New York was not as tempting as say a ‘Niagara Falls’ or ‘Great Wall of
China’ but the Statue of Liberty symbolizes USA and hence it was sort of an item somewhere in the list that needs to be ticked, whether it is worth the effort or not. So on a Friday night at 11.30 PM I decided to go ahead with the plan. Another colleague was to join me and we were to start next morning. I slept that day at 01:00 AM and woke up again at 5.15 AM. We left at around 6.20 AM. I drove for about 3.5 hrs and we reached White Plains at 10: 15 AM with a breakfast stop. We took the Train there to New York Grand Central Station. It was 15$ for a round trip. The train arrived at 11.11 AM and we reached Grand Central in about 20-25 minutes.
The we got the subway tickets for 8$. The subway network and its functioning was very good. There were 3 layers of trains routes and between them they connected the city well. On the sides of major roads there will be steps down leading to subway train station. Amazing public transport connectivity. We had to go downtown and the trains 4, 5 and 6 went there.
We reached Battery station and took the tickets for Liberty Statue Ferry for 12$. The wait for the Ferry was about an hour and 15 minutes. The Ferry took us to the Statue. It was nice seeing the symbol of hope and freedom but nothing much to do in the island. In fact the view was much better from the ferry.
By the time we were done with it and returned back after another wait for the Ferry, it was already 3.30 PM. We were both exhausted and hungry too. But I wanted to see Wall Street and so we checked it out along with Trinity Church and the ‘Bull’ of New York Stock Exchange. We then took the subway to reach 14th Street Union Avenue and walked till 27th Street in Lexington avenue for an amazing food at ‘Saravana Bhavan’. I had South Indian Thali and it was the best Chennai food in US so far. The ‘Kaara Kozhambu’ was exotic. We then walked back to 14th Street and took the subway to Grand Central (Later we realized that 23rd and 28th street had subways – probably on the sides).
From Grand central we took Train 7 to get to Times Square. It is like our ‘Pondy Bazar’ market in Chennai or ‘Sunday Market’ back in Pondicherry but more hi-tech. After walking there for some time we realized that US could be crowded too and messy and polluted and chaotic and ‘not follow rules’ and on and on… We bought T-Shirts there and were back to subway by 7.15. We reached Grand central in time to catch the 7.48 train to White plains. I took the car out at 8.30 and we reached hotel back at 11.50.
It was a nice trip but more of a must do thing when we are this close to ‘New York’. I would remember having been and walked in Wall Street more vividly than seeing Liberty. More so I will remember the chaotic city, buzzing with Car horns and madness which most other cities of US don’t seem to recognize in their hypocritical behavior. From now on if someone comments about our Bangalore Traffic being chaotic they should first go and have a look at New York and then come and speak about India and Bangalore.