While waiting for a train at Penn Station, you have three options, none of them particularly good. 1) The Main Ticketing Area/Waiting Room: an over-crowded cesspool of couples/families fighting, cops walking around, people begging for change, meatheads drinking large, domestic beers out of cans and kindly giving a preview of how obnoxious they’ll be on the ride itself.
2) The middle area in front of K-Mart: where people seeking to avoid the drawbacks of option #1 instead become part of the problem, blocking traffic along the concourse and threatening to trample the clueless passengers who are simply looking to see what track their train is departing from.
3) The rear area next to the Florist and the Auntie Anne’s: It’s by far the least crowded, but the ancient CRT screens are slow to update with track information and you’re forced to suffer the almost-eternally present croonings of that tuneless, tone-deaf karaoke guy who thinks he’s Sammy Davis jr.
The abject awfulness of these 3 options is compounded by the realization that you are traveling back to Long Island of all places. Sigh.