Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Talky Tuesday: Port Authority Bus Terminal

Image courtesy Hudconja on Wikimedia
This is probably the first incidence of violence on US soil that has me actually #shook (or whatever). I remember where I was when I heard about the World Trade Center attacks in 2001, and I understood what the fallout would be (and dreaded it) (and 15-year-old me was pretty much spot-on in her vision of future America, sad to say). But I didn't feel connected to what happened at all, despite living fairly close to New York and despite having visited the World Trade Center for a school trip around five years before.

But when I was chatting with Best Chemist Friend (BCF) yesterday, in the middle of parsing out our constant background low-level dread, she texted, "ugh, great, and I just got a push notification on my phone that someone tried to blow up the port authority terminal."

"WHAT THE FUCK" was my response.

And now it's very real. I love bus trips. I think they're the perfect way to get around; taking the charter bus service into New York instead of driving myself is so much more enjoyable, and they're the only practical way to get one from my home to friends in upstate New York on a one-way trip. I've spent a lot of time in the Port Authority Bus Terminal. It's real and (dare I say it?) homey in a way that the World Trade Center never could have been for me. I always felt safe and even a bit cozy there, waiting for my bus among the badly outdated color scheme (the lower levels are...something) and fellow exhausted-looking passengers. I have the same warm, fuzzy feelings about the PABT that I have about Philadelphia's 30th Street Station and the Reading Terminal Market (and the adjoining Greyhound bus station). It's a little weird to talk about loving a bus station but there you have it. Also, can we all take a moment to admire how freaking gorgeous 30th Street Station is?

Image courtesy Mtruch on Wikimedia

I'm glad no one was gravely injured, including the perp. My reasons for this are as practical (being able to talk to him after the fact will give us important insights and data for preventing future attacks) as they are genuinely altruistic. I hope that this won't change how comfortable and relaxed it is to travel via the PABT (compared to, say, an airport). I hope this won't see a spike in hate and violence directed at minorities. I hope instead it makes people a little nicer, a little braver, a little more patient with each other.

And the next time I'm in the US (probably for another wedding, let's be real), I know I'll still be busing into New York via the PABT to visit some of my favorite people and make some new memories to cherish for a lifetime.

No comments:

Post a Comment