On Friday, my parents and I packed up our ’98 gold Toyota Camry (“old reliable”) and started the nine-hour drive to New York City. The first part of the trip was relatively painless: there wasn’t much traffic, and since there were three drivers, we were confident we would reach there in easily 9 hours. Well, our 9 hour journey turned into a 12 hour drawn-out affair, but hey, at least it was bonding time with the parents. Considering traffic in Washington,D.C.and around the New Jersey area, I think we did relatively well. We stopped for the night right outside the city in Clifton,N.J.
The next morning, bright and early, we packed all my belongings for the summer into the car again and headed into New York. It was beautiful: the sun was shining, and the city was positively glittering as we took the road toward Lincoln Tunnel. We reached the Financial District in 20 minutes. But as quick as it was to zip into the city, it was a nightmare getting back out. After I moved into my apartment, we attempted to drive past the building where my internship is. But roads were closed, and those that weren’t closed were one-way. After attempting to take the Holland Tunnel multiple times (from multiple approaches), we gave up and drove up 6th Avenue and took the Lincoln Tunnel back to Jersey. I can honestly say that the drive out of the city was more exhausting than the entire 12 hour drive the day before. My dad was driving and he was used to it from years living in Boston and other major cities, but my mom and I were absolutely fed up.
In the evening, we braved driving back into the city, because we were staying with some friends at their beach house in Long Island. Fortunately, it was a quick zip onto the Long Island Expressway and we didn’t encounter nearly as much traffic as expected. Overall, it was a great mini-vacation with my parents before starting my internship.
So what’s moral of the story? Never drive in New York unless you absolutely have to. The public transportation is a dream, and drivers are aggressive and quick (which is good if you’re taking a cab, bad if you’re driving in front of one). It was the first of many changes I first noticed since driving from home to here. At home, you can’t get anywhere without a car. Here, you can’t get anywhere with one.