Friday, June 29, 2012

On the Side: Scenes from the Commute

Early Morning - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

July 29, 2012 -- I've officially survived commuting back and forth to Manhattan on a bus for one year. In honor of this milestone, I've decided to give you all a little taste of what I go through on my commute.

Ready?



Alarm - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

The alarm goes off at 5... then 5:15... then 5:30. If I can't bear to get out of bed at 5:30, then I have another one set for 5:35 and yet another set for 5:40.

My Bed -- Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

Getting out of bed later than that results in mass chaos and a frantic run around the house. I try to avoid that as much as possible because I hate starting the day in a mad rush.

Owl Dish - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

My engagement ring stays safe in this owl dish while I'm in the shower. After waiting so long to get engaged, the last thing I need is to have the ring go down the drain!


6:19am - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go


Have to leave the house by 6:20am. Just made it.

Dunkin Donuts Drive-Thru - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

Now, Dunkin Donuts coffee is an absolute necessity. Medium coffee with cream and sugar, please.

My Regular Seat on My Regular Bus - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

It took me a while to find a seat that I wanted to claim as my own. A seat in the front meant risking being surrounded by chatty day-trippers. A seat in the back meant sitting by the bathroom. This one is just right.

Medium Dunkin Donuts Coffee with Cream and Sugar - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

Technically, "only bottled water is permitted on the bus." Thankfully, Larry, my regular bus driver, turns a blind eye when I blatantly board with the coffee in my hand. Larry is the best.

Laptop on the Bus - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

With my coffee nestled between the armrest and the seat, I put my headphones on and boot up my laptop. Time to catch up on email, blogging, and reading what other food bloggers are up to. One blessing about the bus? It's equipped with Wi-Fi.

Traffic in New Jersey - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

I can usually zone in and concentrate on work for about an hour before I notice that we're stuck in traffic in New Jersey.

Commute through New Jersey - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

If it's Monday, then there's a good chance that it'll be raining as we make our way closer to Manhattan.

Approaching the Lincoln Tunnel - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

Stuck in inbound traffic with no outbound traffic in sight. That's not a good sign. But, finally, traffic starts moving again.






On a good day, there are no delays at the Lincoln Tunnel. On a better day, there aren't any delays through the Lincoln Tunnel. If we make it to Port Authority by 9am, then it's a great day.

Times Square in New York, NY - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

Time Square in New York, NY - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

The fastest route from Port Authority to my Midtown office involves cutting through Times Square. I treat each trip through the tourist-laden section of Manhattan like a game of Frogger. If I have to stop to let someone pass in front of me, then I lose.


A crowd has formed outside the Good Morning America studios. No time to stick around to see who they're waiting for.

Walking in Manhattan - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

Walking... walking... walking... Am I there yet?

Orchids in the Lobby - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

Once I reached my office building, I slowed down long enough to say good morning to the guys at our security desk and to take a picture of these gorgeous flowers in the lobby. The building management changes them out on a regular basis, and I love it when they put orchids in.

Office Coffee Maker - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

It's been over two hours... I can have more coffee now.

Our National Debt - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

The beginning of my evening commute includes a walk by the IRS building and a quick glance at our current national debt. I try to ignore the bottom number, which tells you how much of that debt is your family's share. It's too depressing to think about.

Bus Lane in New York, NY - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

You can tell who the locals and regular commuters are by looking for the people who are walking in the bus lanes rather than on the sidewalk. Fewer people and objects to navigate around in the bus lane. And that means getting to Port Authority faster.

Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York, NY - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

You know, even from the outside, Port Authority is an unattractive building.

5:19pm - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

I walk through the doors at 5:19pm. If I hurry, I might just make the 5:25 bus!

Back of the Bus - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

Finding the perfect seat on the way home is tough. This time, I was forced to grab a seat toward the back... near the bathroom. *sigh*

Manhattan Skyline - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

We're stuck in outbound traffic now. That gives me time to take a picture of the Manhattan skyline. The best view in New Jersey.


I've finally learned to feel comfortable enough to nap for part of the way home. Once I wake up, then I try to read on my Kindle until we're close to my stop.

Merging onto 33 - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

Lehigh River - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

This is starting to look familiar. I'm almost home.

7:31pm - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

7:31pm and I'm back in my car after getting off the bus. At this point, all I want is to eat dinner and to relax on the couch for a while before going to bed.

Before going to bed and doing it all over again the next day.

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