Wednesday, 24 February 2010
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.