Hours after my visit to Brooklyn's arcadian Clinton Hill on Friday, I was in Manhattan to meet a realtor who would show me two small apartments on the Upper East Side (UES in local lingo).
But not before a reported signal malfunction caused a spectacular rush hour snarl up on the uptown-bound 4 trains, and platforms were packed, up and down the lines that are shared by the 4, 5 and 6 lines. (According to the MTA, in 2012, an average of 5,380,184 people rode the subway every weekday.)
Forty-five minutes late, I changed trains, took the F, waited forever at Bleecker and then headed uptown on a 6 train, pressed flat like a squooshed anchovy in an oil packed can, whizzing past stations where people watched the passing train - suddenly express, not local - with open mouthed disgust... A trying start to many weekends.
The realtor, Ana-from-Serbia, was very nice (we've encountered some real lizards), but the apartments were not for us. I'd have been sawing at my wrists within weeks.
Our budget just does not deliver UES bang for the buck, and, in all likelihood, we'll land somewhere in Brooklyn or Queens.
Or Harlem. I hope Harlem. But that is today's adventure.
I leave you with Upper East Side blue. Eat your heart out, Beijing.