day two: how to...get to manhattan

Today's post is supposed to educate you, the reader, about something I know a lot about or am really good at. I figure I could go through how to do a mail merge in Microsoft Word or I could just explain how I get to Manhattan. Because from where I'm at I think that's far more interesting. I'm not saying I'm an expert... but I have gone to NYC a good number of times and I like our way. So there.

Drive to Newark Penn Station. Not THE Penn Station but the NEWARK Penn Station on Raymond Plaza, Newark, New Jersey. You can get there however you like. I prefer the NJ Turnpike because I tend to have to pee a lot.

Park your car in the garage directly across from the main entrance. Pay when you leave the garage at the end of the day, this normally is $20-30. I don't know why the range but it probably has to do with when you return to get your car and I don't like to read signs. Park outside if you can. Don't be silly and leave expensive things laying about. It's a secure lot but don't be naive.

Walk through the main entrance and continue straight on till morning. If you have to pee might as well use the restrooms now. They are on your left. Once that's done look for PATH signs. Enter the platform by going up the stairs/escalators. Look for kiosks that look like ATMs. Select Metro Card. Round trip will cost you $4.50. Just enter that dollar amount unless you are planning on switching trains or using the subway then I can't help you. If you want to just do one transaction do the math. Two of you? Make it an even $9 and hand the card back after going through turnstiles. Swipe credit card. Get Metro Card. Go through turnstiles. Wait. At this point you may or may not be sweating. It's okay.

Get on the train labelled WTC. If you want to go Midtown I would suggest getting off at the Journal Square stop and then get back on the train headed towards 33rd Street (this will not affect your aforementioned Metro Card value). Otherwise sit tight. The trip takes about 35-45 minutes. I tend to zone out. You will be going under water as an FYI to claustrophobic people. Get off the train at WTC and follow crowd to street level. Explore.

I'm sure seasoned New Yorkers could find a better way but for us this works. Cheap parking. Cheap transit. Freedom.

Some tips? Besides the obvious wear comfy shoes/have a map stuff?

Bathrooms are notoriously hard to come by. McDonald's has them but most want you to be a paying customer. So unless you are willing to buy some fries with each pee move along. Starbucks are pretty nice and plentiful. But one toilet might make for a long line and in an emergency it won't do. Here's a tip. Tiffany's. The Ladies Lounge. So if you're ever on Fifth Avenue feeling the call of nature know there is a stylish john calling your name. I could write post upon post about toilets.

Sit. Watch. If you can include alcohol that's absolute perfection.

Don't pay attention to the walk/don't walk signs. Pay attention to vehicles. If none are coming just go. Everybody's doing it.

Use the Internet. Going to The City does not have to cost you much. See sites from your favorite movie, TV show, etc. At least it's a general goal while you explore.

Forego the fake bags in Chinatown. Just not worth it.

Bring anti-bacterial gel. Just saying is all.

Tomorrow's post: I talk about uncomfortable things.