New York City (NYC) why do we love this city?
So many reasons. Doing a series of posts to help those of you who have never been, and possibly those of you who have, to learn some new things/tips.
Today’s series is about New York transportation, and logistics surrounding same.
Don’t drink the delicious coffee in copious amounts before heading out on your journey.
a) Because everywhere you are able to find exceptional coffee, be it at a coffee place, a local diner, or corner market. Hard to stop at one cup…
b) Finding a public restroom; not an easy task. Observed only one public stand alone facility. Very few restrooms at subway stations.
c) Stopping at local joints, fast food establishments. Willing to purchase something so we could take “coffee breaks”. Only to find out many of these places, even recognizable named didn’t have public restrooms.
NB. Ask before purchasing. Of course being “great thinkers” we often bought without thinking and purchased more coffee!
Massive and at times overwhelming
New York has a massive subway infrastructure. Building started in 1904.
Those with mobility issues will have accessibiliy concerns. Currently advocates are urging Mayor Cuomo to make NYC transit more user friendly for all.
Stairwells tend to “take your breath away”. Many are incredibly steep. Elevators are not always readibly available.
Trains run 24/7, yet considerations due to trash maintenance, construction may disrupt or alter your route.
There are employees on board trains, and at stops they will inform of any current changes.
1) Some announcers are clear and concise.
2) Some speak with monotone voices, garbled speech, and language which at times is not comprehensible.
*See NB in blue…
Actually, more than two examples…it was by trial, and error, and trial, and more vino!
My IT friends have promoted me to Kinder…yet I think I am back in the womb! Good example on our strengths. Obviously the tech world is not mine.
Maybe, I seriously need to consider advertising, and monetizing now so I can just write, and have the “experts” help.
Bear with me folks! Be kind always…..
Below are two examples of how the announcers may “sound” like on NYC subways.
I tried to add direct audio, couldn’t figure it out. Managed to add via link. When you see email options, please choose email@example.com rather than todally.inspired.com
Ahh, to be so technically brilliant, all the other lightbulbs feel left out!
You have to pay attention as changes occur often.
For example, You may be taking a Q train to Queens, only to find out due to maintenance, you have to get off at the next station. Then transfer to another line, such as B or G, then again get off at another stop and make your new connection.
NYC may overwhelm many, even those who live in the burbs have indicated they too can get confused. Met more than one person who indicated they only stay in their specific Burrough.
More Subway Lines
The NYC subway has 472 stations serving 27 subway lines – more than any other system in the world.
There are many tools to help you navigate, such as map apps, transit apps, hardcopy maps. Whatever suits your preference.
Attendants at stations.
We found some who were extremely helpful. Sometimes they wouldn’t have the information yet would take the time to source out.
There were a few attendants who gave us incorrect information.
As well, a couple of attendants openly admitted to “not knowing” how to direct to other Burroughs.
There were those who were present yet “not present”.
It is your trip, for the most part, do your research. A city of 8.5 million plus people, expect changes. Go with the flow.
Andy Byford President New York City Transit
While in NYC Andy Byford @NYCTSubway did a social media platform session, asking for people to comment on the system.
Later on the news, we heard the repeated complaints of announcements being unclear, and accessibility concerns.
Public forums are a way to communicate, participate and connect with the community. They work, if we lend our voice.
We found one attendant who was very helpful, although they weren’t current with their info. We were re-directed to another station, which was about 6 blocks walking distance.
We found the line was closed for maintenance, only construction workers present. There was a shuttle (free) that took us to the next open station. It was after midnight, weekday and there was standing room only.
The adage, the journey is the destination was true for we would not have found this cozy jazz bar otherwise. Bar Velo, situated on a triangular corner, directly beside a subway station. Live music, old fashioned Water Closet, cozy atmosphere, good conversation with someone visiting from Switzerland.
Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be. (LL) Eleanor Roosevelt
Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. (LL) John Lennon, lyrics from “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)”
Bar Velo, 394 Broadway Brooklyn NY
Music in subway stations
The subway stations are alive with music; bands, soloists, buskers.
Go to Times Square to experience the energy. Hustle and bustle everywhere.
There are smaller hubs that are packed with people even at 130 in the morning on a weekday.
Buses are seen in the outer districts.
In Vancouver, BC, on our local SkyTrain, the yellow strip is meant to alert transit personnel/authorities when pushed in cases of emergencies or alert.
There are some buses in NYC that have the yellow tape to indicate you wish to make a stop.
Good to know differences when you travel.
Currently buses in NY are changing back to “bell cords”.
New York City Blocks
Generally a block is a block, right? Wrong!
Yes and no.
There are some areas in New York where a block extends for what seems forever!
How do I know?
Because once we made the assumption that a location we were going to would be a direct 7 “block” walk. We were at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, location 1000 5th Avenue, and we were going to JJ’s Hat Center at 310 5th Avenue.
Math is not my strong suit, yet it seemed an easy calculation. We asked for the general direction for our walk, and were met with, “You sure you want to walk?”
The 50 minute walk would have been alright, it was knowing the information beforehand, cuz if we had started walking, we may have been discouraged when we realized a “block is sometimes not a block.”
Even and Odd Blocks
We were going to an iconic eatery, Tom’s Diner, (post later) located at 782 Washington Avenue.
While walking and looking for the address, we noted the other side of the street, the numerical odd numbers were a different 100 block series.
Ask for help if you need it. We did, and New York’s finest helped direct us to The Louis Armstrong Museum in Queens. Thank-you New York PD.
*Photos in collage:
Coney Island Pier. Views of building/street from Highline; including architecture of reknown Architect: Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid. Cakes from La Brioche Fancy Bakery Inc, Brighton Beach. View leaving Brooklyn on subway overlooking Brooklyn Bridge. New York’s finest lending a hand, Queens.
New York is no different than other cities where people often may not know locations of businesses or specific addresses.
Example: two officers standing on W. 44th who were otherwise engaged with their texts. They were unable to direct us to our restaurant which happened to be less than half block away.
Hmmm, we had a moment where we got separated in a sea of people at Times Square, (no data), running late….that is why we were asking to save time.
Enjoy the “free foodie” tours (another post). Remember while you are enjoying a tour, others are trying to use the sidewalk.
Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy. (LL) Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Go to Coney Island, and walk the boardwalk.
- Walk from Coney Island to Brighton Beach, and indulge in some authentic Russian Sweets. Get bargains on scarves!
- Enjoy strolling the Highline, an elevated linear park, Greenway and rail trail, approx 1.5 miles. Situated on the west side of Manhattan. Visit Chelsea Market.
- Stop. Listen. Contribute if you receive enjoyment from the amazing Street, and subway buskers. Some talented musicians. (Watch The Joshua Bell subway experiment, on YouTube).
- Take the free Staten Island Ferry with a fabulous view of The Statue of Liberty.
- Explore, and walk through the various burroughs.
We stayed in Park Slope, Brooklyn at Zachary’s Air Bnb. Loved the quaint feel of the neighbourhood, loved Barbes Jazz bar, meeting the locals, and bonus, there is a strip on 5th known as the Pinball mile.
Never lose the kid in you no matter what age. I bought Confetti Crayons, thought I might try some different mediums out.
(Please participate in my separate post, 2018/04/05, “Come play with me”, art project.)
First timers, get your $45.00 credit if you check on my link. Thanks! We get $20.00 credit too.
See separate post, 2018/04/05
Admire the wondrous architecture, will share photos on another post!
- Eat street food.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
Best value, one week Metro card, $33.00. Good for subway, buses, shuttles.
More posts forthcoming on food, music (concerts), neighborhoods.
Truly, truly love this city.
It was very special to me as I got to meet one of my favourite TED speakers, Hadi Eldebek. I have included his TED talk on a separate post, 2018/04/05
Will talk more of his concert that happily coincided with our trip. He is an amazing young man, soulful, passionate, caring, and committed to the arts, and music.
Fall in love with New York City on your own terms. There is something for everyone. Do what gives you joy, and share that joy with others.
Be grateful always.
There are many who do not have the freedoms that some of us take for granted.