CHECKING OUT THE NEW PENNSYLVANIA STATION IN NEW YORK CITY.

Normally I take a bus from Port Authority bus station on 41st Street and 8th Avenue in New York City when I go to either Washington DC, Boston, Baltimore, or even Pittsburgh to do a 30 Plus Teams Tour.

This time I decided to take Amtrak because the fares were so low.

Leaving from Amtrak would mean I would have to go either through Penn Station at 33rd Street from the Long Island Railroad or E train if I took the subway from Queens.

Not any more.

As of January 1, 2021, the long awaited new Pennsylvania Station opened up

Its official name is the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Train Hall and it’s a work of art, no lie.

It was named for the late New York senator, Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Now for some of you who weren’t born in New York City or just moved here in the past few years, the station may not look that spectacular to you.

But to those of us who remember the old Penn Station, the crowds, the filth, this station is beautiful.

It’s also very convenient if, like me, you’re coming from Queens or Long Island on the Long Island Railroad.

Amtrak trains not only leave from here, but so does the Long Island Railroad.

So when I got off the Long Island Railroad train from Locust Manor, I followed the signs to the escalator to the station.

I didn’t even have to go outside.

The station is located in the old James Foley Post Office on 33rd and 8th Avenue.

The post office is still there, not just as big.

The old Penn Station not only had Long Island Railroad trains, but the subway, Amtrak and New Jersey transit trains.

Now, the New Jersey Transit trains just leave from the old Penn Station, which is still across the street, underneath Madison Square Garden.

However, if your Amtrak train gets in after midnight, sorry, the new Penn Station is closed.

Your train will go to the old Penn Station.

My only complaint with the new Penn Station is the tracks for the Long Island Railroad trains aren’t close to the Amtrak trains.

Coming back from Washington DC, my FLIX Bus stopped next door.

I had to run to catch a 6:45pm train which left from track 18.

Track 18 WASN’T on the main floor.

Needless to say the Sports Diva wasn’t a happy camper being a real New Yorker, running through a terminal to catch a train that was leaving in 10 minutes, loaded down with a purse and a carry-on suitcase.

There are no escalators going down just a ramp and stairs.

(I made my train, by the way)

What I love about this terminal is that you can’t loiter if you don’t have a ticket, and there’s enough security to make sure that happens.

All in all, if the fares are good, I will take Amtrak and enjoy going through the new Penn Station in New York City.

RIDING ON THE E TRAIN – PART ONE

This is the train that next to the F train is the subway line that I take the most.

If you happen to be visiting New York City , chances are that you’ll be using this subway line a lot .

It’s the E train that starts at Jamaica Center in Queens and goes to its final stop in Lower Manhattan at the World Trade Center Station .

As I’m only going ftom Jamaica Center down to 34th Street and Penn Station , this post is going to be in two parts.

The E train is an express train, but unlike some of the other subway lines, it doesn’t go to Brooklyn or The Bronx.

It’s just from Queens and Manhattan .

One word of caution though.

On the weekends and late at night, the E train runs local, meaning it’s going to stop everywhere due to the infamous “track work” that happens on every subway line in the city.

You’d think that all this “track work” being done would make the service faster and the tracks nicer.

Nope, same old train tracks but that’s another story.

Now, let’s say you want to go to the city from JFK or JFK to the city.

This is the train that gets you there .

Just get off at Suthphin Boulevard – JFK stop, and believe ne, you’ll know when you get there.

Follow the other travellers with their luggage.

If you want to go to the other airport, LaGuardia, take the E to the Roosevelt Avenue station, walk upstairs and take the bus out there .

Remrmber to use your Metro Card that you brought for the subway.

You can use it on the bus as well .

You say that you’re taking the bus or an Amtrak train and not a plane?

The E train can get you to Port Authority and one of the largest train terminals in the United States , Pennsylvania Station or Penn Station for short.

Get off the train at 42nd St for Port Authority and 34th Street for Penn Station .

Now since this is a 30 Plus Teams Tour , of course you’re going to go to either a New York Knicks basketball game or a New York Rangers hockey game at Madison Square Garden .

The E train will take you right there.

Get off at Penn Station , you’ll see the signs for the place that calls itself, “the world’s most famous arena.”

Simple right?

Many of you will want to pay your respects at the 9-11 Memorial site.

The E train will get you there also.

It’s the last stop on the E train and the stop still reads World Trade Center .

It didn’t change after 9-11 .

RIDING THE D TRAIN

I often take this train that goes from 205th Street in the Bronx, through Manhattan , and finally all the way to Brooklyn in Coney Island.

It is one of the most widely used trains on the New York City subway system.

Today, I’m taking this train from the Rockefeller Center Station at 47-50 Streets all the way up to the Bronx.

My stop is going to be 161st Street and River Avenue , now known as Rivera Avenue after former New York Yankees star, Mariano Rivera , to Yankee Stadium .

There is another Yankees game going on, so the station and train is more crowded than it usually is .

This train is an express train, which means that it skips many stops, mostly in Manhattan .

After it gets to 59th Street at the Columbus Circle station, it goes express and doesn’t stop until the train reaches 125th Street in Harlem.

The train might be crowded and the seats are uncomfortable , but you will be using this train a lot if you come to New York City .

RIDING ON THE NUMBER 1 TRAIN PART TWO

About a week ago or maybe longer, I wrote a post about riding on the number 1 train .

At that time, I rode the train as far as 157th street.

This time, which is Memorial Day weekend here in the United States , I rode the train again.

I began at 79th Street, which is the stop for the American Museum of Natural History.

Even though I got off a few stops later at 96th Street and walked up as far as 110th and Cathedral Parkway stop to take pictures, I then got back on and rode the train to its final stop, 242nd Street, and Broadway in the Riverdale section of The Bronx.

It is also the home of the second biggest park in New York City , Van Cortlandt Park

Once again, it was a nice day for a change and the view from the subway is as nice as it could be for a New York City subway .

Some of you are thinking that you weren’t aware that Broadway went up that high.

It does, and this Broadway isnt like the other Broadway.

It’s quieter and has a more suburban feel to it.

That’s only natural because of all the five boroughs , The Bronx used to be made up of little farms belonging to one particular family, The Broncs Family.

If you happen to be in New York and just want to take a ride on the subway, by all means get out of your comfort zone and take the number 1 train all the way up to the last stop at 242nd Street and Van Cortlandt Park .

After the train leaves the 191st Street station, the train goes above ground.

Of all the subway lines in New York City , I would strongly advise that you take the number 1, not going towards South Ferry, but in the other direction at 242nd Street .

You won’t believe that you’re actually in one of the five boroughs .

RIDING ON THE NUMBER 1 TRAIN PART 1

Today was very nice here in New York and I decided to go on a 30 Plus Teams Tour of the New York City subways .

I decided to go today because the next couple of days here in the city are supposed to be very bad with hail and a tornado watch, something that we usually don’t get here in New York .

I know that I have to take care of some business on 66th Street and Braodway, which is where you get off for Lincoln Center, Central Park and all those shows filmed live at the ABC Television Studios.

I’m walking up to 79th Street for another visit to the American Museum of Natural History , but after that I have no idea where my tour on the number 1 train is going to take me.

The train is a local train, making every stop from South Ferry station all the way up to the Riverdale section of The Bronx at 242nd Street .

Eventually , I got off at 157th Street and Broadway, but there’s so many things to see at every station, so that’s why my post on the number 1 train will have two parts.

Every station even has art and this being New York City , even the sidewalks have some kind of weird looking art.

I can tell you, though, if you want to visit Columbia University at 116th st or Grant’s Tomb at 121st, this is the train that you’ll take.

Enjoy your ride.

RIDING THE Q TRAIN

This is one subway line that I don’t ride that often, if at all.

The Q train is one of the oldest subway lines in the city.

The train used to begin in Queens at Ditmas Boulevard, run through Manhattan , and then go all the way to Brighton Beach in Brooklyn .

It doesn’t leave from Queens anymore.

It still goes to Manhattan and ends in Brooklyn .

It begins at 96th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan .

The Second Avenue part of the train makes stops at 72nd, 86th, and 96th Streets on Second Avenue .

New Yorkers of a certain age, like myself, remember when the city fathers talked about having the trains run on Second Avenue, but it never happened.

It would have made it easier for those of us who lived in either Brookkyn or Queens to take this train if we worked or went to school on the upper east side, which is what Second Avenue is.

It finally happened a few years ago and the stations are beautiful and very unique .

My own 30 Plus Teams Tour of New York City took me to two of the stations, 86th and 96th Street, which is the last stop.

There’s art everywhere .

If you look above you on two of the stairways are the words , “Excelsior” and “E Pluribus Unum.”

Excelsior is the word you see on the state of New York flag and since 1776, E Pluribus Unum has been the motto of the United States .

It means “Out of many, one”.

Also, in case you don’t know what subway line you’re riding, look on the staircases on

the downtown and uptown sides of the subway.

The sign spells out The Second Avenue Subway.

RIDING THE R TRAIN

The 30 Plus Teams Tour of New York City has started up again.

This time I’m riding the R train from Queens to the city.

I know what some of you must be thinking .

Don’t subways in New York City have anything besides numbers and letters on them?

That would be a nope.

No matter what subway line you take in the boroughs of Manhattan , Queens, the Bronx, or Brooklyn , you’re going to see a number or a letter.

Staten Island has their own rapid transit and no numbers or letters that I know of.

I could tell you what the numbers and letters of all the trains are and where they go, but that would be another blog post for another day.

Look for it though, in an upcoming post where I just ride the subway!

Right now, though, I’m going to tell you about one of the subway lines, it’s the one I’m on today, the R train , which begins at 71st. Street and Continental Avenue in the Forest Hills section of Queens , and goes all the way to 95th Street in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn.

The train also goes through Manhattan.

You can take this train if you want to see City Hall, the Brooklyn Bridge , get a connection to the South Ferry, which runs all night by the way, the World Trade Center and Fifth Avenue, the station that I got off at.

The R train has orange and yellow seats, and I’m not going to lie, the seats aren’t very comfortable at all.

Unlike the other trains that I rode, the PATH, J and number 7 trains, at no time does this train go above ground and outside.

So don’t look to take those pictures of the city or the outer boroughs .

It’s not going to happen on the R train.

If you want to see the madness that’s Times Square , though, you can take the R train and get off at the 42nd Street station, or to be in the heart of the Times Square action , get off at the 49th Street Station.

START  SPREADING  THE  NEWS- NEW YORK ,  NEW YORK  – RIDING  THE  NEW YORK CITY BUS

I had just left 45th street  and  Fifth  Avenue  in the city . 

I  was going  to  the  next stop  on my own  30 Plus  Teams  Tour  of New York  City . 

I  was going to  The Cloisters, all the way  up at 190th street . 

I could  have  taken the  A Train  at 42nd street to get to 190th street ,  but after that I  would  have  had a very long  walk to  get to the museum . 

From growing  up  in the city and knowing the New York  City  bus and subway system  like I know the back of my hand, I  knew exactly  what  bus to take, the M4.

It stops right in front  of  the  museum, so the only walking you have to do is walk in the front door and admire the art from the Middle  Ages . 

A few things to know about the New York  City  bus system  if you happen  to  be  in  New  York  City . 

Like the subways ,  they are part of the  Metropolitan  Transit  Authority ,  the MTA . 

Unlike  the  subway ,  the blue seats on the buses are clean . 

They really  don’t  want  people  eating  or drinking  on the bus.

But this is New York  City ,  people  are  going  to  do it anyway   and nobody  is  going  to  stop them.

You must  have  exact  change  if you don’t  have  a Metro   card.

The drivers carry  no change and the fare boxes don’t  accept  dollar  bills.

Dollar coins yes, but dollar bills  nope.

Have those Metro cards ready when you board the bus.

You can get them at stores or if you happen to  use the subway . 

Same Metro  card works for  the  bus and subway, as well  as  the  PATH  train if you happen  to  be  going  to  New Jersey . 

The New York  City  buses are blue and white.

Some are blue and yellow  and now some of them have WiFi . 

If you happen  to  see a bus  with the  words  “LIMITED  ” on it, the bus isn’t  going to  make every stop, just certain  ones . 

You’ll  see these buses mostly  on morning and afternoon  rush hours.

It’s  the local  buses that you want.

They make all stops.

If you aren’t  sure where exactly  the bus goes to ,  ask the driver before you  get on.

Better yet ,  do your research  BEFORE  you get to New York or in your hotel, hostel ,  or Airbnb  before you go anywhere . 

The bus stops  are clearly  marked with red, white and blue signs  with numbers on them. 

The numbers are marked with letters  according  to  what borough  you’re  in.

Confused?

Let’s  make this simple  for you.

We’ll  use the bus that took me all the way from 47th  street  and Madison  Avenue  up to 190th Street  and Margaret  Corbin  Drive as an example ,  the M4.

The letter M before the  bus number tells you that this route goes in the city, Manhattan . 

If the bus number was Q4, you don’t  want that if you’re  going to  the city.

The Q in front  of  the  number tells you that this is a Queens bus.

If the bus number was either B4, B4  or SI4, you got it.

Your  bus was either in Brooklyn ,  The Bronx  or Staten  Island, so make sure you take the right bus.

Another thing  to  know about the  buses in the city . 

If you’re  going Downtown ,  the bus will be going down Fifth  Avenue ,  where you’ll  get up close  and  personal  with most  of  Central  Park, as well as “The  Museum  Mile”, depending  on  where you  catch  the  bus . 

If you’re  traveling  Uptown ,  the bus will be going  up Madison  Avenue . 

Since I was  traveling  up to  190th Street ,  the M4 bus went up Madison  Avenue . 

As usual ,  it took a long time  due to  the  infamous  New York  City  traffic . 

The ride took almost  an hour and a half . 

The subway  might have  been  more convenient ,  but nothing  beats a ride on the New York  City  bus so that you  can  really  get a glimpse  of  life in “The Big Apple . ”

Along the  way if you take the  M4, you’ll  be  passing  Columbia  University  on 116th Street  and if you continue onto the  Washington  Heights  section  of  the  city, at around  178th Street ,  you’ll  get a glimpse  of  the  George  Washington  Bridge , which separates  New York  City  from New Jersey . 

On a clear day ,  the view of  the  bridge is breathtaking . 

If you’re  going to  The Cloisters  like I was, get off at the very last stop.

Riding  the  bus doesn’t  only work for going to  the  Cloisters ,  but check with the front desk clerk if there’s  a bus stop close by and just take a ride to the last stop on the bus, no matter  what  direction  it’s  going in.

This is a great way to sightsee if you’re  in the city  and all it costs is the price of a Metro  card ,  $2.75.

Take the bus instead  of  the  subway . 

It may take a long time   but enjoy that long ride on the New York  City  buses and take in the scenery . 

START SPREADING  THE  NEWS- NEW YORK ,  NEW YORK .  RIDING THE  NEW YORK  CITY  SUBWAY  

I’m  doing  my own  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  New York  City  right now . 

I’m  on my  way  to  Barclay’s  Center  in Brooklyn  for a sporting  event . 

It’s  a hockey  game  between  the  Vegas Golden  Knights  and the New York  Islanders . 

Like  many New Yorkers, I  don’t  drive  anywhere . 

I have to  take public  transportation  from my house in the borough  of Queens  to get to  Brooklyn . 

This of course ,  means taking a New York  City  subway . 

Even the train that I’m  on now, the “F” train does go into Brooklyn ,  it’s  not the section  of  Brooklyn  that Barclay’s  Center  is located in . 

The borough  of Brooklyn  is so big that if it were to break away from New York  State, it might just be the 51st state.

So, I do have to transfer to another train, something  that  a lot of New Yorkers  do quite often  whether  they’re  going  to  work ,  school ,  a Broadway  show, a dance club, or even a sporting  event . 

There’s  no way around it when you take the subway in New York  and you live in the “Outer Boroughs “, that’s  Brooklyn ,  The Bronx, Staten Island ,  and  Queens . 

You can even transfer from a New York City  subway to get the PATH train, but you do have to pay another fare.

If you transfer from one New York  City  subway to another, it’s  a free transfer.

Unlike  the  PATH  trains, the New York  City  subway is old, extremely  crowded, and I’ve  got  to  keep it real here, not very clean.

(Sportsandtravelblog.wordpress/2017/10/23 Start  -spreading  -the  -news-new-york  -new-york-a-ride-on-the-PATH-train)

If you  happen  to  be  in New York  and  take the subway  to get anywhere ,  you’ll  notice people  eating everything  from a bagel  with cream cheese  to sandwiches  and even Chinese  food.

They’ll  also be drinking their morning coffee from Dunkin Donuts and eating snacks right in your face.

Don’t  expect the NYPD  or train personnel  to tell them to stop   because it’s  New York . 

It’s  one of  the  things you just do.

You might even see people  walking through the subway  cars, begging  for  money.

You’ll  never see this if you take the  PATH  train.

The New York  City  subway  system ,  is old, very  old, and the subway  cars break down  – a lot.

Many a New Yorker would be a  billionaire  for all the times we’ve  heard this announcement when the train is either not moving or moving extremely  slow  :

“WE ARE BEING HELD AT THE STATION BY THE TRAIN DISPATCHER DUE TO TRAIN TRAFFIC UP AHEAD. WE WILL BE  MOVING  SHORTLY. WE APOLOGIZE  FOR  ANY  INCONVENIENCE . ”

My subway ride to Brooklyn  was no different . 

Like most New Yorkers, I know that train delays are a given, and that there are three sure things in our lives.

Death, taxes, and the MTA (that’s  the Metropolitan  Transit  Authority) either messing  up  your subway  ride by rerouting your train, the ever popular  “track work  “or making your ride longer than it needs to be because of  mostly  these four reasons  :

1. Someone has gotten sick on the train.

2. A fight has broken out.

3. One of the rails on the train is broken and it needs to be fixed.

4. Someone  has either jumped on , fell on, or was pushed onto the train tracks.

Normally, it takes 45 minutes to an hour or so to get to Atlantic  Avenue  in Downtown  Brooklyn . 

Not this time.

Try almost two and a half hours to reach my destination  because  my train was rerouted.

We New Yorkers like to  complain about  our subway system, how much it costs ,  why is the fare going up for such lousy service, and why are the subway cars so filthy?

In spite of these problems, we STILL take it everyday and we DARE any tourists or people  who don’t  ride it everyday  to say something  about  it.

Basically ,  it’s  a pain but it’s  our pain in the you know  what . 

Still, thank you, MTA, for making my ride on the New York  City  subway  so “enjoyable  “.

START SPREADING THE NEWS – NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK – THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

FB_IMG_1503928884257FB_IMG_1503928975288The first  thing  one  notices  when  you  walk  into  the  American  Museum  of  Natural  History  isn’t  the  huge  statue  of  President  Theodore  Roosevelt  right  in  front  of  the  building  that takes  up  four blocks  or so on Central  Park West .

It’s  the  two  giant  prehistoric  animals  getting  ready  to  do  battle  right  in the  middle  of  the  Theodore  Roosevelt  Memorial  Hall .

This  museum ,  which  is  one  of  the  largest  Natural  History  museums  in  the  country ,  is also  the  home  of  the  world  famous  Hayden  Planetarium .

If you  happen  to  be  visiting  New York  City  not only  for  your  own  30  Plus  Teams  Tour ,  but  just  because  this  is  New York  City  after all ,  this  is  one  of  the  museums  that  you  should  visit ,  especially  if  you  have  children .

The  museum  is  easy  to  get  to  by  public  transportation  and  two  New York  City  subway  trains ,  the B and  C  trains ,  stop  right  at  the  museum .

There’s  even  an entrance  when  you  get  off  the  subway  at the Lower  Level .

The  museum  is  open  daily  from  10am  until  5:45  pm .

The suggested  admission price   for  adults   $19  and  for children  ages 2-12, $10.

Before  you  pay, though ,  you’ll  be  asked  if  you  wish to  visit  just  the  museum  or do you  wish  to  see the Imax  Movie ,  special  exhibits ,  plus  any  shows  at  the  Hayden  Planetarium .

If you  want  to  do  all of  this ,  more money  is added  to  your  admission  price .

$14  more for  the  adults ,  $10  more  for  the  children .

If this  sounds  like  a  steep  price  to  you ,  keep  in  mind  that  in effect ,  you’re  visiting  two  museums .

The  Hayden  Planetarium  tells  you  everything  you  wanted  to  know  about  the  planets  and  solar  systems .

Given  the  fact  that  we recently  had  a  solar  eclipse ,  the  Hayden  Planetarium  was one  of  the  busiest  places  in the  museum .

The museum  itself  has  four  floors  and is quite  spread  out ,  so please  be sure  to  pick  up  a floor  plan  before  you  go into  any  of  the  exhibits .

Otherwise ,  you will  be  hopelessly  lost like I was ,  and I  did have  a  floor  plan .

The  planetarium  isn’t  the  only  exhibit  on the  first  floor ,  but the  child  in you  will love  the  Hall  of  North  American  Mammals .

On the  day  that  I  visited  the  museum ,  besides   reading  the  quotes  from President  Roosevelt  that were on  the  wall  as you walk  in  and  being  mesmerized  by the  two  prehistoric  animals  battling  it out, I really  enjoyed  the  exhibits  on in  the  second  floor ,  which just  didn’t  have  the  Hall  of  African  Mammals ,  but  also  the Hall  of  Peoples .

There  were  exhibits  on peoples  from  Mexico ,  South  and  Central  America ,  Asia  and  Africa .

I was really  fascinated  by  the  customs and  traditions ,  and I  would  say that  this  was  my favorite  section  of  the  museum .

I didn’t  think  that  I  would  enjoy  my  visit  to  a  museum  about dinosaurs ,  rocks, and the  planets ,  but I  was  wrong .

This  museum  is so  much  more  than  that .

The  inner  child  in me  really  liked  looking  at  all the  prehistoric  animals ,  and trying  to  pronounce  their  names .

There  was  even  a  section  on  the  birds  of New York  State  and for  some  reason  the exhibit  that seemed  to  have the  most  children ,  and their  parents oohing  and  just  seemingly  enjoying  for  some  strange  reason ,  was the one  called ,  ”  Rodents  of  New  York . ”

Don’t  ask, I couldn’t  look at  it without  getting  sick.

You might  think  an hour  visiting  this  museum  would  be  fine .

Wrong ,  try three  hours  at the  most .

There’s  a  lot  to  see, but leave  the  selfie  sticks  at home  or back at the  hotel  or hostel .

Security  will tell you  when you  first  arrive ,  that  selfie sticks   aren’t  allowed  anywhere  in  the  museum .

There are  so  many  museums  in  the  city to visit .

Make the  American  Museum  of  Natural  History  a must  see on your  next  trip  to  New York  City . FB_IMG_1503928864289FB_IMG_1503928880842