NYC! What Is It About You? Day 1

Okay, here are the posts on NYC. I'm dividing it into days to keep it manageable for you as you read. Over Thanksgiving break I finally did it! I finally fulfilled a lifelong dream and went to New York City! Kathy and I left Randolph at about 9 Am and headed to New Haven, where we payed an egregious amount to park, and took the train to Grand Central Station. Kathy and I arrived at Grand Central Station believing that once we got there we would be able to get maps that would tell us which subway we should take to get to our hostel. No such luck. Turns out, New York City  has the worst maps in the world. Grand Central Station is pretty awesome though.

After wandering around the station and subway for awhile we decided to set our stuff down (we had a lot. Another tip, when going to New York, don't pack everything in a duffel bag you have to carry. And don't wear all of your coats on the train believing you'll take them off at the hostel.) and Kathy would stay with it while I searched for a map. I found no map, but came back to find a man yelling at Kathy. She told me later that apparently she had made a rude gesture at him (like scratching her nose) and he began threatening to kill her. When I arrived the threats extended to me as well. It was kind of scary, but sad all at the same time.

We picked up our stuff and left that spot, with our would be assailant following us at first, which was slightly unnerving. We eventually shook him and I finally found someone that works in the subway and asked him which train we needed to take to get to our hostel. "Take the 7 to 42nd street, then take the 1,2, or 3." Well, turns out, NYC doesn't put directions on their subway lines (You know, North, South, East, West). They just put the final stop at either end of the line. So after taking the 7 to 42nd Street, we were once again in search of a map to show us which direction of the 1,2, or 3 we needed to take. I finally figured out which stop the signs were listing, and found a semi map that showed us where the stops were at so I'd know which one we needed to take. We were pretty awesome on the subway with our copious amounts of stuff.We got off the subway at 96th Street and Kathy said, "actually, we're on 95th." So we walked a block back and began heading towards our hostel. . . which did not exist. 
I plopped down all of my stuff on the ground where it should have been. Actually I sort of fell over with my massive pile of things while crying, "I'm so HOT!!! I'll sleep right here!" Kathy pulled out the paper with the hostel address and lo and behold, it was actually on 94th. So we picked up our things (after I took a few moments mentally prepping myself for it) and walked there. When we finally arrived I tore off all of my coats and flopped down on my bed.

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We decided that we would head over to the World Trade Center and then walk across the Brooklyn Bridge before turning in for the night. So we took the pathetic maps of the subway we finally had and tried to figure out which subway we needed to take to get to the WTC. We decided we'd walk to the Bridge from there. Well, once we got to the WTC, there really wasn't anything to see. No lights shooting up into the sky. No museum. Nothing. I felt like it was hiding from us, and I was sorely disappointed. Then we decided to walk towards the bridge.
wandering the streets of NYC
pretty lights we saw while searching for the bridge
Nutcrackers we saw while searching for the bridge.

Of course we had a heck of a time trying to figure out which direction we should be heading in, and now it was dark. Although it was frustrating and things were not turning out the way I had hoped or planned, every once in a while I just said, "hey we're in New York!" I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe this lifelong dream of mine was actually happening!!Eventually we found a sort of map that showed a few of the streets and got on the right track to head towards the Brooklyn Bridge. Upon discovery of the bridge we saw a sign that said, "Brooklyn Bridge" with a picture of a bicycle and an arrow. We followed the arrow and crossed under the bridge . . . but still no bike path presented itself. I turned around in confusion and saw the same sign pointing back the way we had come. "WHERE IS THE BIKE PATH!" I cried. As we had been walking we had passed a miniature lighthouse on the other side of the street and I said to Kathy, "I feel that lighthouse holds the key."

So we went back over there, and, it did not have any answers for us. There were boats though. Plus food places, and I was starving.

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So I texted my sister and asked her to get on Google maps and tell us how to get to the bike/walking path. Then we went inside the little mall and found a Christmas store!! It brightened our spirits. After wandering about and looking at all the holiday festivities we went to the food court. Most places were closed (I thought NYC was the city that never sleeps . . .) but there was a "Mexican" food place, an Asian guy made the food for us, which I found funny. While we were eating my sister called me and told me which subway line to take and where to get off to find the walking path to the Brooklyn Bridge. At this point it was almost ten, and since we were going tot be getting up super early for the parade, we decided to get back to the bridge on Thursday. So we took the subway back to our hostel (the walk is much faster without coats and duffel bags) and turned in for the night.

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