NEW YORK CITY    I never plan to drive to New York City ever again! Once was enough, actually, more than enough. But, in case you need advice, here goes.

I thought it would be wise to find a hotel in New Jersey instead of bringing my car into Manhattan. Lesson learned. Research and be sure your hotel in New Jersey is close to the metro. Walking distance close to the metro! I know that exists, but it didn't exist in Secaucus, New Jersey. It looked close on the internet, but it wasn't metro close. Only the train can get you into the city.

I arrived at the proper freeway intersection for my hotel in Secaucus at 5:30 in the afternoon, plenty of time to get to an 8:00 show on Broadway . . . or so I thought. However, at that time in the afternoon, traffic in New Jersey was bumper to bumper and completely stopped. Add to that, my GPS wouldn't accept the exact location of my hotel. After a half hour search, I passed a sign for the train station. I spent the next half hour looking for that unsuccessfully.

By 6:30, panic set in. I set my GPS for Times Square and headed for Manhattan.

It wasn't at all as easy as that sounded. It wasn't easy at all. It took an hour to get those six miles. Part of that hour was in bumper to bumper traffic yet again. This time it was at a tunnel / toll booth into the City. As if the line wasn't bad enough, it was a total shock to learn that the toll into Manhattan was $13.00! I was lucky to have cash in hand and enough gas in the tank.

I've always dreaded the idea of driving in New York City. It wasn't nearly as bad as I feared. Still, I grabbed the first parking spot I could find. I later learned that I should have looked around. Prices varied at lot! And, as my luck usually had it, I picked one of the really expensive places that cost me $42.00 for the evening. Yes, it was one of the very cool parking lots with little elevators to raise cars up for additional parking underneath, but it wasn't $42.00 cool!

On my next trip to the city, I researched the location of the train station online. I should have researched the rates and schedule as well. I went to the train station at 2:30 in the afternoon. It cost me $21.00 to park and another $8.00 for a round trip train ticket. Like I said, a metro stop within walking distance from the hotel is a must in New Jersey! If I had done a little more research, I later learned that parking my car after 4:00 would have only cost me $7.00! I did nothing during that extra hour and a half in the city that was worth the additional $14.00. Absolutely nothing.


Copyright 2013 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.