A New York Minute
Growing up right outside New York City, I used to be pretty good at winging it getting around the city to places I wanted to go (and finding the food I wanted to eat)... but after being out of the city hustle for the past decade, it seems some of those navigational instincts have diminished.
On a semi-warm late August afternoon I convinced my mom to join me in the city to go on a tall ship statue sail around Manhattan. Leaving from New Jersey, we decided to take a chance on catching the ferry (not ever using the ferry system before or even asking many questions). At the ferry station we could not figure out how to get to our destination of Battery Park and of course only with 45 minutes to spare (who doesn't do great under pressure).
After asking some attendants we figured out our first stop across the Hudson to Pier 79 and after purchasing tickets realized we were not even told the slip number for our ferry. With the hesitant help of cautious strangers we got on the right ferry to the next stop where we needed to get on another ferry straight to our destination but we had to buy another ticket at the second ferry station.
Lo and behold it must have been lunch hour at that ferry station because there was not a worker around and the ticket booth was literally closed. With minutes ticking away and no idea how far away we, I reached out to more strangers who told us to to see the lady in the reflective jacket out by the buses to take us there. Well, she was on lunch break too.. at this point we have 20 minutes left so I hailed a cab.
Not knowing how large Battery Park is, the driver did not know where to bring us either. We came upon a random address by the park and proceeded to try and navigate around the park only to be blocked on all sides by long lines of people trying to see the statue of liberty.
With now only less than 10 minutes to spare (and a strong desire for that ice cold sailing beer at sea) I called the company until someone answered and they just told us to find a way to get around all the long lines and go left and follow the water.
Alas, after some serious line obstacles we found our tall ship. Beer was drank and fun was had. But after our sail... how do we get home without all the hassle? And sitting in front of us was a double decker NYC tour bus that would take us back in the direction of our ferry back to New Jersey. So we took the opportunity and hopped aboard...not realizing that we were on the second half of the trip where that stop already happened and the bus literally makes everyone get off in the middle of Times Square...a whole new adventure in itself.
So after a 30 block tour of the people, sights, and craziness that is Times Square we found our ferry home. In the end we saw it all, had a great time, but if you are trying to navigate through NYC and don't want your feet to hurt by the end of the day...make a plan first.