The streets, are of course, constantly filled as well: a parking lot that lurches forward from time to time.
Getting home was a bit more complicated. I got a cab at 24th street that took me to the Brooklyn Bridge. The driver, and I, felt that the bridge was too slow to make driving worth it. So I walked in the stream of thousands of other New Yorkers bound for home in Brooklyn. I kept my headphones on—I couldn’t deal with the sounds the world was making—and listened to In Utero and Ani’s To The Teeth. Strange to be suspended over the city with all those other people. As B pointed out just now while we were eating, this is one of those times when you feel a sudden solidarity with other New Yorkers who you usually do everything you can to ignore. When I made it to downtown BK, I walked to Court Street, where I caught another cab. All in all, it took about two hours to get here.
I’m aware that I don’t know much about the history of unions and the politics of striking. I’ve kept up to date with the Times and followed the strike proceedings as best as I could. But, at this point, the Transit Workers Union seems pretty selfish to me. It’s the interests of 37,000 people vs. the interests of 7,000,000. The city is pretty well crippled. I can’t justify it. Can they?