The city that never sleeps

Arrival time 0610 local, 0310 on our body clock! … and yes we feel pretty tired and achey! Having collected our bags without any trauma we opt for an express bus into town because we’ll run into rush hour otherwise, and with our bags that’s not the best plan on the subway. When we get to the Port Authority bus station we have brekkie as it’s only a little after nine and we can’t check in to the bnb yet. Well we can drop off our bags but can’t access our room till 1400, so no rush.

After an ok brekkie, what can you expect from bus station cafe’s – always hit and miss – we source the “chicken bus” as instructed from the bnb hosts but it doesn’t materialise and in the end we go for plan b and listen to uncle google, getting a bus (more like a coach) from the bus station. As we said, we’re going to North Bergen – which is over Hudson in NJ. Which means we travel all along the edge of the river, the bus giving us amazing views of Manhattan. A really nice welcome :-).

The situation of the house is really ideal actually, it’s just off this river front Manhattan view road, it only took us 25 or so minutes from mid town (just near time square) and the bus stops right nearby. We’ve booked 2 nights as we often do to make sure our choice is not a disaster, looking good so far…

Even better, the room is ready when we arrive, we can have a kip for an hour :-). In actual fact we have a couple of hours snooze. When we surface we discover Jay (one of our hosts) has put us in the wrong room, just as well we just lay on top of the bed. Maria and Jay (both Canadian) are really lovely, they tell us they’ll sort it out while we’re out this afternoon, move our gear across when the real room is ready.

Back in Manhattan we do a search on art exhibitions nearby and discover a group exhibition of Scottish Art is on in Hunter College, just around the corner so we head there 1st. It’s a good find and has some big names in it too – Martin Creed, Douglas Gordon, Jim Lambie…. The guys invigilating the exhibition tell us to head a few streets south to the Chelsea area, as there are some good galleries there to be seen. It’s an area we had in our sights, but thinking we’d just find big names there, we quizzed them in the hope of finding out where the emerging more edgy art scene was to be found … apparently there too.

Duly noted we do as suggested and are there till they all close – we find we’ve only managed one building!!! There are about 10 or more streets full of gallery blocks! All the way through the middle there’s an old railway line that’s been given a bit of a revamp. It’s about 30ft up and called the “Highline”, which is now filled with lots of wildish plants and seats and is a nice walkway to tour the Chelsea district from. A good re-use of urban space.

When we’re done we head back for the bus, there’s a massive queue for the chicken buses (not sure where the name comes from!!) and we don’t think the bus station buses will be less popular, so we opt for a drink till it quietens down.

Back in North Bergen we take advice on shopping/dinner options and in the end plum for a Chinese takeaway, which is really yummy. Nice 🙂

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