Posted by Ron Coleman on October 16, 2008
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!