“No mistakes, only Happy Accidents.” (Bob Ross)
Yes, a Bob Ross quote which I wish could make me relax whenever I make a mistake with work projects. But in the mid-90’s, while working as a private messenger for a Wall Street bank as a summer job, a mindless mistake made for a happy NYC discovery.
We carried a bag full of material which we were not supposed to know what’s inside (value/amount, etc). The rule was you can’t be late. I was cutting it close and it was peak of the lunch hour in NYC, which means everybody is out on the street, making it hard to hail a cab or get on a bus. What was available, and empty during that time, was the subway.
In the downtown location, the City Hall/Brooklyn Bridge subway station was near and I sprinted down the stairwell entrance, while looking at my wrist watch. I saw an uptown 6 train standing with the doors open and rushed into the surprisingly empty train. I kept on “clock-watching” when the doors finally closed and the train went the wrong direction into the tunnel, thinking that the outer borough of Brooklyn was the next stop. But looking out of the dark subway car window, a faint glow turned into a dimly lit surprise as brightly reflected colors from decorative mosaic tile came about. And I knew what this was – the old and abandoned, City Hall subway station! The train eventually went to the uptown direction I needed it to go, as unbeknownst to me (and most, back then) made a return loop underground. Today, this is probably not a ‘hidden NYC’ secret anymore.
Amazing how things happen from a mistake, or by plain accident.