Empire state of mind
I've never been to New York City. It's a place I've been interested in visiting, but the time or two that I've been in the general region, I've elected not to go there. I haven't had the desire to drive into what I envision is a traffic nightmare, and let's face it, the city is surely expensive for someone traveling solo.
One of my brothers has been working temporarily in New Jersey, just across from Manhattan, since the fall. I mentioned that if the timing worked out, I might fly out to visit and see the city. (I knew it was unlikely that he'd go exploring on his own.) He's being housed in an apartment while out east, so I'd have a place to stay. I've been checking in on a regular basis to see if his company was going to have him out there when spring break rolls around. It's been probable but not confirmed, or at least not confirmed enough for me to purchase plane tickets.
I've been getting antsy about it as I figure the cost of flights is due to go up any day. The plan's been to go out there in about three weeks, assuming the price of hopping on a plane doesn't double or triple. After e-mail exchanges today I finally booked the trip.
I'm really excited. I have no idea what we might do (or what I might do when on my own), but there won't be a lack of options. Here's a city that I've seen countless times on my TV and on the movie screen, but now I'll be able to get a taste of it myself. How cool will this be?
I'm also kind of terrified. I'm going to arrive at JFK in mid-morning and will then need to get on a train to get on the train that will take me to Penn Station. Then I'll probably have six hours or so to wile away in Manhattan until I need to get on a train to New Jersey and have my brother pick me up. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH THIS FREE TIME?
It would be one thing not to have any possessions weighing me down, but I'll have a carry-on suitcase and a messenger bag with my laptop. Those things will slow me down and may limit where I can go. (A quick check of the MOMA website looks like I can rule it out.) Did I mention that I'll also be arriving on St. Patrick's Day, which didn't occur to me until I made the flight reservations? What sort of madness am I going to be walking into? I'll face some of the same issues when I'm departing--my flight isn't until mid-afternoon--but by then I figure I'll be more comfortable with getting around.
So, it's sure to be an adventure. That's thrilling and frightening at the same time.