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Adventurers in New England

Chapter TWO

Nine Hours in Manhattan


Robin Bowers

Text and Photos by Author

June 12, 2015


I certainly can't remember the time on that early morning the first day in New York State that we stumbled out of our hotel room. But our parking receipt states that we made the purchase at 05.21 AM. The rate is $3.75 for 16 hours. So the expiration Time/Date is 09.21 PM on 6/12/2015. We should and are planing to return about two hours before time expired.

wassaic sign

parking lot


Chris and I waiting for our ride to Manhattan

up to

Looking north into rail yard.

our train

Our train to Manhattan arriving at station.


Today we will be riding MTA Metro-North Railroad, Harlem Line, Wassaic to New York -Grand Central Terminal (GCT).
Our train is # 916 and leaves at 5:49 AM with arrival in Manhattan at GCT at 7:53 AM


We boarded with six others and leave on time. Our first stop was at Ten mile River at 5.53 AM.

MP        Station Stops                            time
82            Wassaic                                    5:49 AM
80            Ten mile River                         5:53 
77            Dover Plains                            5:58

Yes this is where our motel is located and is only about 0.7 mile from station or a 15 minute walk or a 2 minute drive. There is parking available here. If you want to visit Manhattan and save some money, get a room in the outskirts and then take the commuter train into the the city. The reason we left from Wassaic is that we wanted to ride from start to finish on the entire line. We bought our tickets on line, the cheapest price, and in a few days the ticket was in my mail box. No discounts on peak hours.

Continuing south our next stops were:

MP           Stops                                    Time
69            Harlem Valley-Wingdle            6:07 
64            Pawling                                     6:14
60            Paterson                                    6:20
53            Southeast                                  6:30

At Southeast the train starts on third rail for the rest of trip to Manhattan.

Around MP 46 in the Purdy's countryside it made me think of friend Chris P. It was just "Beautiful," Chris and you would certainly agree. The train was now skipping several station.

MP            Stops                                    Time
41            Katonah                                 6:46
39            Bedford Hills                         6:50
37            Mount Kisco                          6:55
22            White Plains                          7:15

This was the last stop till Harlem.

4            Harlem 125th Street, then we were underground till our arrival at GCT at 7:53 AM    
0            GCT

After leaving our arriving train, we walked on the platform toward that grand room and the information stand and took pictures of this venue.  After that, we split up with Chris going to ride trains in New Jersey but as it was my first time in Manhattan, I wanted to explore the Big Apple and not ride around Jersey.

main room

My first look at the cavernous main concourse with the 120-foot-high ceiling,with a painted skyscape ablaze with constellations.


info stand

The 1913 Beaux Arts terminal through which a half a million commuters pass every day.

Public tours are given daily at 12:30 PM (tickets are available at the GCT Tour window on the main concourse.)

After a quick look around GCT, I decided to get breakfast before starting sightseeing. One level under the main concourse is a food court with several stores open for breakfast. After looking around at them all, I chose one with a good breakfast menu.


Cafe where I had a good breakfast before starting out on a long day of sightseeing.

After eating I asked around to get info on bus tours. The bus tours salespeople were station outside on the sidewalk. They were wearing red jackets or coats and I found they were all over the city at the Gray Line bus tours stops. So you can buy your tickets almost everywhere for the hop-on, hop-off tours.  I was talking to agent Barbara letting her know my time restraint as I had to be back here to catch a 5PM train. She recommended a Downtown Day Tour with hop-on, hop-off.


gct outside

gct out

Grand Central Terminal, 42nd St. between Lexington and Vanderbilt Avenues.

pam am

Met Life building that was Pan Am.

When we boarded the bus we were given personalized ear buds to plug into jack on the bus so we could listen to the guide without bothering people on the sidewalk not taken the tour. It was a lot easier to understand and hear the guide and was a great idea. The traffic was gridlock and the bus made slow progress, always seeming to stop at all the unphotogenic spots and speed by the spots I wanted to shoot. As this was my first time in the Big Apple, my plan was to take the bus tour to see as much as possible on the bus and then go back and take a second look of places of my interest. Views from the top deck versus walking on the sidewalk can be puzzling and confounding when I went back for a second time. Therefor I have photos of the subject from different angles and points of view.

Today's plan is to take the bus tour then explore the second look stops. I wanted to see The Chrysler Building, the Guggenheim Museum and the Church of St. John the Divine Cathedral, if time permits, and for sure to try to see and walk the High Line, an abandoned 1.5 mile elevated railway track that transported freight into Lower Manhattan. The High Line has been transformed into a linear public park.  

So let's take a tour and explore Manhattan.

chysler a


chy c

The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Ave., is an exemplar of Art Deco architecture. Built in 1930, the building was the headquarters for the Chrysler Corporation from 1930 to the mid-1950's and was the world's tallest building for several months until it was surpassed by the Empire State Building. Made of brick and stainless steel, the monolith is 1,046 feet tall with 77 stories and features details that are modeled after Chrysler automobiles, including gargoyles that resemble the company's eagle hood ornament.  Seven radiating terraced arches, each with a sunburst pattern, comprise its distinctive crown.

art lobby

The Art Deco lobby interior, highlighted by Moroccan rouge flame marble walls, travertine floors and an Edward Trumbull mural painted in 1930.

lobb door

lobby d




The bus stop for the Gray Line City Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off Tours was across GCT on 42nd Street. After a 15 minute wait the bus arrived and several of us boarded. It must have been the first stop because it was empty. The traffic was congested and it seemed every block took twice as long to get through.

1829 top eck

The view from the top deck.

Our first photo runby was the Waldorf Astoria New York, 301 Park Ave, between E. 49th and 50th sts.


This iconic hotel, built 1931, centers around a stunning grand lobby and offers elegant, traditional accommodations.

Next we crossed 5th Ave.

5th ave

Looking north up 5th Ave. Rockefeller Center on left, the store on the right with the salute to Old Glory is Saks Fifth Ave and behind is St Patrick's Cathedral.

Our next stop was Rockefeller Center.


The ice skating rink is turned into an outdoor dining area in the summer.


rock ctr

Rockefeller Center.

rock 855

NBC Studio Tours depart from the NBC Experience Store. Also Rockefeller Center tour and Top of the Rock which has observation decks on the 67th, 69th and 70th floors. I heard they have great views from here, maybe best in the city.


Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour is on Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Ave.) This 1932 Art Deco theater presents musical stage spectaculars with the Rockettes as well as live concerts. On the lower right is entrance to the Tonight Show.

Our next drive by was Times Square. Times Square is at the crossroads of Broadway and Seventh Ave. On December 31, 1904 The New York Times celebrated the opening of its new building on the traffic triangle between 42nd and 43rd streets with a public fireworks display; four months later, the three-sided Longacre Square was officially renamed Times Square. With the commencement of the annual New Year's Eve ball drop in 1907 and the installation of the "zipper" news bulletin board in 1928, Times Square became America's gathering place during significant events of the 20th century.

times sq a

t sq 864

Warm seats for rent while watching New Years Eve.

ts long shoot 865

ABC 867

lion king

Broadway Walking Tours is a 90-minute tour through the theater district led by aspiring NYC actors and directors; tours depart from The Actor's Chapel, 239 W. 49th St.  212-768-1560.

mta long is

Glass building is a station entrance for MTA Long Island Rail Road.

Next was Madison Square Garden.

Square garden

Madison Square Garden that sits over Amtrak tracks and is the location of former Penn Station.

po office

U. S. Post Office across street from Madison Square Garden and also sits over Amtrak tracks. This may be used as an annex to Penn Station in the future.

bike rental 880

New York's bicycle-sharing system, Citi Bike, offers three-speed two-wheelers that may be rented and returned at any of the more that 300 docking stations.  All riders must first purchase a pass for access. The fee for a 24-hour pass is $9.95 and includes the first 30 minutes. Extra fees kick in for longer rides. 855-245-3311.

split building 1884

Excuse me, step aside while I grow.

flat iron

Flat Iron Building. Open June 1902.

At the time of completion, it became one of the tallest skyscrapers in the city, standing at 22 stories. Around the steel skeleton is a limestone base, which changes to terra-cotta as the floors go up, featuring French and Italian Renaissance influences. Due to an oversight in the original design, there were no bathrooms for ladies when the building first opened, so the men’s and women’s bathrooms are now on alternating floors. The pointed end of the building is only 6.5 feet wide and opens up to an acute angle of roughly 25 degrees.

As we travel south through lower Manhattan, we pass through Greenwich Village.


freedom 864

Our next drive by was City Hall. Near this spot, in the presence of Gen. George Washington, the Declaration of Independence was read to the Army on July 9, 1776.

city hall a

top city hall

city hall 906

city hall 907

city hall 908


Woolworth Building. 1910.
Designed to reach the then incredible height of fifty-five stories, it rises just short of 761 feet at the top of the pyramidal spire. An early skyscraper and corporate headquarters done in neo-gothic style with terra cotta cladding.

St. Paul's Chapel. (Episcopal), Trinity Parish, is at Broadway and Fulton St. Dedicated in 1766, the church is purported to be the oldest public building in continuous use  now standing in Manhattan. George Washington and Gov. George Clinton had designated pews. An interactive exhibit honors volunteerism and the church's participation in relief efforts after the destruction of the World Trade Center. 

st paul 920

st paul 919

st paul 918

freedom 921

mac 922

McDonald's in the finical district where the servers wear tuxedos.

bull on wall 924

The bull on Wall St.
Wall Street is between Broadway and South St. The financial keystone of the country, it takes its name from the wooden wall erected by the Dutch burghers in 1653 to protect the colony from attack. The New York Stock Exchange is at 11 Wall St.

bull 931

The last stop for our bus was Battery Park. We had to get off and board a new bus as ours was going back to the barn. Battery Park, at the s. tip of Manhattan Island, was the site of a fort established by the first Dutch settlers in 1624. The park affords views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. "The Sphere," a sculpture representing world peace, was salvaged from the World Trade Center.

batt park 934

Battery Park.

batt park 938

cruise 936

ellis 935

Ellis Island.
Ellis Island is in New York Harbor north of the Statue of Liberty.  Ellis Island is accessible only by ferry service from Battery Park and Liberty State Park.  This was the nation's main point of entry for millions of immigrants 1892 - 1954, although none of my ancestors came through here because they were here earlier. One great grandfather was captured in the battle of Fort Washington in November 1776. He was held as a prisoner of war on a British ship in New York Harbor.  In the spring of 1777, he was paroled and returned home in New Jersey.     

selfie 940

A selfie with Liberty and Ellis

This concludes part A.

Coming next: Part B, Going Uptown on the East Side.

Go to part B

*Back to Chapter One*

Return to Index

Thanks for reading.