New York day trips – The Gates

gates poster
Once or twice a year, I take the train to New York City and wander around for a day. Make that trains plural, since I’m too cheap to take Amtrak and instead make the perilous Trenton SEPTA/NJ Transit connection (though I’m not so cheap that I’ve tried the scary Chinese busses, which careen down New Jersey highways at breakneck speeds).

Last night at dinner, Sassy J and Em the artist/cognitive therapist reminded me that Christo and Jeanne-Claude will unveil The Gates in Central Park this weekend. The project is all the rage on the Internet today, even getting a mention from Scott, Philly’s most influential blogger (*cough*). Obviously, this weekend is the perfect time for the next field trip.

What else is good to do on a mid-winter Saturday in New York? No art museums, since the gang is going to MOMA later this month, and no night-life activities because I’ll be heading back to Philly. Here is the usual itinerary; time to change it up a bit, methinks:

  • De-train at Penn Station.
  • Run across the street to use Macy’s restrooms, which are much better than the ones at Penn Station.
  • Visit a museum for culture and learning.
  • Eat lunch, either at the Grand Central Station food court or at Zen Palate.
  • Wander around the Saturday Union Square market, if it’s still open.
  • Go to The Strand, emerge three hours later with a stack of books that will take three years to get through.
  • People watch in Washington Square.
  • Ride back to Philly.

15 responses to “New York day trips – The Gates”

  1. Scott

    Ack! I just wrote an entry like this on good old Blankbaby, with less bathroom references though.

  2. Becky

    Scott, please stop plagiarizing me. It’s so embarrasing for you.

  3. Scott

    Since I am not as cynical as some I would like to think of it more as ‘great minds think alike.’

    However, most of what I do is embarrasing for someone, at some level, so I am used to it.

  4. scotty

    Well, if you could be convinced to take the trip on Sunday instead of Saturday–or stay the night–the big Chinatown New Year’s parade is this weekend. Like the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade and New Year’s Eve in Times Square, something that everyone should really do at least once. Only the Chinese New Year festivities are WAY more hardcore…

  5. Becky

    Sunday sounds like fun, but I have to stick to the Saturday plan, unfortunately.

  6. Theresa

    yep. we’re doing this trip too. thanks for the bathroom tip.

  7. Clair

    What is the big deal about a bunch of orange curtains?

  8. Melissa

    A visit to Senior Swanky’s is highly recommended as part of any NYC itinerary. Swankarita is the beverage of choice.

  9. Sam

    I tried the Chinese bus once. The drive spoke no English took a wrong exit and drove aimlessly for a while, refused to listen to us. And it didn’t help that our navigation savvy Chinese friend was too shy to straigten this driver out. They had some sort of scandal didn’t they? About non-licensed drivers or lack of insurance or something?

  10. Becky

    Hmmm, I don’t remember a Chinese bus scandal. I looked up the Chinatown bus thing, though, and it is pretty cheap.

  11. Sassy J

    Becky–I remember that scandal–they had an accident where the bus flipped over on the Jersey turnpike, and the driver wasn’t even licensed for commercial vehicles–and I think they lacked insurance. Don’t do it!

  12. Kathy

    I’m heading into NYC tomorrow so I figured that I might check out the park. I’ll bring the camera – I’m sure it’ll be quite a sight. The whole issue of how much it cost has me bothered though. Can’t wait to hear about your day.

  13. Jugi

    I’ve just posted my own thoughts (with visuals) on The Gates. Not being an art critic, or even, for that matter, an art appreciator (despite being in the biz, to some extent), I have to say there’s still a palpable rush upon passing through the gates, whatever the hell they are. Being a NuYawkah, btw, I have to ask: you come up for the weekend, and you don’t even go to Zabar’s? Where do you get your cheese?

  14. Becky

    Nice pictures, Jugi.

    There are many reasons to visit NYC. However, cheese is not one of them; I’m pretty sure that the Di Bruno brothers could kick Zabar’s ass. It’s so New York to think that the peasants outside of you wonderful city can’t possibly have access to decent food.

  15. Evan

    I have to give a shout out to Son-of-Chinese-Bus. There is a $1 bus now from Manhattan Chinatown to Queens Chinatown. On this bus I saw the guy cross two lanes of traffic, run a red light, cut a city buss off to pull off to a stop, all while talking on a cell phone and driving with one hand. He won me over when I lamely realized I needed him to stop in a non-scheduled location and he let me pay him and get off in the middle of a block. He even gave me a big smile. He didn’t seem drunk either, just loved driving/flying.

    Christo Gates ends tomorrow. :