Friday, August 1, 2014

Getting Around in New York City

Think "New York City" and an image of a sea of taxis and the sound of subway trains click-clacking on the tracks may come to mind. Nobody drives in NYC, feet being the preferred popular mode of transportation. So what do you do when you roll into town with your car-addicted gang of five? Adapt. When in NYC...
We stayed in Brooklyn for our visit, primarily because we have friends there and also because the room- rates were just a little bit more reasonable. We were a few blocks from the Barclay Center, about 2 miles from the Brooklyn Bridge.  On our day in Brooklyn, we drove. We went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, which shares a parking lot with the Museum and is free on Tuesdays. Yeah - love free admissions!
For our Manhattan day, we took the subway. Yikes! I've never taken the subway in New York, so all my knowledge is from movies and being perplexed whenever I see the subway entrances with the alphabet of trains. How the heck do you know what train to take? I'm used to Red line, Orange line... Simple.  As it turned out, this was simpler than I imagined, too. The B and D trains run from Brooklyn to Manhattan, and we got off at Central Park.  The fare was great, too - $2.50 per person, each way, wherever you're going. $25 for my whole gang.  Take note DC Metro with the different fare amount for every stop, which changes by time of day.  (Ever since I ended up paying about $50 for me and the kids to get to and from the museums downtown on the Metro, I've stopped riding with them.)
We took the Staten Island Ferry to get to lower Manhattan. Yes, a round about way to get there from Brooklyn, but parking is impossible in that area and we got great views of the Statue of Liberty. We drove over the Verrazano Bridge to Staten Island's Ferry dock on Bay Street. Parking is $7, the Ferry is free.  The ride over is a little less than half an hour, allow 10 minutes to get in line. We went in the middle of the day, I imagine it's much more crowded at rush hour. You want to sit towards the front or on the left side going towards Manhattan for the city or Lady Liberty view.  The ferry dock is next to Battery Park and a few blocks from the Wall Street area and the 9/11 Memorial.  You can take as much time as you want on either side; the ferry runs every half hour and you don't need a ticket, just get in line.
After all of that, we went back to the car - and got stuck in traffic. 
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