I feel like I’ve got the touring New York thing down pretty well these days, but I thought it might be a good idea to look up some tips in case there was anything I would find helpful. I found this site that had a few good ones…
Tip number 1 was Go Walking…check!
It recommended walking over the Brooklyn Bridge, and I would love to say that we did that just because these blog people told us to, but that would just not be truthful. The truth is that we walked A LOT and the Brooklyn Bridge just happened to be in our walking path today! We calculated our trek on the website Map My Run and it appears that on Sunday we walked more than 13 miles and today (we had tired feet) we walked more than 6 miles. That is nearly 20 miles in just 2 days!
Tip two said Central Park is a Must. We went there yesterday for a tiny bit. It wasn’t happening today!
Tip three said Walk from east to west and north to south. Did you notice that I said we walked 20 miles in 2 days? I would say we accomplished this one too.
Tip four is Party New Year’s Eve with a Local, and I think it is obvious why we didn’t do this. We didn’t even meet any locals!
The last tip is New York City Subway. They suggest visiting Harlem, but we went the other direction instead. We wanted to see the new World Trade Center building, so we decided to try our hand at the subway. The husband has never ridden the subway, and I only had with other people who knew more about it than I did, but we figured we were college educated people, we can figure out a little subway map. Also, the concierge at our hotel told us to take the R train down to Cortlandt Street. It looked like a pretty straight shot on the map and the station was right near our hotel. We’ve got this!
Except we didn’t. First off, we went in at the wrong direction and there was no way we could figure out how to get across to the track we needed, so we wasted the first fares we bought. Maybe some people who are more subway smart than we are could tell us how to avoid this, but we didn’t know what to do, so we figured oh well, it was still cheaper than taking a cab. We got ourselves right and (definitely 100% sure) got onto the R train headed toward Cortlandt street. We knew it was the 5th stop and we were mentally marking each one off as we went. After about 3 stops, the driver came on the speaker and said something about a bridge, but it was really hard to hear. Also, we did not know the geography, so telling us we were going to cross a bridge meant pretty much nothing. We were on the R train, so we would be good to go! (Seriously…the side of the train said R – Bay Ridge on it before we got on!) We noticed that we were at DeKalb station, which wasn’t one that was on our projected list to pass (and it also seemed to take much longer to get there than we thought it should). A quick look at our map told us that somehow we had gone into the middle of Brooklyn by accident. I am the kind of person who likes to learn from my mistakes so I don’t make them again, but for the life of me, I don’t know what went wrong. WE TOOK THE R TRAIN!!! The one that goes to Brooklyn was Q or N.
After a bit of perplexed standing around and reevaluating the situation, we found a sign that sent us back to Manhattan and we got out at Canal Street. A few years ago my friends and I went to Chinatown and I hated it so much that I vowed not to go back again…and today we went back. Immediately upon exiting the subway station we were “greeted” by a woman who was whispering to me that she had Chanel and Gucci something-or-others and a man who repeated “What’s up” non-stop until he was out of earshot. We kept on walking until there were fewer and fewer walls covered in graffiti.
This little detour turned out to be quite a blessing because we were able to see some really neat buildings that we hadn’t seen before. Unexpectedly, the Brooklyn Bridge appeared, and I had long been wanting to go across it, so we did. Sort of. It was VERY crowded and we were wearing out more quickly today than we did yesterday, so we went part of the way and turned around and headed toward our original destination, The World Trade Center building.
After an overpriced lunch, we hopped onto the subway and without incident, we made it back to our hotel and headed home.
It was quite a fun spontaneous NYC vacation!
Total cost: Walking costs $0!
Here are some pictures of the sights we saw:
One World Trade Center:
Skyline from the Brooklyn Bridge: