While we all know that technically the G is on time more often than any other train line, “technically” means very little when it’s 1 a.m. and you’re helplessly watching the back of a train as it pulls away. Because you know that once that train is gone, you will wait. And wait. And wait. You’ll knit a scarf. You’ll revise your will. Grow a knee-length beard, learn a second language, undergo numerous religious conversions, and still, the next damn G train will not arrive.
Like many of us, Audrey Stanfield has spent the last year living off the G train, a year filled with loathing and “deep-rooted hatred,” she says. The 26-year-old actress co-hosts a weekly show at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and makes videos that have appeared on Funny or Die and the Huffington Post. But mostly, this past year, she’s waited for the G.
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“I moved yesterday from an apartment right around the corner from the Flushing Avenue stop in Bed Stuy – I was there for a year and I can’t recall how many times I had to frantically call into work or notify a friend I was going to be drastically late for something because I barely missed one G train,” she tells us. “The stupid thing has become such a cliche that I feel like people have accepted their fate by now: if you’re taking the G, you aren’t getting anywhere quickly.”
And that’s why Stanfield made “New Yorkers Barely Missing the G Train,” a three-minute video which captures a little bit of our G-based anguish. The soundtrack is by the band Enigma; when experimenting with different musical pairings, Stanfield found that some of them made her too angry: “I tried pairing it with Rage Against the Machine at first and the whole thing made me want to throw my computer out the window.”
Even while she’s devoting YouTube odes to the little green train that couldn’t, there are a few upsides to the G being such a well-known pain in the ass, Stanfield says. “Employers have never once doubted my reason for being late – as long as the G train was the cause of it.”
Her worst wait, she says, happened one night around 9: “I waited 55 minutes and I think I read half a book and eventually took a cab. For New Yorkers having so many places to be at all times of the day – it amazes me that this train can be passed off for a viable mode of transportation. It’s like that kid trying to get out of having to do schoolwork. There’s always some excuse for it being completely inept and we New Yorkers just shake our heads, talk about how shitty it is in a bar later, and carry on with our lives.”
The effects of the G on Stanfield’s life can’t be understated, she says: “I’ve walked out of the G train crying, laughing and screaming. It’s provoked more emotion out of me than most emotional breakups, severe illnesses, and life-changing events in my life. So in a way, I guess it’s impressive? The level of it’s incompetence, that is.”
Indeed. Here’s the full video: