New York as a state is more than just New York City. I learned this after spending 13 weeks five hours away from NYC in Syracuse. And I also learned about winter. Coming from Florida, it does not snow and is sunny 98% of the time. Central New York on the other hand is cold. I got used to the 20 degrees and below weather. Even 40 degree weather started feeling warm!
After the 13 weeks, I was ready for the slightly warmer weather in Long Island, New York where I lived before moving to Florida. It had been almost 10 years since we’ve been back on the island. So during our stay, we visited and in my case “re-met” people who I apparently used to see often.
The day before we left for NYC, it snowed. I didn’t think much of it because snow became a very common thing for 13 weeks while in Syracuse. But schools in Long Island were cancelled. And the aftermath of the snow was this view outside my window.
The snow ended up causing delays for the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). We bought tickets (one way for about $18) for the 7:57 am train. The trip was supposed to take only an hour and 20 minutes so we would arrive at Penn Station in NYC at around 9:30 am. Instead, we didn’t arrive until around 11 am.
Waiting for the clock to strike 7:57 am, someone came in and said we could grab some coffee because we wouldn’t leave until 8:30 am. We waited. Then when we finally left the station, we had delays at a few other stations due to delays of previous trains and at one point, we were delayed again due to a branch in the way of the train.
Despite the delays, the trains are relatively comfortable. Since we had to take our large backpacks with us, we were able to store them in the overhead compartment. Avoid the bathrooms if you can but if you really have to go, it’s really not that bad. After traveling to many parts of the world, I’ve learned to appreciate public bathrooms in the US.
Finally we reached the city. I was born in New York City and used to visit the city often when living in Long Island- but I was too young to remember a lot. So it was very exciting to be back in one of the most talked about cities in the world!
With our backpacks, we walked out of Penn Station and walked a few blocks to a taxi stand. Snow may seem nice and fun to play in, but that ends when the snow melts- especially in the city.
It was wet everywhere. Slush was found mainly on the streets close to the sidewalks. That meant to get to a taxi, you’d have to step into the ankle deep slush. The taxis wouldn’t approach closer to the sidewalk to let passengers in without getting wet, so we had to walk a few more blocks with our heavy backpacks to find a taxi somewhere else.
We finally found one, got to our apartment and headed out for lunch. I’ve heard that New York City has every type of food you can imagine. So using FourSquare, I searched for a place that a lot of people checked into and recommended. Terakawa Ramen showed up as a popular place for lunch. We went and had a delicious first meal in NYC.
Even with delays while traveling from Long Island to New York City, the slush and cold weather, it’s good to be back!