After we left Fox Studios we headed for a day of fun on the “Hop & Go Bus System” that tours the entire island of Manhattan. So, I have seven images and of course some commentary for today.
We walked several blocks to the nearest (as provided by my smart phone) “Hop” on stop and when the bus got there the driver said that we needed a ticket. What we had was just a voucher saying we had purchased an option to ride.
So, we got to walk several more blocks until we found the office of the tour-line, which was down two flights of stairs in a crowded little office space with two women behind a thick glass enclosure. The air conditioning was not for the customers, so it was getting very hot in this little space and there were people in front of us who didn’t speak very good English.
Finally, we got our tickets and also booked our Statute of Liberty cruise for 3:00 p.m. that afternoon. Now we get to walk all the way back to our original spot to wait for the next bus.
Once we boarded we headed to the top, so we could see the sights of the city. We took the uptown bus thinking we could see the upper side of Manhattan, then take the downtown bus, which would take us to the docks and our sight-seeing boat.
So, we sat for 15 minutes in the hot sun waiting for a full load to board. I could feel the sun on my thinning hair and knew that was going to be a problem. I hadn’t brought a hat or my sunglasses and did I mention that it was hotter than the hubs of hell with a heaping of humidity thrown in for good measure.
This was the last time I smiled for several hours. The seats were closer together than they had been on the little regional jet we had flown in and so I was compressed tightly in my seat.
Finally, the bus started moving, which gave us a little breeze and occasional shade from the buildings. We moved three blocks and sat for another 15 minutes while people got on and off. I looked at the travel map and did some quick math and concluded at this rate we were not going to make our sight-seeing cruise.
I asked one of the workers on the bus if this was the way it was going to be for the entire trip. Is it going to be 15 minutes per stop? I was assured it was only going to be 5 minutes per stop. So I put my travel map back on top of my head to prevent further burning from the sun and tried to enjoy the scenery.
As you can imagine real-estate is at a premium on the island. This is one of several mini-parking stalls. In case you can’t read the sign it is $10.14 per ½ hour and $50.69 for 24 hours plus an additional $165.95 for SUVs and minivans. There is additional charge of $422.39 for any car they consider to be a luxury car.
An image of Times Square and the normal amount of people at any given time. The two large statue of liberty figures you see in the image are actually people who walk around and you can have your picture taken with them for a fee.
I realize that I am a complete pain in the ass to travel with. Jeanne deserves and citation for patience, which she always was. I hate being hot, getting sun burned and being cramped so as you can imagine I was not in a great mood as the tour continued. Finally, I told Jeanne I was going downstairs and at least sit in the air-conditioning.
About 30 minutes later she came down and said, we’re not going to make it all the way up town and back to the harbor in time. We need to get off the bus. So, we did and we waited about 20 minutes for a down town bus to come by. We were lucky that one of the workers told us that the down town bus would not be stopping here and that we had to walk several blocks to get the right connection.
He was kind enough to walk us in the right direction. The first bus we got the chance to get on had a broken air conditioner and no roll down windows. We rode that for about 20 minutes and it was clear to me I was getting heat exhaustion. I told Jeanne I was getting off at the next stop.
When we stopped I got off and Jeanne came with me. 🙂
This is the Flatiron Building, originally the Fuller Building, is a triangular 22-story steel-framed landmark building located at 175 Fifth Avenue in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, which is considered to be a groundbreaking skyscraper.
The iconic Empire State Building
I walked up to the bus in front of me and asked the driver if his bus had air conditioning. He assured me it did because he had seniority with the company and he took care of his bus. The problem was the bus was full, on top and inside. He looked at me and I guess he figured I was not in a good way, so he let us on and we had to hold on to the rails. They have a strict rule about no standing in the bus, but he let us do it and on the second stop a pair of seats opened up.
Penn Station is in the midtown area of Manhattan, close to Herald Square, the Empire State Building, Koreatown, and the Macy’s department store. Entirely underground, it sits beneath Madison Square Garden, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues and between 31st and 34th Streets.
We finally got to our stop at the harbor (which is a whole another story) and I tried to tip the driver for going out of his way to let us on his bus. He said that wasn’t necessary so I added a few dollars more to the tip and encouraged him to take it.
That’s enough fun for one day. I’ll have more if you have the patience to come back tomorrow.
Enjoy your day and be careful.