The trip in on Sunday was an adventure. My understanding is that the cab fare for Newark Int’l, across Manhattan, into Brooklyn is about $100. That is pretty much a week worth of accommodation at the sort of hostels I’ve liked in the past. Pass.
This means it’s subway time. Well, Amtrak commuter train, subway, walk, subway, get lost, get more lost, use my brutal $5/mb TELUS roaming, subway, walk. The system is big, but very logical so it’s a bit embarrassing that I got so lost.
It was actually a good experience and I only had about 50 lbs. of gear with my day pack and 55L backpack. But NYC is hot. The whole trip was 20 km as the crow flies but I finally completed it 3.5 hours later. My shirt got hung up in the shower later it was so gross from sweating in the muggy 25 Celsius heat.
I was very impressed with how friendly and polite the New Yorkers were. A guy on subway saw me lugging my bag and decided to give a bunch of advice on the sites. People on the sidewalk say sorry when they bump into you. They are even patient with the throngs of stunned tourists, all wearing garbage bags due to a light drizzle, who swarm out of double decker busses onto already crowded sidewalks during rush hour. People jumped out of subway seats for elderly folks or pregnant women. They were a very impressive bunch.
I was lucky to see quite a bit:
The top of the Empire State Building at night.
Times Square at night.
Subway shows: poetry, hip hop, breakdancing.
World Trade Centre One – the awesome new 1776 ft. (symbolic) glass skyscraper and tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange (not inside, unfortunately).
The iconic Charging Bull.
Cops eating donuts.
Rockefeller Plaza – straight out of 30 Rock
Walked the Brooklyn Bridge. Ate NYC pizza underneath when it rained.
Ground Zero and the new memorials.
Tom’s Restaurant of Seinfeld fame! I had greasy fish and chips. Not sure what George would have recommended.
Colombia University. Amazing campus but deceptively small. The surrounding area of North Manhattan/Harlem was remarkably dynamic and cool.
Grand Central Terminal. Amazing architecture that’s 100 years old now.
The United Nations. They let us walk through (at the back) of a meeting of the Economic and Social Council. This is looking out at the Chrysler Building. Flags in the foreground.
What I missed was a few key things, but that sets up another trip. It would have been a blast to make it to Coney Island a show at the Apollo Theatre or the slew of museums.
All in all, it was a great stop. I had roughly 59 kilometers over a dozen subway trips and walked about ~31km from Brooklyn all over Manhattan. The crazy thing is that could have been a long weekend trip. I’d highly recommend that actually.
Anyway, off to Scotland. Flying to Edinburgh and then turning north!