Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I started my new job as Director of Performing Arts at the Manhattan JCC

Never Done: I started my new job as Director of Performing Arts at the Manhattan JCC

It's been a long time since I regularly commuted. Since I got up early and was first in the shower, dressed in something other than a shleppy t-shirt, ate breakfast, packed a lunch (along with a work bag and a workout bag) and left for the train before 8 AM, knowing that I'll be doing it again tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

The prospect of the F to 2/3 train transfer at 14th street sort of depressed me, so I opted for a 20-minute walk to the 2/3 at Grand Army Plaza, and then a one-train, 40-minute ride. (Apologies to people who don't live in New York, who aren't obsessed with train travel; the point is, I didn't want to be late on my first day, and it can feel vulnerable to put your responsibility to your new job in the hands of the MTA. I got to work on time. Just.)

Being new is like being a worldly baby with a lot of context and life experience and dozens of parents (or guardians.) How do you get hot water out of the hot water machine? Your boss can show you. How do you set up your email and phone? The tech team can show you. Can you have a gym locker? No. What kind of MLK programming do we do? The archivist will send you old programs. Does my program have a Facebook page? The marketing department knows about that. And then you suddenly grow up real fast when you find out there are some nights to program in September and have an invitation to a theatre festival in Israel (in 6 weeks) if you think it would be a good use of your time. Meanwhile, how do you make hot water come out of that machine, again? And do you know when I'll get my own desk?

And so the day went. One unexpected highlight came when I went out to find some lunch, and I found (after I ate a lovely meal at a vegan cafe) four blocks from my office, an outpost of Luke's Lobster -- my number one top favorite lobster roll place in NYC. I've written about them before -- Luke is a Mainer who supports the Maine lobster industry by donating a portion of his profits to the Maine Lobsterman's Association. Also, he makes a fabulous lobster roll. I was already happy about my new job, but I find it particularly delightful that on the same day I got to talk about shomer shabes cultural programming, I also found my beloved treyf just up the street.


  1. I have been to that Luke's Lobster and enjoy its relative spaciousness. Now onto commuting notes. Taking the F to the A at Jay St is a very pleasant transfer. You then have a choice at Columbus Circle. Either take the 1 or walk. Although you might feel daunted by the three train commute, I have been doing for almost a decade (seriously) and find the transfers are very smooth.

  2. I am totally daunted by the three train commute! (But I did it coming home tonight, and it took under an hour.)

  3. But the F train sucks. Why get on Pokey McPokerson when you could have a relatively lovely walk from your abode to the 2/3 (which is a fabulous train and may allow for random Grover's Corners encounters with MOI) direct to the UWS?

  4. It did take under an hour. 3 trains, but reliable. It is an urban legend that the F sucks. Have you considered taking the B/C to 72nd and walking from there? That could be a two train solution for you.