The Geek & The Chic

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Adventure abounds!

Okay, so there wasn't a plane but my adventure today did include taking the train to get my automobile.

Back in May, my trusty and beloved Jeep was shipped from Alaska to New York. Husband and I had already decided to drive the new vehicle, a Honda, since it's a little more roomier and gets better - but only slightly better- gas mileage. We did enjoy our trip, complete with Pounce the cat who had the entire backseat to himself, save for a piece or two of luggage.

We arrived in New York on 13 June and waited for word that the Jeep had arrived at its final destination in New Jersey. A side note here. Does anyone else find it ironic that the closest the army could get my car to upstate New York was New Jersey? We were told it would arrive by mid June but when we didn't hear anything, we finally called and was told it had arrived on 14 June. They sent a notice -- to Germany, my husband's previous duty station. That makes sense, doesn't it?

Since I was on Long Island this week, I decided to get the vehicle and drive back upstate. However, since it was a holiday week, no one could take the time off of work to get me there, so I called the Vehicle Processing Center (VPC) to find out if there was any mass transportation in the area. It turns out Harrison, NJ is on the PATH line. Now all I had to do was find out how to get there.

My accomplice and longtime friend Monica, agreed to go with me and we decided to go Thursday. This was our route: take the Long Island Railroad to Penn Station, get the subway at Penn Station downtown to the World Trade Center to the PATH station and board PATH for the trip to Jersey. A note about the WTC: city officials have done a very respectful, somber reminder of what happened there in 2001. Although there is a viewing platform, there really isn't much to see other than a hole in the ground and construction. Along the fence are pictures of the original groundbreaking and building of the towers back in the '70's and it moves forward with a narrative of what happened that awful day. There are several boards listing all the names of those who died. There are also signs posted asking people not to buy from vendors who may set up in the area and this must have worked as there were no vendors anywhere in sight.

After arriving at Penn Station, we made a bathroom stop and found our way back to the subway. We boarded the "C" train to take us downtown. I must be looking like New Yorker again. While we were on the subway, a woman with an Italian accent asked me if she was on the right train to get to Chambers Street. She was. Our stop was Church Street, the stop after hers. However, what I failed to notice was that the C train doesn't stop at Church Street but curves around before heading into Brooklyn. Thankfully, I realized that before we ended up in Brooklyn and got off at Nassau and Broad Streets. I really thought we were going to have to wait for the next train to take us uptown back to the Chambers Street stop but a kind woman told us we weren't far from the WTC and to go to street level and walk down John Street. My guardian angel was smiling though, because we ended up on Fulton Street and as we came to street level, the WTC was right in front of us. Perfect. While we were waiting to cross the street, yet another woman asked me for directions to South Street. I asked where she was going and she replied South Street Seaport. I told her to keep walking south, she still had a few blocks to go! We boarded our PATH train and got off in Harrison. Since I wasn't sure where Stupor Boulevard was, we stopped and inquired about a taxi. The man behind the desk must have been famaliar with the street because he asked me if I was picking up a vehicle and I replied I was. He asked me if I had just gotten out of the army and I told him my husband was active duty at Fort Drum. He was helpful and gave us directions to walk to the location which proved not to be too far.

The fun part was driving back to Long Island. I've never really driven in New York City before. We got on the New Jersey Turnpike, headed over to the Goethals Bridge to get to Staten Island and crossed the Verrazano to get us back to Long Island just before rush hour.

All in all, the entire trip took us about five hours. Not too bad, really. I'm glad to have my car back and will be heading back upstate this weekend. Move in day at the apartment is Monday!


  • I guess I dont look like a NYer because NO ONE asked ME directions!!!!!!!!!!

    What I look like Im from the midwest? or the south?

    By Blogger Monica, at 9:10 AM  

  • Hi Geri,

    What an adventure~ hey well at least you got to experience driving in NYC. Smile.

    I know you must be glad to have your wheels back. Can't wait to hear about moving day!

    Love Darlene

    By Blogger Darlene, at 4:28 PM  

  • Hey stop unpacking and blog WILL YA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By Blogger Monica, at 9:59 PM  

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