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Secaucus Junction

Posted by Ron Coleman on October 16, 2008

Secaucus Junction

Originally uploaded by Ron Coleman

My new commuting life hinges on Secaucus Junction, a brilliant creation whereby six or eight or more train lines in New Jersey coalesce and make transfer to New York City’s Penn Station remarkably easy. The station itself is largely sterile, though, as this photo shows, in my opinion, it can have its charms.

One of those charms is not the fact that it is named after Senator Frank Lautenberg, who was reelected to the United States Senate by virtue of a deeply cynical, multi-branch Democrat political hack job of that uniquely New Jersey kind that we need not discuss here at this time.

The station is new and clean and safe. It does have two serious drawbacks, though (Lautenberg’s moniker is not a serious one; no one uses it).

The first thing is you can’t drive here, at least not now. There are all the trains, promising you effortless entree into Manhattan — and you are not allowed to relent from your selfish, hopeless hurdle into the Lincoln Tunnel, pull over, park at or near the station and hop on. The shortsightedness of this decision was phenomenal and may be undone, some day. Meanwhile, the Junction will stay clean, boring and unsullied by internal combustion devices.

The other problem is that if you miss your connecting train, it is hopeless. There is nothing there to do, to see, even, besides snacks, to buy. You’d better have a good, fun computer in your pocket or a big book or something, because Grand Central Station, it ain’t. And outside there’s no there at all — imagine a north Jersey train station that makes you wish you were stuck in Newark!

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2 Responses to “Secaucus Junction”

  1. LoL.
    Great pic, I love that artsy floral centerpiece.I’ve had many opportunities to sit down and watch the thing turn colors, all prettily, for a very long hour, having missed a train by a mere minute.It’s good to have the transfer times down pat at this juncture in travel.
    Actually though, I think there is a pub that opened up recently at this junction. So you can snack, read magazines,get excedrin and drink !
    Back in the day, waiting in Hoboken for the train was a way more merrier experience. And you could explore different parts of Hoboken, catch a tan at the water, game in the park,visit quaint shops and meet up with long lost friends and party for an hour at many different pubs including a quaint in-house pub at the Hoboken stating and or a lovely little liquor store seconds from the ticket machines…… if you missed the train.
    Also, Secaucaus should open up a liquor store or something for drinks on the run for the long commute home.
    Every once in a while I do the path to Hoboken, for a change of scenery, but Secaucus Junction is very convenient from so many different angles and routes.
    Convenience and functional does not always equal merry, blissful and happy go lucky.

  2. I thought the whole building was just an excuse by New Jersey Transit to make my trip through Newark into the city take longer.

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