Not too long after leaving the Dunkin' Donuts in Edison, NJ, we found ourselves at a junction of several highways in quick succession. There was a little more traffic than we had seen before, not so much that driving was difficult, but things were happening quickly enough that I wasn't able to figure out exactly what turns we needed to make to avoid going straight through New York City. We had planned to go around it to the north, but that wasn't to be. Eventually, I gave in to the inevitable and just told the girlfriend to go ahead and follow the signs for the Holland Tunnel.
It wasn't long at all before we got our first hazy view of the familiar skyline:
We passed by some shipyards, again that kind of industrial stuff that fascinates me sometimes:
As we got closer to the city, we caught a little glimpse of the Statue of Liberty:
Yeah, she's small, but she's there in the middle...
We got closer and had a few better views of both the Statue and the skyline.
Well, maybe not all that much better, but closer at least...
Before heading into the tunnel, we also saw this thing:
I have no idea what that building was, but it looked pretty cool.
There was also a very nice-looking church along the way:
And our final glimpse of the skyline before we went underground:
Here's one of the obligatory shots while going through the Holland Tunnel:
And our first view of NYC after coming out of the tunnel:
Shortly after this was where we managed to pretty much get lost in New York City. We weren't actually that bad off, because the GPS kept track of us fairly well. It did have a few minor issues with the concrete canyons, though. We stopped near Little Italy, just to get our bearings, and we discovered that we were pretty much going exactly the opposite direction we needed to be going. While we were sitting there, quite stationary, the GPS had us moving a matter of several blocks in various directions. Fortunately, once we started moving again, it homed in on us pretty well.
Once we knew kind of where we were and where we were supposed to be going, the drive wasn't too bad. It wasn't as awful driving as everyone seems to tell us. I wouldn't have wanted to do it, but the girlfriend didn't seem to be having any problems with it. In fact, she seemed to be having fun. We went north on Hudson and then 8th Avenue, before turning east on 23rd Street. We continued along 23rd to the FDR Freeway, and then pretty much just hoofed it north out of the city. I wish we'd had a little more time to plan our route, because it would have been very easy to adjust a bit and go down some of those streets that we've heard so much about, but never seen.
One big thing we noticed was that the city was pretty clean. We'd heard that it was kind of dirty, and my mom had commented that she didn't like New York because it just smelled bad. Well, I'm guessing they've cleaned it up a lot since she's last been there, because we rolled the windows down as we rolled down 23rd, and it smelled fine. I mean, it's still a big city, and you can smell a lot of the things like exhaust and odd food smells and such that you will in any big city, but it certainly wasn't anything all that unpleasant. We only saw a small sampling of the city, of course, but we didn't see anything that's going to make us stay away in the future.
As we drove along, I was snapping pictures all over the place like an idiot tourist. Of course, that's pretty much what we are, but I'm sure some of the locals were still looking at us and just shaking their heads. The girlfriend realized that we were right next to the Flatiron Building at one point, and asked me to take a picture of the front of it. Unfortunately, I brain-faded at that point and didn't realize that was the building with the weird angle, and I missed the shot. Instead, I pretty much just got a picture of one of the sides. In any case, there are a bunch more photos on Flickr, but here are some of the highlights. Sorry some of them have the dark band on the top from the windshield, but I was looking up a lot more than usual...
The Chelsea Hotel, which the girlfriend wanted me to take a picture of. I didn't intentionally go for the "artistic slant"; I was just hanging backward out the window and that's the best I could do:
This is the face of the Flatiron Building, rather than the "front" of it that the girlfriend wanted a picture of:
A statue along the side of 23rd Street:
Eventually, we got to the FDR Freeway, where we could see Queens across the river:
That's also where we had our best view of the Chrysler Building, which wasn't really that much of a view:
I think this is the Triborough Bridge, although now it's been renamed the JFK Memorial Bridge:
Kind of an interesting looking rock wall along the freeway:
While we were driving along, there was this interesting set of four red and white smokestacks across the river. This was the best shot I could get of them:
And here's a little lighthouse, or beacon, at least, along the river:
I'm not really sure what this odd cylindrical building is:
Getting ready to head onto the Triborough Bridge, heading toward Brooklyn:
A lot of the rest of the way out of New York looked like this on one side of the freeway:
And like this on the other:
In all, it only took us about an hour to get through New York City, including the little bit of time when we were lost. That's a whole lot less time than we had expected to take, and it was a good thing, because Connecticut was next...
Labels: New York City, vacation