Would You Rather?

Which brand of commuter torture is worse: long walk or long subway ride?

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Whether it's the yawning slush puddles or the MTA's cold-weather service changes, the winter commute is a form of misery unlike any other. But not everyone agrees on which aspect is the worst. We asked five New Yorkers to choose between the lesser of two evils: living 10 blocks from the nearest subway or an hour away from the job.

Work's hard; play's harder: "I have a 45-minute commute now, but I’ve gotten used to it. It’s a hassle, I’m not going to lie. But on most days I do get a seat all the way downtown, and then it’s really not so bad. I get to read the news or a book, at least. But when I go out on weekends, I can’t imagine being that far from the subway. I’d be taking cabs everywhere and it would get really expensive, fast. I mean, I’m not staggering home 10 blocks from the subway at 3am!" - Brian, Hamilton Heights

Early bird catches the bus: "I am not a morning person. And truthfully, I’m not that much of a subway person. I’m so happy all I have to do is take one crosstown bus to the east side to get to work. I don’t have to deal with the dirty, grimy subway, which is boiling hot in the summer. On the weekends, I have more time. I can sleep in, take my time getting ready to go out with friends or visit them in other boroughs using the subway. I wouldn’t mind a more leisurely walk to the subway then. There’s no rush on the weekends, so I wouldn’t mind being that far from the subway. But I don’t know how I’d get through the work week with an hour commute on less sleep." - Vanessa, Upper West Side

Walk this way: "I live in Morningside and work in Chelsea so the ride is pretty quick, less than 30 minutes door to door, unless there’s delays due to 'train traffic ahead of us' or 'an earlier incident.' I don’t think I could take a longer commute to work every morning for five days out of the week. And on the weekends, I don’t often venture out anyway. I have everything I need within walking distance, including great restaurants and good friends. So if I did have to walk to the subway for a bit, that’s okay.  Walking is good for you! - Rayna, Morningside Heights

Greenwich "me" time: I would choose the longer commute to work. I did already actually. My commute is an hour already anyway … to Connecticut! I drive out every day. Before that, I was commuting a half hour to work. Thank God I like my job and don’t mind the hour-long drive too much, although it’s tough in the winter! But because I have to leave the city everyday during the week, I miss it like crazy by the time the weekend comes along. - Martin, Harlem

The ultimate home office: I moved to Manhattan to be closer to my job. In fact, I moved twice. I moved to Harlem first, which reduced my commute to 45 minutes. Not good enough. Now I’m within walking distance to my job. It gives me an hour and half at least more sleep. I’m having breakfast now, I think I’m better groomed. And I even managed a quick workout before work once. But really only once. If my job decided to open up a floor for residential use, I’d be the first one lining up for a lease. - Vlad, Battery Park


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