Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Going Underground

Although I haven't been in a New York City subway car since 1978, I decided that as part of the NYC experience, that Lo should take a ride. Lo has never been to NYC. So although I went twice as a teen, and for about two days in 2007, I will be the guide and showing her around when we go for my birthday in April. Yeah, I am not a seasoned NY traveler. But I am a seasoned traveler. As someone once said about art, "I know what I like when I see it." I know how I like to travel.
I've talked about Dad many times on this blog. He really had his awesome moments. The things I loved about him, I incorporated into myself, as I guess all children do with their parents. I really loved the way Dad traveled. He was adamant about not being a typical tourist nor doing touristy things. He introduced me to the concept of asking the cab driver or the bellman at the hotel where to go as opposed to asking the concierge.

When our cruise ship docked in the Bahamas, Dad asked the cab driver to take us to his favorite bar. We were really off the beaten path. It was crazy. Not only that but the bar was named the same as my high school boyfriend who had an unusual name. Stuff like that is really funny to two drunk people. On our first trip to Las Vegas, it was December and there were horrid frigid straight line winds, but we ventured out that first day, grabbed a cab and asked the cabbie, "Where can we get a good Rueben sandwich?" The cab driver knew where to go. And our Lake Tahoe trip was awesome. Dad hired a limo to take us around the lake. And that guy was great. When Dad and I went to New Orleans for Halloween, he had broken his foot just before our trip and went anyway. My Halloween costume was as Tonya Harding, so Dad, on crutches, kept pointing at me and saying, "She did this!"
But back to New York. I posted about my first trip and how I met Rodney Dangerfield. (That was one of my very early posts back in 2005, so it was a little strange to read it again.) We went the next year with my high school boyfriend, my brother, and his best friend and stayed through New Year's Eve on Times Square. That was crazy. Dad accidentally smoked pot laced with PCP and missed the whole basketball game and we only found him at the end of the game. That's a funny story. (Dad and I also took a trip to Puerto Vallarta as well as some beach vacations with other family.)
Oh. So back to the subway in 1978. There I was in New York with my high school boyfriend. My high school boyfriend and I had a whole afternoon before the next basketball game to wander around and we went into the Empire State Building and saw the line for the elevator and I said, "I'm not waiting in line. We can still say we went to The Empire State Building." We did the same thing with The World Trade Center. Went in. Went out. We did take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty where we smoked a joint and took the walk up to look out the dirty crown windows. Then we decided to take the subway back. Except we didn't. Make it back I mean. We ended up in a deserted warehouse district with empty boxes blowing down the street. It reminded me of tumbleweeds in old western movies. And there was a guy either dead or passed out on the sidewalk and he was the only person around. We were freaked out. I think we had ended up in The Bronx, but I'm not positive. We walked and walked and walked and finally found civilization. And this was in New York. It was crazy that it was so deserted. We finally found a subway station and found a train back to Times Square and we were so happy.
We shouldn't have that problem in April because I've been studying that map. I may have always loved improv traveling, but I really do like maps. Getting lost sucks. Besides, this time I will be the guide.


emerrube said...

I love going on vacation! sounds like you had some great times. :) someday I'll get to New York. In May we are going to Niagara Falls, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. And for now we are doing all the touristy things because I never been to any of those places. But I like your idea of asking the cabby.

(changed my id from cabcree to emerrube)

Anonymous said...

Yep, the best way to travel is to ask the locals...

I take it the PCP was the accidental part, not the joint? Cause how do you accidentally smoke a joint unless you're a politician?

- jazz

Lo said...

I can't wait.
I can't wait.
I can't WAIT!!!

Jocelyn said...

Yea, okay: the pot/PCP thing? Totally an episode of some sort of CSI, right? CRAZY!

You are going to have so much fun in NYC--I'm jealous! And I agree on the ask the locals their preferences thing, too; I even just ask waiters in restaurants, "So, when you have a break and get to grab dinner, what do you eat back there in the kitchen? I'll have that."

So the toilet paper in the shower thing: depends on the specific shower. At the Fairy Chimney Inn, in the small bathroom we mostly use, the shower gets the whole toilet wet but the water spray stops just short of the tp. In the pension we first stayed at when we arrived in Turkey, though, the shower water hit EVERYTHING, which meant that if you were even lucky enough to use the bathroom when there was tp in it, that tp would be soaked, of little use. Maybe the tp issue is part of the reason why so many Turkish bathrooms don't have it on offer at all!

geewits said...

~~Well in D.C. you have to do the touristy things. We went in April 2002 and got lucky with the blooming of the cherrry blossoms. I printed out a Smithsonian map of the location of the Hope Diamond and went straight to it. I just had to see that thing!!

~~Hee hee. Exactly.

~~Two months and one day and I'll be on the plane heading your way!

Anonymous said...

Wow, what fond memories of your dad. He sounds like a one of the gang type dads. As to your ending up in that strange deserted place, it sounds like two kids riding the subway into the Twilight Zone...... Glad you found your way out.

Carole said...

Really enjoyed your travel stories with your Dad, and the part about ending up in the deserted warehouse district with your boyfriend too. I always wonder where they shoot those car chase scenes in NYC where there are no other people around? Maybe it's in the scary ghost city parts of NYC? :D

My daughter is a fun traveler too. As you know, she took us all (our family of 6) all riding in the subways all over Manhattan. That was one of the funnest parts of the trip into the city for me!

geewits said...

~~That's crazy about the toilet paper. I was wondering about that. I was on a cruise ship where it was all together but I can't remember where the toilet paper was.

~~Oh he was certainly one of the gang. His best friend was one of my high school friends. It was always a party at his house.

~~Funnest? What about the time your pass didn't work? That sounded scary.

Anonymous said...

I love underground maps. London's of course was the first and remains the classic of the genre. Mind the gap, if you will.

Carole said...

Gee, yes that was scary, although a very nice man told me it would work again in about 20 minutes; and as it turned out, all my family had to do was come through the gate, as my daughter did, to rescue me. I just thought I was locked away from them all. haha
What was fun though...was seeing all the people who looked like they rode the subway all the time.

tattytiara said...

I am definitely sight seeing your dad's way the next time i travel.

geewits said...

~~I hope you got the latest National Geographic with its maps of the old French underground.

~~That's always impressive.

~~He always knew how to have fun.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Coming from New York, I used to take the Subway a lot back in the day...I don't remember there being a Subway from The Statue of Liberty back to Manhattan...At leaast not when I lived there....
The Subway system in NY is pretty incredible! Gosh, April will be here before you know it.

I hope they include Betty in the "In Memorium" section of the Oscars---you never know.....