Friday, July 12, 2013

New York City, United States

A three day mid-week getaway to the "Big Apple", New York City for me, and a nine day US trip for my two noonas from Seoul. It had been six years since my last visit to NYC, so I was excited to visit and be not only a tourist but also a guide to the (North) American way of life as opposed to the culture in Korea. So I booked my stand-by flight to Newark (EWR) with Porter Airlines and we booked our stay at two hostels in Manhattan.

For their first visit to America, the culture shock was apparently there from the start. Our meeting point and time was for Wednesday morning, but their flight arrived from Seoul on Tuesday night. Their slow and odor-filled subway ride from JFK and their sights of countless homeless people could have already scared them away from this adventure, but they were fine after some reassurance by myself that its just the way of life here. There were also many firsts for myself as well: Getting around NYC without a car or coach bus, understanding how the subway lines work, and staying at hostels.

Getting to Manhattan from Newark International Airport was quite easy; going back to the airport from the city, now that's another story. After taking the airport train to the NJ Transit Station, the ride to Penn Station was $12.50, a direct train ride with easy to read signs and announcements. The return trip...well, no signs or indications of which trains from Penn Station would get me to the airport. After some assistance by some nice passengers, I was told I would still be able to get to the airport on that train but I would need to make a transfer.

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