June 11, 2014

Manhattan skyline...

... from Jersey City, across the Hudson River, with the Freedom Tower:

Untitled

That was the view from our hotel window. We chose to say on the New Jersey side, across the street from the PATH train that got us over to Greenwich Village quickly, because we arrived by car and thought it would be quiet and easier to sleep (which it was). It's an option, let's just say.

On the same cloudy day, 2 Saturdays ago, Washington Square:

Untitled

The PATH train was perfectly nice and completely safe as far as I could tell, but if I were a woman traveling alone, I would hate to walk down this stairwell, which is the Christopher Street entrance to the PATH.

Untitled

These creepy murals don't work for me at all. It heightens the fear of entering an underground space at night. But nothing bad happened. Back at the hotel, the night view looked like this:

Untitled

25 comments:

BDNYC said...

Did you exit the PATH at the Christopher Street station? Wonderful area, except sometimes at night (when it's warm out) it's overrun by a certain, um, element.

Original Mike said...

Doesn't that thing like a target, now?

Ann Althouse said...

"Did you exit the PATH at the Christopher Street station? Wonderful area, except sometimes at night (when it's warm out) it's overrun by a certain, um, element."

Yeah, the "element" is swarms of New Jerseyites pouring into Manhattan for a nightlife experience. We were going back to NJ at maybe 10 (because we're old), but there were waves of young people tumbling in.

Michael said...

So the great and unbridled freedom of having your own car ended up being an anchor, a vehicle which decided for you based on parking and the oh-so-convenient PATH just out your door. So you got to be authentic "locals" , bridge and tunnel locals with your Manhattan excursions decided for you by where the PATH dumps. Grim.

SBG said...

I'm so glad I don't live in New York anymore!

BDNYC said...

Yeah, the "element" is swarms of New Jerseyites pouring into Manhattan for a nightlife experience. We were going back to NJ at maybe 10 (because we're old), but there were waves of young people tumbling in.

That's certainly a part of it, but for a long time there's been an unsavory drug-and-prostitution scene on Christopher Street. Supposedly the bathrooms at the piers are where much of the illicit activity goes down. I have seen several drug busts on Greenwich Street. Lots of outsiders, particularly youngsters, come to Christopher Street to act a fool.

The neighborhood has improved. One particularly filthy bar, right next to the PATH station, closed down a couple years ago and became a sushi place.

ALP said...

Too funny - the changing of the generational guard at 10 pm. During my clubbing party days...we'd glance at the clock waiting for 10:01 pm. You see, opening the door to leave the house BEFORE 10:00 pm was NOT COOL - way too early. Who knew we were waiting for all the old folks to go home?

Ann Althouse said...

"with your Manhattan excursions decided for you by where the PATH dumps. Grim."

It's not the choice I would make on my own, but being able to sleep was important, and the truth is, if you stay in a hotel (or an apt.) in Manhattan, that determines where your excursions begin.

The other time Meade and I came to NYC together we stayed at the SoHo Grand and that kind of puts you in the middle of things, but most of those things are a big tourist mall.

(I lived in Greenwich Village in the 1970s, so I remember what SoHo was back then, and by contrast, what's there now is… less arty.)

surfed said...

I'm thinking you two used the car wisely. My friends stay right next door in Liberty Park with their camper and commute to the city. I'm taking my camper and 20' sailboat up next year to sail around the Statue of Liberty. We'll commute into the city by ferry. We just go back from Italy and we met numerous couples that would drive to locations outside the city to stay (monasteries) and metro-train in. The automobile does give you a freedom that trains and planes just don't. Good efficient usage of multiple methods of transportation. I'm assuming you two did do some walking...

Ann Althouse said...

"So the great and unbridled freedom of having your own car ended up being an anchor, a vehicle which decided for you based on parking and the oh-so-convenient PATH just out your door."

We parked the car and left it parked the whole time we were there, so we could have driven through the tunnel and parked near whatever hotel we wanted in Manhattan. It would have been pretty much the same, but somewhat more expensive.

"So you got to be authentic "locals""

Travelers are never locals and are always only authentic travelers.

But, yeah, I understand the NYer's contempt for people from New Jersey, and I expressed it myself in my 3:30 comment.

One reason I prefer Madison is I find that kind of snobbery unpleasant. I don't like it in myself or others. But when you ride a commuter train, you can't help looking at other people and thinking about them, judging them.

And that's what I like about the car. A private space.

Michael said...

Professor:

The Four Seasons on 57 is pretty quiet. Very quiet.

traditionalguy said...

Did Sully land anymore airplanes in the Hudson while you were there?

southcentralpa said...

Manhattan Skyline. Check and check. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyLiFgEKzLY

KLDAVIS said...

Three of my four offices are in that picture...

Funny, we also picked Jersey because we wanted to keep our car when moving from the Midwest. I'm happy with the choice, but wouldn't mind moving across the river eventually. I don't get nearly the amount of grief from my NYC-dwelling friends as I expected...probably because we act like we've been there.

Ann Althouse said...

"The Four Seasons on 57 is pretty quiet. Very quiet."

We needed to be in the Village area or on the Upper West Side, so that midtown area wouldn't have worked for us this time.

As for next time… we probably won't make it back to NYC for a long time. Meade doesn't like it, and I've already spent 10+ years there and don't need anymore.

We only went because we have a son and a daughter there.

Ann Althouse said...

"Did Sully land anymore airplanes in the Hudson while you were there?"

Yeah, we were talking about that.

There was absolutely no action out on the water.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm thinking you two used the car wisely. My friends stay right next door in Liberty Park with their camper and commute to the city. I'm taking my camper and 20' sailboat up next year to sail around the Statue of Liberty. We'll commute into the city by ferry. We just go back from Italy and we met numerous couples that would drive to locations outside the city to stay (monasteries) and metro-train in. The automobile does give you a freedom that trains and planes just don't. Good efficient usage of multiple methods of transportation. I'm assuming you two did do some walking…"

Thanks. Yeah, we only walked except the time we took the subway up to the West 90s and then back.

When I lived alone in Brooklyn Heights in '07-'08, I used cabs and car service almost exclusively. I stayed out of the trains, but somehow no one wanted to hail cabs, even though when you have 3 or 4 persons, a cab is a bargain (I think!).

That's mostly all we wanted to do: Walk around, eat in some restaurants, and see our kids. We saw zero sights (unless old St. Patrick's church is a sight). Didn't set foot in a museum or a theater.

KLDAVIS said...

"But when you ride a commuter train, you can't help looking at other people and thinking about them, judging them."

And, if you're insecure, you judge yourself for being one of them.

J Lee said...

I used that stop last year as a way back to midtown, after a pre-thunderstorm trek down the High Line (now that PATH takes Metrocards, there's no difference between using them to access it and the city's other subways lines).

PATH's always been something of a hybrid -- Part subway, part commuter rail, which originally was built to get people into New York from the rail lines that ended at the Hudson River (it pre-dates Pennsylvania Station's Hudson tunnels by five years). Other than the World Trade Center and Herald Square stops, all its other entrances in Manhattan tend to be out-of-the-way or roundabout, because they were never designed for very high-volume local traffic (the entrances to the stops on Sixth Avenue are even worse, because the city decided to build its own subway line around PATH in the 1930s).

Anonymous said...

I've always been intrigued by the particular odor of PATH stations. It's a distinctive musty smell, not at all unpleasant, and as far as I know it's never been explained.

Peter

wildswan said...

I lived in Hoboken. The way we saw it, we got to look at Manhattan, they got to look at Jersey.

Jason said...


One reason I prefer Madison is I find that kind of snobbery unpleasant.

LOL!

Not like those Green Bay people!

MPH said...

An offer for your next visit.

Maybe this is weird because you don't know me, but as a thank you for this blog which I read every day, I'd gladly vacate my 2br apartment for a weekend so you two can stay in the Financial District. It is very quiet down here at night and on weekends and convienient to most parts of the city. I would use it as a good excuse to take my family on our own excursion while you were here.

SendlingerTor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SendlingerTor said...

MPH I don't think your offer would be too off-putting. After all Ann found her husband on this blog so an invitation for a weekend housesit can't be too daunting.