Nash and My Day Trip To Guiding Eyes For the Blind

Last week Nash and I headed up to Guiding Eyes For the Blind. Now I know you are asking yourself what is so significant about this, as Nash and I have been there several times over the past two years. Well, this was the first time that Nash and I headed to GEB all on our own using public transportation. Let me start off by saying, wow was that a hike for us. I didn’t realize how far GEB is from the city, and how complicated it was to get there. We started off leaving my apartment at 640 in the morning, and as soon as we got outside we were greeted with heavy rains. Oh boy this is going to be an event. Lately Nash has been stuggling a little with certain things, or let me rephrase, the two of us have been stuggling a little working together. I have been told that this fairly common after the winter we just had as Nash and I were probably not getting out and working as much as we should be together. It is tough when you are freezing your ass off. Anyway, we headed off to the subway, and for some reason Nash does not like leading me to this cerrtain subway stop because it was the second time in recent memory that he would not go directly to the subway stop when I was telling him to. The frustrating thing was I was dressed to the nines, not sure where that expression comes from or why it would pop into my head at this point. Anyway, we kept turning around and trying to find the subway stop, and I asking him to go to the subway and the stairs, but he wouldn’t, and at this point we were starting to get drenched and just beginning our trip. Amazingly at 640 in the morning the streets of NYC are pretty empty. Finally, a woman stopped and asked if we needed some help, and she helped us get to the subway stairs. This would be the first of several nice people we would encounter on our trip to GEB. We get through the turnstile of the subway station and down both flights of stairs, and as we are waiting for our train, an announcement comes over the loud speakers that due to a train derailment the E train is not running. Great how the hell are we going to get to the East side? As we stood there with me trying to figure out how to get to the East side, they make another announcement to take the NRW due to the outage. Ok, cool I can do that, than it hits me, the NRW does not even come to this stop. So we stand there pondering what to do, and it hits me how in the world is the subway station this empty on a week day. It feels like the opening scene of Vanilla Sky for those of you who didn’t see it, Tom Cruise is dreaming and he comes out on a NYC street which if I recall he may have been in Times Square and it is completely empty. Cool scene, and great movie, but you need to see it at least twice to fully understand it. As I continue to stand there trying to figure out how Nash and I are going to get to the East side, an E train pullls up. Hopefully it is not completely empty or I could be dreaming like Tom Cruise i n Vanilla Sky. I wasn’t dreaming the E train was running. Great job MTA with the announcements. Amazingly later in the day when I got back to the city, they were still making the announcement that the E train wasn’t running due to a train derailment and guess what, it was running. Efficiency at its finest. We took the E train to the east side, and transferred to the 6 train, something I have not done in years. It still amazes me how much more crowded the trains on the east side are, as the six train was completely packed. We had to take two trains to go a total of three train stops to Grand Central Station, as we would be taking MTA Metro North up to Yorktown Heights. Nash and I had to navigate our way around Grand Central. I had no clue where we were going, I just knew and recalled from the days when I could see that in the middle of Grand Central there is a information booth, and knew if Nash and I could get there, than I was sure they would be able to have someone get us down to the train track. For those of you who have never had the fun of taking a train out of Grand Central station, let me tell you how much fun it is for a blind guy. They have a big board of all the trains listed, and about five minutes before they leave they announce what track the train will be leaving out of. Let me rephrase, as they do not announce it which would be helpful for a blind guy, they post it on the board, so if you are blind this doesn’t really help you. Anyway, as soon as Nash and I got into the main corridor of Grand Central, someone came up to us and asked us if we needed help. Yes, can you help us get to the information booth. What a break as we were running behind for our 739 train. The gentleman helped us navigate to the information booth through the rush hour crowd, and I realized that he was a cop. I asked if he could help us get down to the train track, and sure enough he did. Cool, we may be able to catch the originally planned train. We got down to the track and the train was still loading up, or rather I should say sitting there, as there were not really a lot of people getting on the train as most of the traffic at this hour was coming into Grand Central and not out of. The officer got us on the train, and I thanked him and Nash and I were on our way to Yorktown Heights. I absolutely love taveling by train and I think Nash does too, as from what I could tell he spent a good part of the train ride looking out the window. I do have to give props to the MTA Metro North, as not only do they discount disabled tickets, they do not charge you extra for purchasing the ticket on the train. As Nash spent the train ride looking out the window, I was able to pick up a WiFi signal so I was able to check emails, listen to ESPN radio, and read some of my RSS feeds on the train ride. You would not believe how fast the train ride went by, as the Iphone lets you do so much while on the train. Nash and I got off the train in Yorktown Heights, and not one other single person got off the train. One of the conductors yelled out to me the stairs were to the right, as the train left. Oh did I forget to mention that it was still raining, so now Nash and I were getting drenched for a second time before we even got to our location. This part of our day was a little scary as we were on a fairly narrow train play form, and Nash was having a little difficult of a time figuring out how to get us off it. I kept telling him to go the stairs when I should have been telling him to go to the door, as there were no stairs to go to. After about ten minutes of being real careful on the platform Nash and I finally made it to the door. We walked through the door, and ended up at a second door and walked through, and oh shit, we were back outside and on the platform, so I turned around and headed back inside figuring we missed something, and nope we went back through both doors and were outside on the platform again. Things were starting to get pretty frustrating. Then it hit me, this wasn’t the entrance into the train station it was a indoor waiting area for trains. Oh boy, more navigating of the platform. We made it a little further down the platform and hit another door, and finally got inside the train station. Relief. A woman came up to us immediately, and asked if we needed some help.  Wow, it wasn’t even 9am yet and we had encountered three nice and helpful people this day. The woman assisted Nash and me down to the cab stand, and se even waited with us. As we were waiting, and at least there was an over hand as yes, it was still raining, she told me that her mother was blind. The cab pulled up and the woman knew the cab driver, as it seems like everyone up in Yorktown knows each other. Nash and I got into the cab, and what a nice change it was to get into a cab where the cab driver didn’t say something like no dogs like they do in the city a lot. The city cab drivers still have a long way to go, as a lot of times when I am with a sighted person they are telling how many cabs are driving past us that are available and not even stopping for us because they see the dog. I told the cab driver 611 Granite Springs Road, and he didn’t know the address but as soon as I said Guiding Eyes For the Blind, he said with enjoyment of the doggie place. He then said to me the woman who was waiting with you Mother was blind, and I said yeah, she told me, and then he said, what a trajedy. I asked what, and he began to tell me that her Mom fell on to the train track and was killled by a train. Oh God, I did not need to hear that. On the very same platform Nash and I wer ejust on. I couldn’t believe how long the cab ride was from the train station to GEB, as I thought GEB was pretty close to the train station, but it was a thirty dollar cab ride, and about 25 minutes. Nash and I made the turn in to GEB, and Nash who was laying down in the back of the cab popped up and started wagging his tail. He knew where we were, and he was excited to be back. As I headed into GEB we ran in to Miranda who just happened to be popping in, she was the head trainer for our class, we sat and had a cup of coffee and got caught up as we had not seen each other since I had left GEB. In fact, she did recall that she even took Nash and me back to the city, and worked us around my neighborhood a little. Wow, that seemed like a long time ago. While at GEB I got Nash’s nails clipped, and funny as we were in the jennel and a bunch of other dogs were barking, Nash remained quite like he always does. I guess you can take the dog out of Guiding Eyes For the Blind, but you can’t take the Guiding Eyes For the Blind out of the dog. Lucky us.

4 Responses to “Nash and My Day Trip To Guiding Eyes For the Blind”

  1. Barbara Fischler Says:

    What an incredible journey. You are very brave and Nash is an amazing leader…..most of the time. I wonder what he has against that subway station???

  2. Barbara Fischler Says:

    the easiest?????

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