Sunday, May 29, 2016

New York, New York - Part 1

A couple of months ago, Josh let me know that he was going to be able to take a work trip to New York. He asked if I wanted to go and of course I was game and said yes. I found a flight from Nashville to LaGuardia and booked it and was ready to go. I got there a few hours before he did. Fortunately, there was a Five Guys at the airport so I ate there, then hung out until he got there. We took a taxi to the hotel and as it was late, we just went to sleep.

We were actually staying in Yonkers which was about 20 miles north of New York City. His company didn’t get him a rental car, so we would be using trains, the subway, taxi/Uber/Lyft and walking to get around. Where Josh would be working was right across the street from the hotel. He went off to work and I prepared for my first day of sightseeing.

While I poured over the New York MTA web site, I found that the rail line (Metro North) that we were closest to would take us not only to New York City but also to Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown. I had just seen this on Jeopardy and it reawakened my interest in going there. I walked to the Greystone train station (roughly a mile away). The station is located right on the Hudson River. One thing I discovered is that the road slopes quite abruptly to the river. I headed downhill to get there and realized it was going to be quite the upward trek when I came back. I had studied how to use the train ticket machines so I bought a train ticket to Irvington (my first stop) and sat back to wait for the train. I had no trouble, a conductor came back and took my ticket and put a numbered card in front of my seat which I presume let them know I was legally riding the train.

I got off at Irvington and headed for Sunnyside. This was Washington Irving’s home on the Hudson that had been preserved. He’s one of my favorite authors and is considered the first true American author. It was about a half a mile walk and mostly all uphill. The last quarter of a mile was actually a path through a woods to get to the park entrance. I had signed up for a tour and was greeted by the tour guide. She did a very good job telling us about Mr. Irving and showing us his home. I found out that he never married, but several of his nieces and his brother (and many other guests) stayed at the home. One of his suitors was Mary Shelley (of Frankenstein fame). He also came up with Gotham as a name for New York (near and dear to any Batman fan) and Knickerbocker (which became the New York NBA team name). I had someone tell me I should see the Lyndhurst Castle which was only about a half a mile away. I trekked back out to the trail and went and saw that. It’s a pretty neat looking place, but I don’t know that it was worth the walk.

After this, I was starving. I stopped at a little pizza place I’d passed by on the way there and got a slice and a drink and rested. I then took the downhill walk to the station to catch the train to Tarrytown to see the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. I saw the grave of Andrew Carnegie and the family plot of Washington Irving (where he is buried). I also saw the replica of the bridge which the Headless Horseman would have chased Ichabod Crane and then followed the path to the old Dutch church that he tried to reach to make him disappear.

After all that walking, I was worn out. I took a train back to Greystone station. There was no way I could walk back up those hills, so I got an Uber back to the hotel and waited for Josh.

In my next post, I’ll relate Josh and my first experience in visiting New York City.