Steps after entering the train car, I quickly observed a seat that would allow me the most pleasurable ride to my final stop, Penn Station. Heading south along the Hudson River, I knew I had to sit along the right side of the train, intentionally placed in a row between a few business men defaulting to more time for work. I wasn't interested in conversation or even overhearing small talk, I just wanted to take the time to enjoy some peace and quiet I was in search of. I didn't even have my my music playing or my book open on my iPad, when the train started to rhythmically clank and then gently hum over the tracks.My eyes gazed out over the water, passing through wooded areas, small towns, the occasional stone castle perched upon a hillside starkly contrasting abandoned buildings full of teenage boy's graffiti. I seized the moment many times to take photos to remind me of the journey, little mementos of a feeling that is hard to achieve in the desert of Colorado. The contrast of the Hudson River Valley is apparent, green and lush, the edges of the river bank gently flirting with the appearance of water swelling up too high on the banks. A few times my mind wandered into bizarre thoughts about how I would escape the train if it simply left the tracks and hit the water. I wonder why I need to go to such places when I am just sitting back and relaxing. Peace of mind is not as easy to find, even in the most perfect situation.
Train conductor calls over the speaker, "Next stop Yahn-kas." (that's heavy accent speak for Yonkers)
The view of the river turned into to commuter rail stations, then into buildings, and rows upon rows of railroad tracks which lead my eyes to walls of bricks and endless concrete. In all the times I've ridden this train, I've never missed a surprising soccer court nestled within the concrete jungle, shirtless men happily grabbing a pickup game before dinner time. Within moments of passing them, I knew shortly I'd be arriving in Manhattan.