The G Train is the Worst Train

The other night I went to visit my friend Stephanie in Brooklyn. After going out to eat at the trendy Thai restaurant “SEA” (I’m told it was used as a location for the movie “Garden State”… woo woo) we walked over to a bar called Lulu’s for some $1 Pabst. Around 11:00 I decided I should start heading back to Manhattan.
“Oh, just take the G train,” Stephanie told me. “It’s really close to where we are.”
“How convenient!” I thought, foolishly.

As it turned out, taking the G train was the worst mistake of my entire wretched life, and I mean that completely literally. Firstly, I had to wait for 40 minutes for the subway just to arrive. In subway-waiting time, that is equivalent to seven years. What is a person supposed to do while standing around in a deserted Brooklyn subway station for forty minutes? There’s only so long a human being can stare at the poster for “You, Me, and Dupree” before said human goes completely insane. Now I understand why so many vandals had feverishly blacked out Owen Wilson’s teeth with magic markers. His grin drives one mad.

Secondly, once finally boarding the subway, it took me totally the wrong direction. Sure, some might argue that this was not technically the train’s fault, but rather mine for failing to look at the map and/or have any sense of direction, but after 40 minutes I placed full responsibility on the train. Maybe if it had had one of those cute and helpful little light-up signs which tell you which stop is coming up next I would have forgiven it. But this dastardly G train had no such accouterments. It was all business. And that business was pain.

Anyway, I don’t know if anyone else out there has had similar experiences with the G, but if so, I feel for you. Deeply. And if not, let this be a warning to you: The G train is no good. You’re better off walking.

33 Comments so far

  1. arZan (unregistered) on July 14th, 2006 @ 10:42 pm

    typical reaction of a spoilt manhattanite.

    i’ve lived on the G train for 8 years and dont have problems.

    Your friends could have advised u better. U could take other trains that are close to G. U dont say where u boarded from, but u can get the A or C a few blocks away in Clinton Hill or the J M Z in Williamsburg as also the L.

  2. ~dana (unregistered) on July 15th, 2006 @ 10:42 am

    i’m not sure where in Manhattan you were trying to get back to, but the G sounds like the wrong advice from your friend. The L probably would have made a lot more sense. Not that the L is anything to write home about, but it’s a damn sight better than the G.

  3. Anna (unregistered) on July 15th, 2006 @ 11:19 am

    Arzan, certainly your length of experience with the G train entitles you to an expert opinion, but you can’t reasonably claim that the G train is a 100% reliable train. When it runs, it runs, but sometimes you do have to wait 40 minutes, and remember when it runs in sections? Then you’re truly better off walking. Sometimes the G is just fine but sometimes it’s a bitch.

  4. Dan Baxter (unregistered) on July 16th, 2006 @ 8:52 pm

    Isn’t the G train the only train in the entire subway system that doesn’t go into Manhattan?

  5. Chris (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 5:36 pm

    As someone who once lived on the G train, I feel your pain.

    When I moved to Brooklyn, an 80-year-old lady at my office, who had lived in Manhattan her entire life, asked me what subway I took into work. I told her, “the G to the V.”

    She replied, “the G train? There’s a G train? I think you’re mistaken. I’ve never heard of a G train.”

  6. liz (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 5:38 pm

    life must be so hard for you.

  7. CancelMoose (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 5:40 pm

    Give me a freakin’break. If this is your usual whining, no wonder your friend to you to take the G.

  8. Karyn (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 5:42 pm

    Take a cab next time.

  9. J-ME (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 5:43 pm

    So you headed into a neighborhood (nay, a borough) that you didn’t know your way around and get mad when you get lost. Oh noez! Do a little research into where you’re headed before you complain that you took the train in the wrong direction. The subway map’s not so hard to read, especially when you have 40 minutes to look over it.

    Also, SEA is far from trendy. That place was cool five years ago when it wasn’t overrun with guidos and bridge-n-tunnel folk.

  10. LaLa (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 5:50 pm

    Boo hoo. Stay in freaking Manhattan. Better yet, go back to Kansas.

  11. Amanda (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 5:54 pm

    the G train is the tequila of the new york subway system, everyone has a story marking it as the “worst mistake” of their life

  12. incaviglia pete (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 6:08 pm

    very interesting metroblog…i hate waiting for the train too. I also hate waiting at red lights, waiting in line (or on line), waiting for my tax return, waiting for summer, waiting for dinner, waiting for a drink, waiting for laundry, waiting for taxis, waiting for dentist appointments, waiting for haircuts, waiting for cuts to heal, waiting for refills. I guess you could say I hate waiting. what a surprise.

  13. Dan (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 6:13 pm

    There’s only one kind of waiting I love, and that’s the movie “Waiting” starring Ryan Reynolds. Man, that movie was incredible.

  14. Mike (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 6:26 pm

    I’ve heard lots of complaints about the g train – but for some reason this one seems particularly sad. Then I saw that your last name was Mirk and it seemed to make sense. This episode sounds strangely appropriate for a guy named Mirk. In fact, I suggest that from now on, when someone takes the train in the wrong direction, the mistake should be called a “mirk” or “mirking.” Like, “Oh shit, I’m supposed to be in mid-town — what am I doing in Coney Island… uh oh, l mirked.”
    Good luck…

  15. Dee (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 6:36 pm

    Advice from a native New Yorker: Don’t take train advice from people like your friend Stephanie, who is obviously NOT a New Yorker. (I get the feeling you aren’t either, and there’s nothing wrong with that.) Now is probably a good time to bring you up to speed on the following:


    It travels only through Brooklyn and Queens. A subway map contains this and all other relevent MTA information.

    LOT AND LOTS AND LOTS of luck to you in future travels.

  16. rachel (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 9:25 pm

    i’ve lived in brooklyn my whole life. i think the trains do come less frequently: that’s why most people who live in brooklyn carry something to read on the train. of course, judging by your inability to read a map, a book would probably be lost on you.

  17. c (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 12:02 am

    “Anyway, I don’t know if anyone else out there has had similar experiences with the G…”
    yes. so much so that the Times published an article about the G train and its numerous idiosyncrasies last december. but again, with the reading…

  18. Jebus Christ (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 12:25 am

    Oh, poor midwesterner-turned-fashion student/actor/songwritter/p.r.-person… were just here looking for big city dreams? The reason the trains are so slow is becauset there are so many corn-fed midwesterners stumbling around trying to figure out how to get back to their $2200 a month loft space in the east village.

    You obviously just fell off the back of the watermelon truck, if you were excited to go to williamsburg, to sea, to then drink one dollar pbr….what the hell? Did you pick out your finest mesh-hat for the evening too?

    Please go back to where you came from.

  19. angie (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 7:57 am

    Interesting. What effect does the diet of riders have on the efficiency of subway service? If Midwesterners ate, say, sushi, would the trains arrive faster? Or is it only sushi-eating city folk who speed the progress of trains? I’d like to see a study of this, preferrably divided into groups of stumblers and non-stumblers to determine whether walking with a purposeful stride encourages speedy train service.

  20. euge (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 8:23 am

    you’re obviously not a native new yorker. putz.

  21. Dan (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 9:19 am

    Jebus: Not sure I understand your comment… Are you mad at me because you percieve me to be a rich yuppie (“$2200 a month loft space in the east village”) or because you precieve me to be a yokel (“fell off the back of the watermellon truck”) or is it because you precieve me to be an asshole who had the nerve to try and write a self-depricating story about how I accidentally took the wrong train? And yes, I was certianly wearing my finest mesh hat that evening. I was also carrying an old-timey jug marked “XXX” and wearing a wooden barrel with rope straps for suspenders.

    Mike: YES! I would LOVE it if my last name were to become a synonym for screwing up. This would be the finest honor I can concieve of. Please, I highly encourage you to start using “Mirk” in everday conversation as frequently as possible. My greatest pleasure will come the day I see a homeless man on the street holding a carboard sign which reads, “Mirked up bad. Anything helpz.” …I can dream, can’t I?

  22. Courtney (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 10:12 am

    I’m confused…. WHY would you take the G train to get back to Manhattan?? I mean – yeah the train sucks – I live in LIC/Astoria and I used to live in Williamsburg(I’m on the border) and the G is terrible for late nights. But this story was entirely your fault. You didn’t pay attention to which direction you were heading and it wouldn’t have mattered either way since neither direction is manhattan! I’m not a native but I don’t blame the trains for my mistakes. I just walk softly and carry an NFT (it’s a guide book that you should probably look over). Lots of luck next time.

  23. Joe (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 11:38 am

    Most trains run less frequently after 10PM. A 40 minute wait is to be expected.

    Consider yourself lucky that you get to live in Manhattan, a lot of natives have been pushed out by newcomers like you.

  24. gkuhhh (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 11:53 am

    I have to agree with the above posters. The G train is absolutely famous for not going anywhere near Manhattan – Bed-Stuy? Why not. Queens? Eh. But Manhattan? Wuhh?!

  25. T (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 12:29 pm

    Sorry, dude, but both u & ur fr’nd Stephanie are the biggest ‘NY’ morons I’ve ever heard of—exactly how & where did ur friend recommend taking the G train to the city?? Admirable feat it might’ve been, considering this is the only line in the NY Subway system that goes nowhere NEAR Manhattan, in fact, it’s quite well-known for that. Whatsmore, if you were at SEA, you were about 3 blocks from the L train, a train that actually goes 2 Manhattan, only one stop away.

    Next time look at a subway map, u idiot, that’s what they’re for — (whine, no cute little light-up signs to tell me next stop!!) Even a non-native NYer like u could’ve figured it out. altho they can b tricky 2 read when u’re piss-drunk, no?

  26. buzz (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 12:53 pm

    yes, this mirk fellow has posted a rather lame rant that paints him as a cloistered, illiterate boob. i agree. but let’s not jump to conclusions, folks — i happen to be from the midwest and yet i take the G all the time (to Target, no less!) without incident.

    this guy’s clearly southern.

  27. Em (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 2:07 pm

    anyone with any remote sense of life and transportation in brooklyn knows that the G train is notoriously the most unreliable train of the NYC subway system. anyone who does not realize this, on top of the fact that trains always run slower at nighttime, is obviously new to this dear city, in which case, you live and learn and don’t complain. as a native brooklynite i have spent the last 23 years of my life waiting for a train. deal with it. and if you don’t want to wait at nighttime just take a cab. dinner at sea, $1 pabsts, and you live in manhattan? you should be well equipped, i might presume, to afford yourself a ride home on a night as such.

  28. mr boogs (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 2:45 pm

    Well consider yourself lucky. Your blog may have ended slightly differently had this happened 10 or 15 years ago “…and then before I could hand him my wallet he thrust the knife into my abdomen and left me a bloody lump on the G train floor as the rest of the group took turns kicking me before making their getwaway…”

    If your worst experience in NYC is waiting 40 minutes for a train then you really haven’t had a bad experience yet. Save your whinning for when you get hit by the G train or something equaly as unpleasant.

  29. alex (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 3:10 pm

    …”and then as I lay dieing on the floor of the G Train I glanced up at the subway map. The last thing I saw before fading to black was a lime-green line that didn’t go anywhere near Manhattan…aawww G…”

  30. Clinton Hill Thrills (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 3:10 pm

    Well I live on the G-line, take it almost every day, and have come to the conclusion that ANYTIME you are out drinking (in any borough) and it’s late at night, take a cab or car service. It is just quicker, more convenient, and less stressful than waiting.

    I, too, also carry a book or magazine, and have my iPod in case I feel the desire to be entertained.

  31. ~dana (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 3:17 pm

    Wow, Gawker loves us! Where to start here…First off, he said he hanging at Lulu’s (not Sea) when he started to make his way home, so he was quite a hike from the L and very close to the G. Plus he didn’t say where in Manhattan he was going to. If it were somewhere in mid/uptown, say off the E, 7, R or V, he would have seen a map saying he could take the G up a few stops and transfer. So it might have made sense to try the G, without knowing that it is indeed one of the worst lines. As far as getting on the wrong direction, well he could have taken it down to Lorimer and transferred to the L. But then again, I’m using logic here and not a blind hatred of people that don’t know the subway maps by heart…

  32. Stephanie (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 8:22 pm

    Look at the above commenter. He would have had to walk over a mile to get to the L. I told him to use the G and transfer to the L. I’ve done it a million times before. I didn’t even post the damn thing and you guys are insulting me. Apparently, I should thank god I’m a Californian because you people are assholes who get mad at people who get lost.

  33. Frankie Dirtbag (unregistered) on July 24th, 2006 @ 4:08 pm

    hahaha! Wow, poor guy cant get a break. Had to drink Pabst, waited forever for the wrong train and gets his balls busted for it. NY’ers are such assholes. I love it!

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