A few Sundays ago, I was an hour late to my own birthday brunch downtown even though I left my apartment with plenty of time to spare.
My normally speedy A train was running local. No big deal. To be expected on a Sunday, right? Well, suddenly the A started running on the F train track. How does that make sense? Why wouldn't a station announcer say the A wasn't running from this station to that station so there's a shuttle bus? I ended up getting off nowhere near my destination, so I had to walk, in heels, for half an hour to get there.
The MTA could hire a starving actor with good enunciation to let us know about line changes. "Happy birthday, Rachel," the announcer would say, "wander around Second Avenue and try to figure out how to get where you're going."
Weekend trains are always a disaster -- and recently it got scary when an A train operator headed uptown on a downtown track.
So for your sanity and the sake of your three-day holiday, here's the Labor Day weekend subway schedule:
The A train will run as an express until it hits the section that actually makes "express" worth it. The uptown trains will be on the downtown track and the downtown trains will be on the uptown track.
The A will run local at slow speeds, and you'll be stuck with awful break dancers for at least 10 minutes.
The A will run express again but on the Q track, which you'll know about some 15 seconds after the train doors close. The train will make three quick stops at stations you don't recognize. You'll end up in Queens.
The F train will run on the M line and the M will run on the Brooklyn-bound L line. You'll end up in Queens.
The 1 train won't run north of 168th Street. It will make all local stops between the uptown and downtown tracks. There will be a shuttle bus, but it will run on the E line. You'll still end up in Queens.
The 9 train will magically reappear when you least expect. It will take you to 1997. In Queens.
You'll experience delays on the 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, B, C, D, E, F, J, L, N, Q, R, and Z. All will terminate in Queens.
And the G train won't be running -- but if it does, it'll be Queens-bound service only.
Happy Labor Day weekend -- and enjoy Queens!
Rachel Figueroa-Levin tweets as @Jewyorican and @ElBloombito.