01 July, 2012

Arriving in New York

I love New York. I've loved New York since the first moment I saw the Manhattan skyline lit up one October evening in 1994, driving into town from La Guardia. I may have loved it longer than that. It was inevitable that this would be our last stop en route. We did think of heading north to Boston for a week or two at the end. But decided to extend our time in New York instead. And when we got here, we decided that all the weekend trips we'd planned may not happen either. We are going to Washington DC soon. And I'm hoping to set up a weekend in Philadelphia with friends too. But for the rest, we are staying put.

We drove here from Batavia, NY having been allowed back into the US (always relieved when that happens!) and stayed the night in upstate NY. Our route took us down through rolling hills, pretty farmland, into woods that seemed to coat Philadelphia and New Jersey. There were so many trees in New Jersey that I'm not sure anyone lives there apart from in Newark, as there wasn't really any other sign of habitation.

And then Newark appeared and beyond, New York. And the driving got WAY more challenging than it had ever been the entire way across the States. Give me a herd of bison to navigate my way through over the traffic into Manhattan, any day. We went wrong at least twice, and emerged onto streets with familiar names like Canal and Broadway and Delancey. All I can say is that driving across Manhattan is not for the faint-hearted. It makes Hyde Park Corner seem like a country road. Thankfully people weren't driving fast because there were way too many of them to do that. But they were driving aggressively with lots of honking and I was trying to see where the hell we were heading to, and Tom was trying to work out which lane to be in and not to hit anyone or be hit, or honked at. And by the time we got to Brooklyn, we were both of the opinion that the car had to go ASAP. That was before we discovered the lack of parking in Brooklyn, the twice-weekly street cleaning, and the road works and film crews adding to the problem.

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