Thursday, June 21, 2007

Travel

When I travel for business, in the evenings, I like to do something "local." Most of the time, that means finding a local quilt or fabric shop. Since I visit the same locations, I fall into habit and tend to visit the same places each time. New Jersey has proven a little difficult from the "shopping" standpoint, so, my favorite activity evolved into visiting Liberty State Park. I love to stop here on my way in or out of Newark airport. If I have at least 30 minutes, I love to come here. I enjoy walking around the train station, dreaming of all those immigrants who came here, after processing through Ellis Island, to catch a train to their new life in America. And I sit on a bench and just look. I look at Miss Liberty. I look at the boats going by. But mostly, I just look at the Manhattan skyline. Just staring wistfully across the water, dreaming of all the treasures that lie buried among all those skyscrapers.I've been coming to NJ for several years, but never quite figured out how to get into Manhattan, among those skyscrapers, on the short schedule I always seem to have. On my first attempt, I decided to drive into Manhattan. Just get the "lay of the land", I reasoned. I have a pretty good sense of direction, so, in general, I feel that if I do get lost, I'll eventually find my way. I mean, I'm still here, so, I couldn't have been too lost. And, I've driven in several big cities, so NYC should be no problem, right? Armed with my rental car map, I drove through Holland Tunnel and emerged into a web of one-way streets that weren't marked on my map. It wasn't long before I found myself headed to Brooklyn on the Brooklyn Bridge. I viewed this as a happy accident -- if I hadn't ended up going the wrong direction, I would never have seen the Brooklyn Bridge. It's beautiful and I'm sure I looked like a little kid with my mouth gaping open. I also briefly felt myself transported into Francie's world. Very cool for a girl (me) who lives in an architecturally challenged place! By the time I got turned around and back into Manhattan, I sort of figured out the method to the one-way streets and made it to my goal, Times Square. By now, it was dark, so Times Square was spectacular. As much as it could be from the point of view of a driver in a car trying to avoid striking one of the hoards of pedestrian tourists. That was enough for one night, so I drove out of Manhattan and headed back to NJ to my hotel.I'd survived that first attempt, so on a subsequent trip to NJ, I decided I'd try it again. I really wanted to visit The City Quilter. (This was before my blogging days -- before I knew about Purl and Tinsel Trading and ... well everything else. The only thing I had to go by back then was my quilt shop guide and the only quilt shop it listed was The City Quilter.) This time, I had a better map and a better plan. After my plane landed, I headed to the Lincoln Tunnel. What the ??? I sat in traffic for over an hour, just to get to the tunnel. I thought rush hour traffic (it was after 6:00 p.m.) was supposed to be headed out of the city, not into it. Clearly, NYC doesn't play by rush hour rules. I finally found my way to City Quilter's neighborhood, nervous that it wouldn't be long before they closed. I found a parking "garage" and pulled in. More like pulling into someone's living room. The cars were stacked 6 or 8 deep, and there was nowhere for me to go. The attendant appeared and asked for my keys. Um. Ok. I handed them over and he disappeared with my car into another "room" in this building. I hoped I'd see my car again. I paid my quick visit to City Quilter, and when they closed, I returned for my car. It took 10 minutes, but my car reappeared. For all I know, it drove to Queens in my absence. Maybe they don't really park your car. Maybe they just drive it around until someone calls them to bring it back. You never know.I might be a little slow, but I got the message. Cars aren't meant to be in Manhattan. I sort of gave up, but then I discovered blogs and so. many. of. you. blog. about all the craftiness of NYC. All I had to do was figure out how to get from where I was in central NJ to some sort of public transportation (along with a few other logistics issues.) I think I've finally figured that out. I'll try my plan out tomorrow. If you never hear from me again, you'll know my plan didn't work. ;-)

XOXO,
Anna

9 comments:

rohanknitter said...

Wow!! You really have the spirit of adventure!
Good luck and have fun!!

dizzyjadey said...

Or you could be just buried under a mountain of quilt fabric and lost track of the time! :-)

KBG said...

May the force be with you. I'll be in NYC on Saturday afternoon, but unfortunately will just be dragging my children (the little brats) from the international terminal, through customs and immigration, to the domestic terminal and we'll be off. I'll dream of shopping...

Juliet Echo Mike said...

Oh, Anna, you are such a brave woman to drive into Manhattan! That's something I don't think I'll ever do.

I loved hearing about the adventures on your trips to the East Coast. If your destination is ever Allentown, PA...send me an email! XO

karen said...

Oh Anna - you are a BRAVE person. I would be to chicken to venture out on my own. I really admire that in you. It seems like you must travel an awful lot so this probably isn't scary to you at all.

Karen

Jane Weston said...

Good Luck Anna..we're all looking forward to hearing about your adventures!!..you'll be back, right?!

Sarah said...

Good luck! I'm SO jealous! I was able to wander around in NYC by myself for a day once, but it was before I knew about all the wonderful crafty places there, so I spent my time at the Guggenheim and Central Park. Definitely tell us all about it when you get back!

Malka Dubrawsky said...

Oh, you reminded me why I love NYC so much.So much to see, so much to do.

Ragged Roses said...

You must have survived because you've left me a comment! Very brave of you!! It looks wonderful, I've always wanted to go there. thanks for sharing it.
Kim x