Returning To Annapolis (By Train and Bus)

Riding Amtrak To New Carrollton Station

 
An Acela high-speed train, going the opposite direction. This was just after leaving Penn Station, when you briefly break out into daylight before descending to pass under the Hudson River. There are so many switches in this section of track that the trains have to go very slowly, otherwise I would never have gotten a picture of an Acela going the opposite direction. Click on the picture to see a bigger version; use your browser's "back" command to return here.  


 
After passing under the Hudson, the first stop in New Jersey is at Newark. Click on the picture to see a bigger version; use your browser's "back" command to return here.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I slept reasonably well last night but I'm still chipping away at my sleep deficit. I wasn't looking forward to the ordeal of packing my bags this morning, but it was surprisingly quick and easy. I have two bags, an overstuffed duffel bag and a big canvas tote bag, and to make it easier to schlep the goods, I had brought along a folding luggage cart. During the trip home, the luggage cart proved its worth many times over.

Jerome walked me over to the water taxi stop, which was in the marina near the lightship. We shook hands and said goodbye, then after a short wait, the bright yellow boat arrived. It cost $5 to cross the Hudson River to a small terminal near Vesey Street. Although it was only "two blocks" to the subway, the area is very dense and busy, and I had to stop and ask a couple of times to find the subway entrance. I walked right past the site of the former World Trade Center, which was busy with lots of construction work. You wouldn't know by looking that it was the site of such a tragic disaster, and it was impossible to imagine the huge towers falling down, right where I walked.

It felt good to be in New York City again. It has such a unique sight, sound, and smell, and it just bustles with activity—truly a city that never sleeps. It must take a special kind of person to thrive in such a huge, densely packed city. You have to be a very tolerant "people person", at least on the surface, to peacefully coexist with the millions of other residents. And this adaptation of demeanor shows when you look at people on the street, or on the subway—they look reasonably peaceful and happy despite the crowds and the hustle and bustle.

I had been wondering how it would work out, using the luggage cart on the subway, but it went well. In a couple of places, it was a little difficult going up and down stairs, but no real problem. I rode the E train north a few stops to 34th Street, then went upstairs into Penn Station. New Yorkers must do a lot of walking and stair climbing, so they ought to be more fit than suburbanites who drive everywhere.

There was a long but steadily-moving line for Amtrak tickets, then I had to cope with a testy and unhelpful ticket agent. The one-way fare was $90, which I thought was expensive. I had a 45-minute wait, so I walked over to the food court and had a hot dog at Nathan's.

I got a good seat on the train, and except for a short time, I had the double seat to myself. Just like my previous trips, I thought it was an interesting and fast trip—it sure beats driving I-95 and all the turnpikes. I noticed again that unlike an airplane trip, you get to see all the low-level details from the train, but you pass things so quickly, you see them almost as if frozen in time.


 
The next stop in New Jersey was just a few minutes later at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). Click on the right-hand picture to see a bigger version; use your browser's "back" command to return here.

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