I can remember traveling to New York with my family during my pre-teens. We would pack up the minivan and my dad would drive twenty hours to Brooklyn where my Grandmother lived. Its been years since I’ve been to New York, but I knew in my heart I didn’t want to drive.
How Did I Wind Up in New York?
I was originally invited as a speaker for a Christian Youth Conference at a church in New York. I was thrilled at the invitation and I quickly accepted. In the months between my initial invitation, and my actual arrival, I learned that the conference was cancelled. I was stilled invited to participate in the program, and I wanted to see my family in Long Island. I also had a relative become ill weeks before out arrival in New York, (yet another reason to come)
How Did I Get Here?
I travelled by train. The car was simply not an option, the plane was too pricey for me, and the bus was not something I was interest in. I was accompanied by my two sons and my mom. I am thankful to have had another adult to accompany me with the boys. She was definitely a Godsend.
How Was the Train?
The train was nice and comfortable for the most part. It was absolutely hard to sleep due to not being able to fully recline the seat, but I appreciated being able to walk around and not be confined to a seat the entire duration of the trip. I also appreciated not having to deal with traffic or toll bridges.
The food on the train was pricey. (Six bucks for a “cheeseburger” that was microwavable.) The selection was limited, the alcoholic beverages we greatly overpriced, and I’m glad I made the decision to pack sandwhiches and snacks for the 23 hour trip.
Arriving in New York City:
We arrived in New York City twenty minutes early. We entered the city via PENN STATION. It was instant culture shock for me. The amount of people was unreal. It was like an anthill with ants going in all different directions, all concerned about their individual tasks. I felt very small, and very lost.
It was absolutely exhausting to tackle PENN STATION, and the subway and the visual and auditory stimulation of New York with all that doggone luggage! For the first time I learned that Tres (my six year old sweetheart) was terrified of the escalator. My kids seemed to make the adjustment without a whole of problems. I enjoyed watching the neon lights reflect in their inquisitive eyes. I pray that they are making memories that they will have forever.
The City Guide:
My cousin Barbara came to pick us from PENN STATION; She helped us get out Metro Transit cards required to access the train and the bus. Had it not been for her, maneuvering through the subway system, with all that luggage for the first time would have taken and extremely long time.
Where Am I Staying?
Im staying with my Auntie in Long Island. The commute here from PENN STATION consisted of one subway train (The E Train), and a pretty long bus ride (The Q11).
Interesting thing I noted upon my ARRIVAL:
- Locals don’t generally say excuse me. This is one way to tell those who are travelers and those who actually live in New York.
- When people do communicate with eachother it is often quick conversations about how to get somewhere, or make the proper train connection, or how to do something in general. No one seems to converse about the weather, or how your day was, etc.
- Most people in the subway don’t even make eye contact. Some do, but most try not to. Actually most people take advantage of long subway rides and fall asleep on the train.
I had a great experience. I must admit, though, I crashed from exhaustion about an hour after I made it to my Aunts house. I don’t feel too bad, Kaleb fell asleep on the subway ride to Aunt Jessies.
We have a full day planned tomorrow. Cant wait to share the rest of my experiences with you.