The 7 train now terminates at 34 St-Hudson Yards, one block from the Javits Center.

This being New York City, it’s going to be crowded with people going to New York Comic Con.

So… how to beat the hordes of humanity, your fellow fans, and the stray tourist headed for the High Line?

PREWALKING!  

What is prewalking? From the Urban Dictionary:

prewalk

Verb. When using a subway system, to prewalk is to use the time while waiting for a train to walk to the spot on the platform where you will board the train so that when you get off the train at another station, you will be at a desired location on the platform, e.g. stairs, turnstile, or corridor to another train.

Noun. The walk required to get to a desired spot on a subway platform as described above.

Seasoned New Yorkers do this everyday. They know which door on which car to enter on a subway train so that when the train gets to their stop, the doors will open right next to the staircase, allowing one to move quickly up the stairs ahead of the tourists and other lollygaggers.

Here’s how you do it at 34th St-Hudson Yards:

There are two banks of escalators in the station, and one two exits. (The northern exit just opened in September, THREE years after the station opened. I’ve updated this post after visiting the station on Thursday morning. This station exits at 35th and Hudson Boulevard East. As you can see, it’s two blocks to the main entrance at Javits.)

The southernmost bank has one escalator that goes up, and a funicular (inclined) elevator which takes forever. (Seriously, don’t use this unless you’re physically challenged, experience vertigo, or are lugging something big.)  The other, middle bank has escalators going both ways. Both lead to the same turnstiles.

(This is a R142 car manufactured by Bombardier. The 7 uses R188’s, but the design is similar.)

The train will be 11 cars long. You only need to be concerned about six cars.

Specifically, cars 1, 2, and 5, 7, 10 and 11. Ignore the rest.

My preference is the FIRST TENTH car. I usually transfer from the A to the 7 at Times Square, and the stairs place me at the west end of the platform, near the front of the train. Most tourists and passengers won’t wander this far, so the platform will be less crowded, and maybe even the subway car itself is bereft of humanity. If it isn’t, don’t worry, you’re one stop away, about five minutes. And you’ll be standing near the door, so you’ll be one of the first ones off! (Keep an eye open… the train might switch tracks as it enters the station. When you notice this, move across to the other door, ahead of all the other daydreamers.)

On the first car, you want to be at the front two doors. The third’s okay, but you’ll be stuck with a lot of other people exiting the car. From the first two doorways, you’ll be right by an almost-secret staircase that leads up to the funicular elevator and escalator.  Start walking slowly up the escalator (take your time, it’s a climb) and then exit through the turnstiles.

On the second car, all three doors are good. You’ll have to turn towards a large staircase up to the mezzanine, and this will lead you to the main bank of escalators up to the turnstiles.

The third and fourth cars will leave you squeezed inbetween lots of people. On the fifth car, you want to be near the first door. This places you at the other end of the same large staircase which leads to the main escalator bank.

If you need to use an elevator, use the sixth car. You’ll then have to walk south on the mezzanine to the other end of the station, where the funicular elevator is located. Check your phone for messages while waiting for it to travel diagonally.

The best placement are on the tenth and eleventh cars. On the tenth, use the front and middle doors. On the eleventh, the front and middle are good, but so is the back. Of course, while you’re waiting for the train, you’ll be at the back end of the platform, away from most passengers, and a less-crowded train car. Like the other end of the platform at Hudson Yards, there is a secret, singular staircase that runs to the mezzanine, but it’ll be further away from the escalators.  Otherwise, use the grand staircase to the mezzanine, where you’ll be immediately and ideally situated at the escalators which lead up to the 35th Street exit. Once on the street, you’re two blocks away from the front door of the Javits Center. (Of course, you’ll need to follow directions from the ReedPop staff to the correct entrance.)

Once outside, I recommend crossing 34th Street immediately, and walk north through the park on the way to the NYCC entrance. Like prewalking, this allows you to bypass the logjam of people walking along Eleventh Avenue, getting you quickly to the logjam of people trying to tap into New York Comic Con.

Here are the official instructions from ReedPop and New York Comic Con. Follow the instructions of any and all NYCC staff and volunteers directing traffic, especially in the early morning.

Here’s the entrance map (from 2011):


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