I Heart NYC
July 4, 2011
Elkhart IN, Waterloo, IN, Bryan, OH, Toledo, OH, Sandusky, OH, Elyria OH, Cleveland, OH, Eire, PA, Buffalo, NY, Rochester, NY, Utica, NY, Schenectady NY, Albany, NY, Poughkeepsie NY, Croton-Harmon, NY, New York, NY.
I got on the Lake Shore Limited and almost immediately went to sleep. Well I did get to see a few fire works before I fell asleep. I slept soundly for about 9 hours and awoke to sunshine and vineyards somewhere west of Buffalo NY on the shores ofLake Erie.
The Lake Shore Limited is a different kind of train ride. First the passengers sit in the lower part of the train, mostly because there is no upper deck. There is also no observation/lounge type car, once again because everything is on the lower deck. On the Southwest Chief the staff used the PA system almost to distraction. I rarely hear it on this train. Maybe it is broken.
It could be why sleeping is so much easier on this train. And this train is full of passengers. You would think they would have better things to do on the Fourth of July.
And then the view of scenery is quite limited. The landscape is mostly flat, I am sitting lower and the vegetation grows very densely right up to the side of the train tracks. I have notice this a lot east of the Mississippi. West of the Mississippi there is not that much shrubbery and they keep it pretty trimmed, I think because of potential fire. It is so lush and green here I doubt that fire is a concern.
Factoid: Even number trains run North and East. Odd number trains run West and South. The exception is the Pacific Surf Liner in California where they number them however feels good.
The scenery picked up once we joined the Mohawk River in the Mohawk Valley. There were a few boats out on the water enjoying the Fourth. Once we got to Albany, New York the car I was in got cut loose from the rest of the train and we picked up a new engine. The original train went on toBoston and we hung a right and went toNew York.
As we neared Poughkeepsie in our newly made up train, now called The Adirondack, we Ran alongside the Hudson which is pretty wide and having a lot of recreational usage along it. There are also 13 light houses along this stretch of the river. I have never seen a lighthouse on a river before.
Once we got alongside of the Hudsonthe scenery really got a lot better. There, were lots of people out on the water and in the water side parks enjoying the Fourth. My seatmate, who we will call Josh to protect his identity, pointed out landmarks along the way including the Bard College which he is going to attend as a Senior this Fall.
We got to NYC about 20 minutes late which is a new Amtrak record and got out at Penn Station. Since there was a line for cabs I hoofed it to my hotel and was so proud that I could actually find it. It is 6 blocks from Penn, 3 blocks from the Empire State Bldg. and about 2 blocks from Madison Square Garden. I tossed my luggage in the room and went off exploring.
I walked a good ways on a balmy night to the Chelseadistrict. I turned around and settle in at Triple Crown Ale house for some beer and pastrami on rye sandwich. Note: To Nick, who
steals from me, I had a Smithwick, Killigans Irish Red, a Newcastle and a Yuengling while you were stealing Costco beer from your poor sweet neighbor who trusted you with his house key. Neener neener!
There massive fireworks from five barges on the Hudson. It was kind of like a scene out of ‘Forrest Gump’, Afterwards, I walked along the streets and there were a ton of people out
and about. I am not Las Vegas, NM any longer.