I needed a vacation and I needed one ASAP. Luckily, my aunt who lives in NYC was turning the big five-oh (50), so I pounced on the opportunity to take a well needed and deserved vacation when I heard there would be a celebration (more on that in a future post).
This trip marked the first time I would travel solo and as nervous as I was, I knew it was the best thing I could do for myself. I travelled using Megabus and it worked out to be quite affordable at just $39.00 plus tax for 1 seat one-way. I didn’t bother booking a return trip because I planned on staying in NYC for a little while. As I mentioned earlier, I needed a vacation.
Sitting on a bus can be long and boring, especially when you’re travelling alone for 12 hours. Luckily for me, I sat next to a guy named Bobby from New Jersey who was returning home after a brief visit to Toronto. Bobby and I are the same age and just so happen to be quite the people person. I had planned on writing, reading, sleeping and snapping some photos on my trip up but we ended up just chatting about stuff for the entire trip. It made the trip go by shorter, it was awesome! Bobby’s a real funny guy with quite the opinion. I now have a buddy in New Jersey who I can go visit…at least I hope so.
When we finally arrived in NYC I felt like a kid in a candy store, well more like mixed emotions as I was tired, hungry, excited and in desperate need of a washroom! We were let off the bus at Penn Station (8th Avenue & 31st Street) but due to my lack of careful reading I misinformed my cousin Nick who was waiting for me at the Port Authority (West 42nd Street & 8th Street). After embarrassingly admitting my foolish mistake to Bobby he offered to walk with me for the 11 blocks to the Port Authority, what a guy!
Eleven blocks may sound long but when you have to walk to avoid awkwardly walking into people, they fly by. Plus I had to keep up with Bobby who was weaving through the hoards of people like a Formula One driver.
After meeting Nick, Bobby took off to catch his train into Jersey and I found myself gazing into the New York sky awe struck by the sheer architectural beauty of the city. I pulled out my iPhone and just snapped photos as though the city would disappear. One my favourite ones are pictured above of the New York Times Building designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. It’s eye candy to any architect and for someone like me who marvels at good design.
After coming back to reality, I asked Nick if we could go grab some food, I wanted something fast and cheap. That apparently meant McDonalds to him but I wasn’t complaining because the McDonalds in Times Square is like a fast-food nightclub without bouncers and a DJ. After wolfing down a Big Mac combo, Nick introduced me to the NYC transit system or the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority). Well, more specifically, the 7 Train. It’s the only train that connects upper Queens to midtown Manhattan. Lucky for us, we caught the last 7 Express leaving Times Square so getting to Main Street station took us 20 minutes instead of the regular 40 minute ride. I thought it was a nice way to be introduced to what can be a confusing transit system.
Being from Toronto, I feel like Torontonians have life much easier than a New Yorker. I can’t wait to continue exploring New York City. I have visits planned to Madison Ave., Central Park, Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, Macy’s Fireworks and much more.
Please stay tuned for more posts by me and feel free to leave comments and ask questions.
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