When I was a teenager I took a summer job in a factory in Long Island City, Queens, New York. The factory was a “simple” bus and subway ride from my home in Bayside, Queens. Rain or shine, working men in my neighborhood used the public transportation system to trek to their place of employment. In fact, my dad took a bus and two trains to commute to the World Trade Center for decades. But New York was experiencing record heat waves that summer and, after three weeks of sweaty, crowded commutes to that factory, I sought advice from my mom. I asked: “Is there a job I can get when I grow up that doesn’t involve commuting?” What a setup! She pounced at the opportunity. “So, Seth Flam, you’ll be a doctor.”
My path was forged … or was it?