Prior to arriving at New York City, I stayed in Buffalo over Christmas to have time for myself as I worked on Christmas Eve (December was a very busy month in general). I just needed some time to wind down.
On Saturday morning, I caught the Greyhound bus where my cousin, Betty was on board. Our first stop main pit stop was at Syracuse, where we bought some food from Dunkin’ Donuts. Like Tim Hortons but a tad more terrible. I asked for a snickerdoodle donut, which sounds delicious in theory, but not in practice. It was a croissant donut but with apple filling. In fact, now that I think about it, the staff may have given me the wrong donut. Nonetheless, it was terrible. Betty had an even sadder grilled cheese sandwich.
Options to eat at pit stops are never healthy and always terrible.
We had a bit of a scary moment on board the bus. We were scheduled to arrive at NYC around 6:30pm EST. However, the bus was delayed at the Canada-US borders (I was messaging Betty while waiting for the bus in Buffalo) so because of that, the bus was already behind schedule. However en route to NYC, a passenger was causing a disturbance in the back. The driver was threatening to pull over the bus (apparently it is a federal offense when the bus has to pull over for a disturbance). Things got real when going through Lincoln Tunnel, the individual causing the disturbance went up to the front and demanded to get off the bus, however the driver could not pull over as there’s only two lanes going in one direction; stopping was not an option. The individual began to verbally harass the driver and went on a racist and expletive-laden tirade for everyone on the bus to hear.
Strangely, no one panicked but it felt like the longest ride of our lives; we wondered when we would reach the end of the tunnel. When we finally did, we saw sirens and immediately knew it was for the individual, whom I suspect was drunk. After that situation, we officially arrived at NYC around 8:00pm.
Exhausted from the bus ride, it didn’t dawn on us that majority of NYC subway stations are only stairs and the lines are so convoluted that we had to make sure we were on the correct train going to Astoria as different trains run on the same line (i.e. express trains vs. local trains). Thankfully, our Airbnb host was so kind, she waited for us and showed us around the apartment, which was enough space for the two of us, but three would be a crowd.
After settling in, we went out for a late dinner at Mokja (our visit here), then went to a corner store to buy a few things — just a loaf of bread, jam and a lemon. What I realized that in NY, there’s no grocery stores; one would buy their groceries at mom and pop shops.
We decided we would tackle the one of the most touristy area the next day: Times Square.