Saturday, 21 November 2015

New York City Part 1

Pre amble

I don't like cities.  I've never been a fan of them.  Sure I can only really count Montreal as the only major city i'm familiar with but I figure they all have much in common.  They are way too crowded, busy, smelly, pollution and filth ridden, and attempt to put in green spaces as a distraction from all of this so that there are places where city dwellers can go to try to pretend they can still connect with nature.

Now I'm of course being slightly facetious. I fully understand that large cities have tons to offer.  They just don't have much, if anything, to offer me.  They don't match my personality type.

I'd prefer a quiet evening with some friends where we gather at one of our houses, play some cards, have a few drinks and talk philosophy.

And instead of traveling all of the historical cities of Europe i'm much more excited about visiting the maritimes and all of the beauty that the west has to offer like Banff and Jasper

Seriously.  This:

Doesn't even come close for me when compared with cities.  The dirty, polluted, loud, and overpopulated concrete jungles that they are.....

I base all of my assumptions of cities on Montreal the only real city I've known.
And yet I've decided to visit New York City.  A city nearly ten times the size of Montreal.  With ten times the amount of things for me to complain about.

And for what?

A magic act of course.

Penn and Teller are finally taking their Vegas act to the east coast but unfortunately it's right in the heart of New York City on Broadway.

Yep I'm a geek.  I've always wanted to see them.  I've come to love Penn particularly through various podcasts and shows I've seen and heard him in.  I love his act as well as his always interesting views of life in general and its interesting how he incorporates these views into his act.  But more on that later.

I say all this preamble to give you an idea of my mindset and expectations for my trip to New York City  Basically I was going just to see a show.  The city was an aside that I would have to tolerate.

Pre Trip

We figured we had three choices in how to get to New York City.

 1.  We could fly there.  Not worth the extra cost nor the possible extra headache that we have been traumatized with on a previous Delta Airline experience.

 2.  We could drive there.  Certainly don't want to drive anywhere near New York City and definitely don't want to pay the typical $60 daily rate to park my car.

 3.  Or we could take the train there.  Which is what we chose.

However in order to take the train we would have to drive to Syracuse which is about 3 hours away.  After doing all our Myrtle beach (18 hour) and Florida drives (26 hours) it felt like absolutely nothing to drive 3 hours.

In any event this is nothing new to us since we are used to frequenting the city for cheap flights.  Now we get a reasonable train ride with only $6 a day parking and an excuse to enjoy the always great Cheesecake Factory and its endless entree and desert menu items.

As is the case when we fly down, we decided to rent a cheap hotel room the night before and take the earliest train out the next morning.

We had to wake up at the ungodly hour of like 5:30am but thanks to my almost super hero worthy ability to sleep however long I want in any conditions the 5 hour train ride would be my sleep reprieve.  In fact I would have slept the entire 5 hours to New York if it wasn't for the fact that Amy insisted I walk her to the snack carriage.

In her defense the snack carriage was like 30 carriages away and was a journey unto itself that felt like it would never end.  Also I had been sleeping for 4 hours straight.

However I was in fact doing myself a sort of disservice because had I been awake for the ride I would have enjoyed the beauty of the Adirondacks passing me by.  Luckily I did wake up in time to view the train's path along the Hudson river.  Not only was the Hudson river gorgeous but the train would go by numerous industrial buildings of days gone by.  They were in varying states of decay but would conjure images of a time where the manufacturing industry would use the river and the rail to transport its goods.  This was contrasted with the current cottages dotting the river banks and the tourists on their motor boats waving us by.

I had just woken up and was taking in all this beauty and forgot to take pictures.  So instead I have found other peoples pictures of the Hudson River that are a good representation of what it looked like.

Another interesting contrast was the fact that this very rural and beautiful natural landscape was soon approaching its very antithesis in the beast that is the man-made built steal, brick, and asphalt jungle called New York City.

Not only that but the reveal of the city would not be granted to us gradually where we get to see the city in the distance and slowly ease ourselves into it.  No instead the train would actually bring us underground way before entering the city and bring us to the subway system.  I thought what better way to experience the city then to have us experience it all at once in its full majesty upon exiting the subway.

But then we arrived, entered the subway, and I was immediately reminded of why i don't like cities.

And now our trip has begun.

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