On our first full day in NY, Joe had to leave us at the museum of Natural History to go back and have dinner with some colleagues. When we left the museum at closing (5:45), it was absolutely pouring down rain. I had promised the kids we would go to Dylan's Candy Bar. So rain or not, that's where we were headed. I hailed a cab, yes, I, non agressive me, got a cab to pull over and didn't allow any body to jump in ahead of me and he took us there. After, I had to figure out how to get us back to our hotel. So we stepped out into the rain again and ran across the street to Patsy's Pizza (which I highly recommend!) and had dinner.
As I entered Patsy's Pizza place in my soaking wet clothes and baseball cap. I noticed right off that there were not many tourists in there. It was definitely more of a neighborhood place, I felt like I looked out of place, but everyone was very nice. Sitting next to us was a young couple, and I don't know how, but you can just tell the locals from the tourists, and they were locals. So I had my subway map out and was trying to figure out how to get home, I leaned over and asked them the best way to get to Time Square. "Just take the 6 to Grand Central, then get on the _ and it will take you straight to 42nd street", she said. Then he said "Or, just take the R, and it will express you straight to 42nd street". They both showed me on the map how either one would work and I opted for Grand Central Station so the kids could see that.
Down in the subway, I knew I was trying to catch the "6", but the sign lists about 4 numbers so I'm a little worried I might get on a wrong train. I see a man, sitting on a bench, texting on his cell phone, wearing a suit...probably not a tourist. So I ask him, "Am I in the right place to catch the 6 to Grand Central?" He tells me yes, says he is getting on the same train, sits across from us on the train, and makes sure I don't miss my stop. Thank you kind gentleman!!
In Grand Central I found another guy and asked him about which train to get on to go to Time Square, he tells me to just walk and tells me how to get there. So easy!!
After that night, that one subway trip, NY was a breeze. I felt so confident getting on and off trains and in and out of cabs. I figured out ho to read the subway map, but still always asked someone just to be on the safe side.
Oh! I forgot to tell you that I had to buy a Metro Card and couldn't figure out the machine. A very nice girl, stood with me patiently and helped me with that. I even thought she was going to pull out some cash to give me if I couldn't make my card work. I wouldn't have taken it, but wasn't that nice!!
New Yorkers get a bad rap. They are not rude, they are very helpful. It is a great place, we had a very pleasant time.
More tips to follow.....