New York Travel Blog› entry 9 of 23 › view all entries
Subways have always fascinated me. We don't have subways in Croatia, our means of transportation is the bus, that will take you to the remotest corners of the country, no matter how bad the road is. Though they are mostly kind and helpful, our busdrivers tend to get reckless, mistaking their passengers for a load of potato sacks while speeding down the road, making me keep a reasonable distance from them when driving my beloved car on the same road. Bus trips in Croatia are a hell of a ride. But so are subway trips. Speeding down a dark tunnel, several meters underground, where you can't see what's ahead, behind or next to you, hearing just the squeeking wheels on the tracks and the rumble from outside the tunnel - that's actually scary. Ever watched "Subway" starring Christopher Lambert? Great movie, but not a good advertisement for subways. In addition to this, I also found out (Alan Weisman: "The World Without Us"), that the only thing that keeps those tunnels from flooding are some pumps that would stop pumping if power went out, and flooding wouldn't take more than a couple of hours, ok, I'll stop here right now, don't want to scare you guys ;-)
Nevertheless, a subway ride in NYC is a must-do. The train takes you to almost every corner of the city, it's cheap, it's mostly clean, and there are musicians at many stations that make the waiting time fun. Just make sure you take the right direction, which shouldn't be so difficult since it's either uptown or downtown. Still, rather check twice before ending up in a deserted, creepy station somewhere in Brooklyn like yours truly.
Though the MTA offers various City passes for unlimited rides, I think if you like to explore Manhattan, the best way to do it, is on foot. Since my starting point was always Penn Station, I would from there take the subway to the part of town I wanted to visit that day, and then walk back to Penn Station. That way I could see the sights and spare a subway ride.
And, honestly, walking the streets of Manhattan is a joyride itself.