Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New York, New York...

Yesterday, Jim and I took off for New York City to retrieve his possessions from the apartment he has been staying in. Perhaps I should back up here... We moved the camper to Montgomery City, MO on Sept 4 for the "shake down" camp to be sure that everything worked and to be near the family if it didn't--also for good advice from the family even if it did! I will catch you up on the Missouri adventures in a later post--and there WERE some!
Anyway, we pulled out of Missouri on October 26, 2009 and headed for Florida. Oh, Florida, New York that is! In the Hudson Valley of New York. More on THAT adventure later too! And what an adventure! Wow! Yikes!
So, Tom and I arrived in Florida at the Black Bear Campground (haven't seen even one bear--thank goodness--but many deer!) on Oct 28 behind a big wrecker with bright flashing lights! We really made an entrance! Like I said, more on THAT story later! Do I know how to tease or WHAT? :)
Direct TV was supposed to come yesterday between 8 am & noon to find the signal which seems to be eluding me here. After that, Jim and I were leaving to head to NYC (actually Brooklyn) to get his stuff.
The Direct TV guy had not shown by 12:30 so I called Direct TV and was told that the technician would contact me within 20-30 min. By 1:30, we decided that we had to get on the road to catch the 2:30 train to Secaucus, so I called Direct TV and rescheduled for Thurs. Ack! Let me just say here that most RVers have Dish because Dish LOVES RVers and is very RV friendly. However, when we bought the RV we found that the integrated dish was set for Direct TV so decided to keep it rather than manually reset the Weingard for Dish. BIG MISTAKE!!!!
It turns out that everything is going to HD and our Weingard, while set up for HD, only has two leads which will only work one TV and one DVR. We have 2 TV's and 2 DVR's, so it precludes using the Weingard and we had to go to a separate dish anyway. Grrrrrr...
Direct TV is not RV friendly and we have not had a good relationship so far. When our 2 year contract is up, we are switching to Dish--who caters to the RV crowd.
Anywho...on with the story...
So, we head for Harriman to catch the train which will take us to Secaucus where we can switch to the train that will take us to Penn Station where we can catch the subway to Brooklyn and the apartment.
The train was smooth and quiet. I cannot believe how quiet people are on the train. The subways are the same! They are amazingly clean given the number of people who use them each day! Some stations are nicer than others, but all seem okay. Peope are in their own little worlds and either read, do puzzles or sleep--or in Jim's case--have MP3's with books or music on them.
I, on the other hand, decided to play tourist and look around like a silly kid--seeing what was to be seen. As we traveled, there were really nice big homes. Those gave way to smaller homes and then row houses and then a few junk yards and stores mixed with some light industrial type places.
We sat in the front of the train so that I could see the tracks and what was out there. You can no longer get up to the front to sit next to the engineer. I suspect that this was due to 911. Dad said that when he was going to NYC for work, you could sit right up there with the engineer and look out. Ah, the good old days! So, we arrived at Secaucus and headed for the train to Penn Station. There were really clear directions and track numbers. However, let me tell you that when someone says excuse me, they don't mean excuse me, they mean MOVE! The excuse me is accompanied by a shoulder moving you out of the way! And we found out why when we arrived at our station and missed the train by seconds. The trains do not wait at all. You better be there or you are waiting for the next train! So, we waited for the next train! This was okay because what I really wanted to see was a bathroom! :)
The next train to Penn was 30 min. Yippeeeee! Ahhhh....
So, we go back to B track and I look a the board which indicates that the next train to Penn is leaving from Track 2. So, we head back up the steps and back down to Track 2 where a train came blasting through with a huge Whoosh! Jim said "that's the free train if you can catch it" to laughter from those around us who were waiting as well!

We could look out at the Hoboken Skyline. There is a building there that looks a great deal like the empire state building and it made me wonder if the same architect designed one for Hoboken?

On to Penn Station. The ride there went from light industrial to industrial to run down areas with a lot of graffitti. It made me wonder what kinds of things the engineers might see as they are going through during the day and nights.
We arrived at Penn Station and I had to admire the mosaic tile work! Someone back in the days that the station was built really put a lot of craftsmanship into those mosaics and I had to admire them and the work hours that went into them. I'm glad that they have been preserved through the years!
All of these pictures were made with little 1 inch tiles. You can see how some are smaller and some are quite large, but all are worth a gander at the work put into them!
So, we took the subway to Brooklyn. You have to go through the tunnel from Manhattan to Brooklyn which runs under the river. Kinda cool! :)
Got to Brooklyn and headed for the lot where the van was parked. Jim had loaned it to the guy he was renting a room from while the guy's family and some friends were visiting from Costa Rica.
Some guy was at a gas station and became enraged. He rammed the vehicle in front of him, put his car in reverse and rammed the car behind him, put his car in drive and rammed the front car again, hit a light pole, zoomed out onto a one way street--going the wrong way--and found our van hitting it hard enough that his car ended up facing 90 degrees from where he started! This guy was really out of control! So, this is what we found: Yikes! Poor van! It even turned the passenger back tire in and the one on the driver's side out! Arf!
We loaded up the suitcases and a couple of shopping bags with most of Jim's stuff and headed back the way we had come. Dad had said that we should get into the front of the subway car next to the engineer (not possible to sit next to the engineer anymore) so we got into the front car where I could stand and look out the front window and see what there was to see going down the tracks. Interesting! There is definitely life down the tunnels as there is graffitti along the walls etc.
We got off the subway and thought we were heading to Penn Station only to find that we had been belched up onto 34th street.
Being a woman, I asked directions from a street vendor. That way he pointed--English not being his first language--or really not in his vocab. We arrived at Madison Square Garden (which was cool!) and a large sign for Penn Station, and headed down to the trains and back on the right way, arriving at the RV 8 hours after we started the trip. There were 3 dogs that were really happy to see us!
What a day! I wanna go back so that we can stop at Wall Street and take pics! And maybe some other places. Who knows? Not today though!

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