I’m not sure where to start since it has been several days since the NYC trip. I was going to write about it earlier when everything’s fresh in my mind but I’ve been somewhat busy and busy procrastinating.
Because of TM’s busy training schedule, we could only squeeze in an evening rush-like-crazy trip to NYC on Tuesday afternoon.
3.30pm – Drove out of Duh’s parking lot and then remembered that I had forgotten to bring my NYC map so turned around to get the very important map.
3.40pm – Left Duh for real
4.45pm – Arrived at Piscataway and picked up TM from his training office, and then using Google map printout, drove to the Dunellen train station. There was an even closer train station, Bound Brook, but as I mentioned before TM brought along with him some really bad weather and flooded that particular station.
5.10pm – Finally arrived at the train station parking lot, and spent several minutes fussing about parking permit and not sure where to park legally. The parking permit machine wouldn’t take my money so I assumed that since it’s getting close to 6pm maybe parking is free. And there were noone around to ask about that. So what to do? Just leave the car and hope for the best-lor.
5.25pm – Aboard the RARV (Raritan Valley; $5.50 to Newark Penn Station) train. TM mentioned that the conductor on board the train reminded him of Tom Hank’s animated character in Polar Express.
6.11pm – Arrived at Newark Penn Station, transfered to the PATH train ($1.50 to Exchange Place, Jersey City).
6.30pm – arrived at Exchange Place station. This was where the picture was taken. We could have taken the train right into Manhattan but I thought this view of Manhattan was worth the extra running around. So there we were, two very touristy-looking people taking pictures after pictures.
7.05pm – On board the NY Waterway ferry ($5.50) heading towards Pier 11/Wall St terminal. I was hoping that the ferry would take us slightly closer to the Statue of Liberty, unfortunately we were nowhere closer to it but at least TM got to see her and made the usual tourist comment, “I expected it to be so much bigger.”
Arrived at Wall St. I tried to find my way to the NYSE without looking at my map after several moments of uncertainty, we turned at one corner and saw it with the big US flag draped across the front of it. There were also the usual barricades and a NYPD truck parked near it.
Oh yeah, before we got to NYSE, we bumped into a some-sort of celebrity sighting. There was a brightly lit tent and many photographers and two very well-dressed person being photographed. People were shouting to the nicely-dressed lady, “Melucci (or Minna or something else- I don’t remember what now) turn left, turn left!” So I went ahead and took a photo of the celebrity too.
Then trying to find my bearings, we headed north on Broadway. I wasn’t planning to bring TM to the WTC site, mainly because I wasn’t sure how to get there, and we didn’t have much time. But as we were walking north, I noticed the WTC site one-block away to our left, so we made a detour and spent some time there taking pictures. It was slightly past 8pm then and time for dinner. We continue walking north towards Canal St/Chinatown. After many blocks, we arrived at Canal St, we were probably at a not so busy area of Chinatown because it was a rather quiet area. We went into the first Chinese restaurant that we saw. Chinese food? Not my choice, TM wanted chinese food. I would have taken him to a roadside hotdog stand.
8.30pm – Warm and cosy in the restaurant. They had roast pork and vegetable on their menu, and I thought the roast pork was “siew-yuk” but it was “char-siu” instead, so I guess I have to wait till I get back to Malaysia for the “siew-yuk” fix.
9.10pm – Left the restaurant, headed to the nearest subway station and took a train to Times Square. Took pictures again and visited a nearby souvenir shop where TM bought a FDNY t-shirt for his wife. I was looking at my map in the store…so much to see, so little time. I wanted to go to the Rockefeller center, the 24-hour Apple store, the Empire State building, but we have to catch the 10.41pm train back to NJ. So I decided we’ll go to the Rockefeller only.
10.15pm – After taking some pictures around Rockefeller, I realized we were dangerously closed to missing the train. We quickly found a subway station, unfortunately the train from there didn’t go directly into NY Penn Station, but we had no choice but to take the train to a station that’s two blocks from the NY Penn.
10.27pm – Arrived at the 34th St station, looked at my map….ok, Macy’s on the right, so Penn station should be straight ahead. We ran two blocks and then turned one corner and everything looked so unfamiliar to me, “Oh no, I think I made a mistake, Penn station is supposed to be right here.” Then I looked across the street and to my right I saw a big PENNSYLVANIA sign, well I guess I was right after all. We rushed across the street into the train station, bought our tickets ($8.50each), found the right platform and got into the train.
10.37pm – Whew, we made it. We got onto the NJCL (New Jersey Coastline) which will take us to Newark Penn station where we will transfer to the RARV train towards Dunellen. So there we were in the train, happily pondering our sheer luck that we managed to get on this train.
11.00pm – The train stopped. I looked out the window and it was rather dark outside and it didn’t look much like the busy Newark Penn station, so we continue chatting.
11.07pm – The train moved on and the sullen conductress came back and checked our tickets again. We showed her our tickets and she said, “What are you doing here? Your stop was back there.” AHHHHHH, we missed the stop!!! We had to get off at the next station, Newark Airport station, walked across the other side and wait another 30minutes for a train to take us back to Newark Penn station. Because we missed the 11.07pm RARV train, we have to catch the 12.07am RARV train. Why did we even rush to catch the train when we were going to miss our transfer? We could have spent another hour in Manhattan and TM might get to see the Empire State building up close. So two defeated people sat at Newark Airport terminal for 30 minutes till the 11.38pm train came and took us back to Newark Penn, and we made it onto the 12.07am RARV train. And while we were in the other two trains, I noticed that they made announcements before every stop but that particular train with the sullen conductress, no announcements were made at all!
12.50am – Arrived at Dunellen. There wasn’t any parking fine on my car nor were my tires clamped.
1.00am – Dropped TM at his hotel and continue on my way back to Bethlehem.
2.00am sharp – Arrived home.