Visiting The City: NYC
The View from Boston
As a resident of the great city o' Boston, I tend to view askance my occasional trips to "the city," that is, New York City, the 'Big Apple,' whatever. Home of the Yankees, for chrissakes. I know the four-hour drive there will get progressively worse the closer we get as traffic congestion increases. I know that driving in The City will stink. And I know somebody's attitude will be unpleasant. These are just givens.
Recently we saw a Broadway musical in The City, called "Next to Normal." Click on the link to read about the show. I am not going to review it here, except to say IT IS GREAT and worth seeing. Usually I could take or leave a Broadway show in favor of, say, cycling to Concord, Massachusetts, and back, but in this case I would have to say I would take the show rather than leave it.
The drive down was not that bad. The Mapquest directions were good; we ran into only light congestion on the way down; and we did not get lost. Parking was not too expensive. We paid $10 to park at around noon and pick up the car at six. Many parking deals are available online, so weekend parking in The City is not really a problem as long as you plan on parking your car for the day and getting around by other means.
As usual, the press of pedestrians is intimidating, especially in places like Broadway and Times Square. By contrast, these attractions make Faneuil Hall in Boston on a sunny summer day seem like a ghost town. Since I am not overly fond of great numbers of my fellow man, I can take The City only in small doses.
Nevertheless, getting around on foot is not difficult. For the most part, people are courteous enough, and as long as one follows the traffic signals and uses the crosswalks, it's not bad. Do not, however, step off the curb in the middle of a block if you value your life.
We parked on 44th street, walked to 34th street to visit the original Macy's, then walked to a hotel on 45th and something to use the restroom and cool off in the air conditioning. After that we crossed the street to the theatre and saw the show. After the show, we waited by the stage door with the crowd to watch the actors come out and sign autographs.
The actors would go around the circle of admirers and sign their Playbills, smiling, etc., then when they were done they would just leave through the circle and walk away. One of the younger actors met a few of her friends a few feet away and just stood there laughing and talking with them until after we left. Really, one would not be surprised to meet anyone at all on the streets of The City.
We collected our car and left New York at about 7pm. Leaving The City we hit considerable Sunday evening traffic, so the drive home took about four-and-a-half hours. Driving there and back the same day does make it a long day, but at least one doesn't have to pay for a hotel!
A day trip to The City is fun. More than a day, well, that would be a matter of personal taste.