2005_12_transithacks1.jpg We were walking downtown to the office today when one of those big red tourist buses nearly ran us over (as usual!) Just as we were about to begin screaming obscenities, it hit us: the Gray Line has tons of buses, and they are running all over the city right now! For instance, their classic tour costs $50 for two days of hop-on hop-off privileges, and the buses complete a three-hour loop around the city. Might be a realistic option for those of you who live conveniently near a major tourist attraction. Bonus: you'll get to meet some nice people from outside New York!

Our tourist bus epiphany is probably one of literally dozens of clever ways to get around this week. Screw the MTA and the TWU-- we don't need their sticking trains and buses! Some suggestions, with updates throughout the day.

1. PATH Train Hack: if you live and work on the West Side, the PATH trains are a good option-- hop on at WTC or Christopher Street, and take it up to 34th Street.

2. LIRR Hack: if you live near Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, or Jamaica in Queens, getting to Penn Station should be fairly simple-- that is, if you don't get trampled by the crowds once you are there.

3. MetroNorth Hack: good for getting from 125th Street to Grand Central, or vice-versa-- and convenient from Marble Hill or the South Bronx to Grand Central as well.

2005_12_transtrikemini.jpg3. Skateboard/Scooter/Bike/Blades/Etc hack-- too obvious to really be a hack, but a word of advice: use the Manhattan Bridge (less pedestrians than the Brooklyn Bridge).

4. LifeHacker Hack: "Here’s a little thing I came up with today before walking to work on account of the NYC transit strike. I call it the Instant Carpool. It involves taping a sign stating your destination on the back, and hopefully someone going your way notices. It worked going in to work, and although I didn’t get a ride coming home, it was a great conversation starter. I made two new friends who were going my way and had company for the majority of my walk."

5. Horse-and-Buggy Hack: for $50 or so, it's probably the quickest way from 59th Street and 5th Avenue to the Upper West Side or beyond!

6. Doug Gordan Hack for walking Brooklyn Bridge: "have George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" loaded into my iPod. (You may know it as the song that opens Woody Allen's "Manhattan" or from its use in an American Airlines commercial.) If you are walking from Brooklyn, start the song when you are about fifty feet up the walkway from where you can enter at Tillary Street. The song is just over 16 minutes long and if you walk briskly enough you can make it past the bridge's second tower on the Manhattan side and then a little way down the walkway towards City Hall before it ends. It's the perfect remedy to the transit strike blues and brightened my day."

Any other suggestions?