They Can Be Happy Underground: East Villager Proposes On F Train

A couple of weeks ago Amman Badlani, an East Village resident and reader of The Local, let us in on a secret. He was planning to propose to his girlfriend of over three and a half years, and he was planning to do it on the F train. We’ll let the young romantic explain why exactly he busted out a Victorian ring from 1900 (“just as old as the building we live in, coincidentally,” he told us) while deep in the bowels of the earth Sunday. When you’re done reading, have a look at our video of the big moment.

Monique and I met on August 14, 2009 – I know the exact date because I had gone to see Animal Collective play at the Prospect Park bandshell that evening. She was at the Tribeca Grand and somehow we both ended up on the F train afterwards. I had been in NYC for about eight months up to that point and hadn’t taken the F train too many times.

So I was heading back into the city, and I missed my stop at Second Avenue. Realizing that right as the doors were closing, I looked to the left to ask the person next to me a few feet away what stop we were coming up to next — and that person happened to be Monique. She told me West Fourth was the next stop, and I stood up to look at the subway map and figured I could just get out at 14th and Sixth off of the F and take the L over to my place (my apartment was off of First Avenue).

So she happened to get out at 14th and Sixth as well, and noticed she was also walking towards the L. So we were kinda walking together, and I thanked her for responding earlier and asked her how her evening was going. We talked for a bit as we walked down to the L platform. As we were waiting, the train was taking a while, so I asked where she was going, and she said Greenpoint. So I said, “Perhaps we should just take a cab together and I get out at First Avenue and you keep going.” She thought, “Who is this guy I just met — should I really be taking a cab with him?” So we stood on the platform a bit longer, talking, and it looked like the train was stuck on the tracks and wasn’t moving in our direction. So after waiting a few more minutes we decided we would cab it together.

So we got in a car at 14th and Sixth, and as we were headed to First Avenue, I thought to myself, “This girl is so pretty and interesting, but I only have five avenues to get her contact information.” So we had a nice conversation and then as I was getting out I asked if we could keep in touch. She agreed, so we exchanged numbers. And we ended up texting each other over the next couple of hours that evening.

So then over the next month, we tried to meet up but our schedules were so different it was really tough. And one Saturday night, I texted her to see where she was, and was actually close by but it didn’t work out for whatever reason. So then the next week I would text her but she had stopped responding.

So I was hanging out with a friend of mine, Christine, and I told her the situation and how I really like this girl but we can’t seem to find a time to meet and now she’s not responding anymore. So I asked Christine, “What do you think? What should I do?” And Christine, being old-fashioned as she is, said, “She probably thinks you stood her up by not going to where she was!” And I was like, really? So she recommended I call and apologize as soon as possible.

So I called Monique and left her a message saying, “Sorry if you feel I stood you up, and I’d love to meet you this weekend if you’re around.” Monique got the message and apparently thought it was really strange I was apologizing — she didn’t think I stood her up. But she called me back and said, “Sure, let’s meet the next day. So that was Friday, Sept. 4, 2009. And we ended up having a 12-hour date: we went from Loreley in LES for currywurst to New Museum to see some exhibits to The Porch on Avenue C (now closed) to International Bar on First Avenue to a friend’s rooftop party on St. Marks.

We had such a good time that day / night that we’ve been together ever since.

And now she’s agreed to marry me — pretty exciting!

Congrats, kids.