Monday, April 17, 2006

New York Rocks - Kickoff

α. Kickoff - Friday 17th

Kaushik picked us from our home at 7.45 am and dropped us at Lowell railway station. There are two types of rail here, Commuter rail - long distance one and Subway - city transport. We took the commuter rail to North Station, Boston. It looks more or less like our Shatabdi and Rajadhani. We can take tickets inside the train too and Conductor collected our tickets and placed a pass in front of our seat. We reached North station in 45 min and came out of the station to go to the nearby subway station. Here things are automated, we can buy coins or cards to enter platform. After paying the base fare, any subway can be taken on any different routes without coming out of the station. The rail network is interconnected like spider web to facilitate accessibility virtually to the entire city. We took the orange line to downtown crossing and red line to South station. Bus terminal was just outside the station and we got a Chinatown bus to New York. The word “China” stands for cheap allover the world I think. It’s just 15 bucks to NY and a good bus too. Here buses also have restroomsJ. It took 5 hrs and we landed in New York at 3. Bus stopped at Canal St. Since my uncle gave proper directions, it didn’t take much time to reach Broadway and catch subway. We can buy metro cards to travel by subway which have different options like single ride, 1 day fun pass etc. Cards can be swiped to unlock the metallic bars. We bought two cards and caught the subway to Whitehall St. This is the southern end of Manhattan from where can take the ferry.

New York City is divided into five Burroughs – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island. Manhattan is the heart of the city with all the skylines and other attractions. We took the Staten Island ferry which operates free from Manhattan to Staten Island. On the way, we saw the Lady, gifted by France to US, a glance of which people throughout the world desire to see once, Statue of Liberty! The lady holding the torch in an island was an amazing scene. It is located in Liberty Island. Ferry took 20 min to reach Staten Island and uncle came to pick us up. The house was 15-20 min away from the station and we reached around 5. Staten Island is a calm place devoid of the traffic and crowd in Manhattan. We refreshed and then decided not to go out as it was late. The weather in New York was around -100C and will feel colder than anticipated due to cold winds.

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