NY Snapshots. The Train to Ronkonkoma

‘Don’t do it, folks!’ was the advice from our cab driver on the way from JFK to Manhattan, when we asked about the feasibility of returning by train. ‘It’s too easy to get lost and there are baaad people down there.’ Well, of course, he would say that, wouldn’t he? He convinces me, but Tom is made of sterner stuff and is better at doin’ the math – we’d save a heck of a lot by not taking a cab.

We start with a reccy to Penn (Is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?) station opposite the magnificent General Post Office building. The sight of several burly members of the NYPD, not to mention a brace of big beefy Marines convinces me that this is indeed where the baaad people are, although all I can see are commuters going about their normal business. Still, the route doesn’t seem particularly terrifying and it is very cheap so we decide to go for it.

The hotel doormen, the next morning, are not impressed when we shun their offer to hail a cab, thus losing them the chance of another tip. It’s the only time we don’t get a polite smile! The walk to Penn station is doable (even with suitcases full of ‘Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix’ and ‘Aunt Jemima Pancake Syrup’ we’re taking for the folks back home) and it’s easy to find our way round once we get there.

We board the train to Ronkonkoma (which, incidentally, goes through Hicksville, fancy that!) hoping that we won’t actually end up eating ham and eggs in Carolina and sit back as we journey through the suburbs of Queens. Four stops later we change at Jamaica and take the AirTrain to JFK; it’s cheap ($5), quick (less than ten minutes) and brilliantly simple. Well done that Tom for ignoring the cab driver on that one!

With the money we saved and lots of time to spare, I take advantage of the opportunity to have a Ten Minute Manicure at the airport. Well, why not? There’s a sense of completeness about ending the holiday where I started, although this is less than half the price of the manicure I had in Wales and - dare I say it? - twice the value.

Our scheduled flight is only half full so there’s a very relaxed atmosphere. The Delta staff are fantastic; so kind and friendly. All I have to do is sit back and think of all the wonderful sights we’ve seen, the places we’ve been and the people we’ve met. Lady, I think, you did New York!

The top photo is... well, you don't me need to tell you. The bottom photo is another shot of the amazing Chrysler Building.

And that concludes my series of snapshots from New York.


Flowerpot said…
I have vivid memories of Penn Station - and isn't that typical of a man's reaction?!!! Sounds like a great trip, Chris, I'm so glad.
her at home said…
you see so much more going native instead of sealed in a taxi!
Pipany said…
Oh it all sounds so amazing Chris. How are you settling in back at home I wonder? x
Frances said…
Bravo to you and Tom!

It's grand that you had an uncrowded plane for the flight back home. Much easier to relax, less jet lag that way.

I'm hoping that you all will be back to our fair city very soon.

Pondside said…
Good for you for taking the public transit - you had an interesting experience and a manicure for your efforts. I was telling The Great Dane that we'll have to take a trip to New York again - this looks like such a lot of fun.
Preseli Mags said…
I've always wondered where Hicksville was! I'm glad to hear that you didn't get caught up with any baaad people. Lady, you certainly did New York! (And thanks for sharing it with us.)
LittleBrownDog said…
So intrepid of you both - and evidently eminently sensible, too. I think I'd have been straight down the cash point stocking up for cabs all round at the merest hint of anybody remotely baaad. Mind you, I distinctly remember vaguely considering venturing to NY back in the day, and was instantly dissuaded by a guidebook (evidently written by a cab driver) hinting at 'an air of menace' on virtually every page. Mind you, if I'd have got to the page with the superb-value manicures on, I think I might have braced myself.

More fabulous pictures, by the way. Sounds as though you had an incredible time.
Chris Stovell said…
Sue, sounds like you're going to have to share that with us!

HAH, so true, m'dear - wise words from a seasoned traveller!

Pip, it was a wonderful trip, but it's also great to be back in this beautiful part of the world.

Frances, I do hope we get to return - we've still got so much to talk to each other about. Your city is indeed fair and one to be proud of.

Pondside - I'm glad I've whetted your appetite for NY. I think we need to save up for another trip across the Pond in your direction.

Mags - I was very tickled by that... I thought Hicksville was to found somewhere round here! (Joke, joke, people!)

LBD, believe me, left to me we would have been in a cab! I am glad we did it that way though as it was a real experience (and I got my manicure :) ).
bradan said…
I love the names - Ronkonkoma, Hicksville, Jamaica - had to read that twice actually to check you were still on a train and hadn't decided to fly to the real Jamaica! You sure had a great trip Chris, thanks for sharing it all.
Debs said…
Love the names of those places. Well done you two.

Reading your posts has made me yearn to go back to NYC. We're hoping to to again next year. Glad you both had such an amazing time.
You clever people you - takes me all my time to sort Aberystwyth trains out!
Cottage Garden said…
But those memories will stay with you forever. What a great trip Chris. So glad you did the native New Yorker thing - much more interesting.

It's good to see you are keeping Aunt Jemima's profits up!! Enjoy those pancakes ...

Jeanne x
Frances said…
Hello again, Chris.

I know how busy you are nowadays, but I have taken the liberty of tagging you over at my place.

Hoping that you'll be able to find a bit of time to play.

Friko said…
are you at all glad to be at home again? No, thought not.
Chris Stovell said…
Bradan, the names were memorable - and so,sigh, was the holiday.

Debs, it makes me want to return too! I'll want to know all about it when you go.

SBS - the cleverness is all Tom's; I would have bottled it!

Jeanne, - it's a bit of a long story, but they were well received! Aunt Jemima, as you say, should be happy!

Frances, hello, m'dear, I haven't been ignoring you, just knocked out by a cold. Will do the tag on next post. Thank you.

Friko, ah well, it's always good to come home. Glad you are home now, but shouldn't you be resting? Thanks for visiting when you've been so poorly.
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