1.19.2012

A lesson in a,b,c's and 1, 2, 3's

This past holiday weekend the Family and I set out for the city of New York.  I had been there once before, about 15 years ago, to watch my brother graduate from college.  Since he still resides in Brooklyn, although now with a wife and child, I decided it was about time to revisit.
Empire State Building viewed from Bryant Park
Now the first time I went, I went with my parents, my sister and a baby.  I didn't drive, ride the subway, bus or  do any type of sight seeing.  We were there strictly for one purpose...graduation.   This time our intention was to visit and to get out and see the sights. Boy was I in for a surprise.

My brother and his wife live in Brooklyn in 2nd story apartment.  To get anywhere in New York or any of the 5 boroughs the subway is your best bet.  Our first day we slept in, had a late breakfast and started out late morning.  Our destination... The Museum of Natural History, which I would learn later was at the corner of 79th and Central Park West.  Maggi and my new nephews had every intention of accompanying us, of course that was before the temperature dropped and the wind picked up to 45 mph.  Being only 3 months old my nephew decided there was no way he was going anywhere in those conditions and promptly let us all know it!  We were on our own, no map, no knowledge of the city or it's transportation. As she headed back  Maggi yelled, "Go 2 blocks to the 86th street platform, Get on the D train, change to B train at Grand St., get off at the national history museum. It's Easy."  Easy?.  HA!

Okay, step 1. find subway station
step 2. pay for metro pass
step 3. find map
step 4.  find D and B train.

Fortunately, we were able to find the subway station.  The large street sign that read "SUBWAY--->"  helped.  Once there, we had to use our higher math skills to figure out how many metropasses we needed and how much we needed on each pass.  We had 5 people, each way was $2.25,  no charge for transfer unless it is outside the 2 hour window, each metropass can only be swiped 4 times at one stop and one credit card can only be swiped 2 times before you are locked out.  (Got it?)  I remember why my son hates algebra.

We were able to find the D train, board and it transfer to the B train.  Having only 3 days in New York City we decided to get off at Central Park and walk the 5 blocks through the park to the museum.  We followed the people out of the subway tunnel to 72nd street and entered Central Park.  The wind was cold and the temperature had plummeted far from our 70 degrees in South Carolina.  We didn't so much as walk through Central Park as R.U.N  because no sooner did we enter the park than it started snowing!  Totally a tourist mistake.  Had we taken the subway to 81st we would have entered directly into the warm Museum.
Central Park in the Snow.

After we had eaten lunch and warmed up we had a wonderful time at the museum.  The place is HUGE.  4 floors and hundreds of exhibits, we hardly scratched the surface.  The kids loved it.  The life size Blue Whale was Amazing.  Then as we started to get tired we realized that we had to find our way back to Brooklyn.  Okay, we got here didn't we.  We spread out the subway map and planned our attack.

1. take elevator to floor 1 entering the subway inside and avoiding the cold.
2. take B train to D
3. exit at their stop.
Wait their stop closed for construction.
3. reviesed. take train to end of route.
4. get off D train.
5.  get back on D train going other direction.

Our first mistake, The elevator we choose exited no where near the subway entrance.  We were herded out into the cold, where we had to walk around the museum to enter the subway.  Now the train was packed.  Right. Rush hour.  We crammed ourselves onto the subway,  got nasty looks as we blocked traffic while we studied our map.  Made it to B train back to D train.  Their stop fortunately was not closed.  Okay back to back to plan A or was that step 3.  No I think it was Train D.
Time Square


We did indeed make it back safe and sound.  Saturday, Maggi and Dom gave us a guided tour of Grand Central Station where we had lunch, yummy.  Time Square which the kids thought was and I quote, "Totally Wicked!"  We walked through the giant Toys R Us, an experience I will never repeat.  Saw lots of tall buildings, including, the Empire State Building, Radio City Music Hall, The Chrysler  Building and Rockafeller Plaza.  With them leading the way it seemed easy. It was easy.  We had no problems making the 1 hour and 10 min subway ride.  Even the baby was happy. Well, as happy as you can be at 3 months when you are not at home and are forced to be out in the cold.

Sunday Maggi and Dom decided to stay home.  The windchill was 8 degrees, who could blame them.  With all 8 of us in a tiny apartment we decided to take the kids to the Aquarium at Coney Island.  After a hardy lunch we planed our attack.

Yes, we drove.

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