Curbside Travel: Like The Muppets, The Kleins Take Manhattan

My phone reminded me this morning that a year ago I was in New York City, specifically midtown Manhattan.  So now that the statute of limitations has (presumably? hopefully?) run out, the tale can be told and the pictorial evidence can be shared.  The backstory is that my daughter was invited to visit a friend of hers that had scored an internship at Macy’s corporate HQ and belatedly realized that while the friend would be working weekdays, she’d have a lot of time on her hands by herself until quitting time and happy hour.  So my younger son and I graciously agreed to drop everything, found cheap flights to JFK and an even cheaper hotel (gulp…), and thus got to enjoy an impromptu four days in New York.  I hadn’t been there in several years, and my kids had never been there although they are well seasoned world travelers so it wouldn’t be too difficult; as usual we would try to survive and enjoy things on a shoestring budget.

Bright (ok, it was very dark) and early we departed, and arrived around midday.  Since my son is the airplane buff he of course wanted to check out the old TWA Flight Center at the airport which has semi-recently been remade into a hotel.  Always looking for reasons to dilly-dally, I duly agreed and we made our way to the correct terminal via JFK’s people-mover in order to access it.  Buckle up and join us. 

TWA terminal, JFK

Here it is as seen from airside, i.e. Terminal 5 which is the terminal one needs to take the AirTrain to.  Note the Lockheed Constellation, it has been turned into a cocktail bar…but first we need to cross the road somehow.

TWA Hotel, JFK

…which is best done via one of the two fallopian-tube like structures that turn your steps into a gently floating sensation as you travel towards the destination…

TWA terminal, JFK

And then you’re all of a sudden in the middle of the Eero Saarinen designed TWA Flight Center, where everything is designed to still look as it did “back in the day” when it was supposed to look like the future; weird how that works.  I duly parted my hair a little, stood a little straighter, clutched my non-existent Homburg, umbrella, briefcase and newspaper, and strode across the floor with purpose, as one apparently did “back in the day” whilst heading toward the future.

Apparently this is exactly how it was, there were a number of small “areas” such as the beauty salon and the Twister Room, along with several other opportunities to spend time and money while waiting for one’s flight.  Just like today but not.  Consenting adults generally don’t play Twister as much in public anymore.

The lounge/waiting area.  I love those tulip tables (also a Saarinen design), we have a larger one as our main eating table currently, but sadly without red velour benches around it.

Connie at TWA at JFK

The Connie a little closer-upper.  I think it was too early for it to be open although isn’t it technically five o’clock somewhere?

There’s the old departures and arrivals board; while the floor looks like gray concrete, it’s actually billions of little white “penny” tiles with grout.  Having installed penny tiles as an accent in a bathroom in my current house, I shuddered at the prospect of the sheer volume here.  But then I spied…ooh, cars!  Old cars!  Lemme down!

Things don’t get much jollier than a Fiat Jolly.  Of course in the correct TWA corporate colors…

And then a Lincoln Continental convertible right outside with two ladies that were resting on it and not about to move for me.

Every good 1960s scene needs a colorful VW Microbus to complete the picture.

And if that’s a little too much levity, a Chrysler Newport always adds a little gravitas back into things, even in powder blue as this one is.

These all seem to be part of a “permanent collection” that certainly adds to the atmosphere, but the whole thing is done with more of a preservation aspect to the experience rather than a kitschy vibe, which it could certainly have been perceived as.  Although Jerry Lewis and Tony Curtis doing lines from “Boeing Boeing” might not be out of place either…In any case, if you’re a fan of all things early 1960s (don’t be shy, I know there are some of you out there, come on now…), you pretty much owe it to your gestalt to check this place out in person; pictures (mine, anyway) certainly do not do it justice.

I’m not sure if the Pinto was coincidental to the scene or there on purpose.  Love the license plate though, the car itself was magnificent (for a Pinto).

Here’s a postcard-perfect picture (alright, a picture of a postcard anyway), of the place from the other side of the street.  The cars I just showed were all along the center and the right promenade behind the TWA signage.  Connie and the fallopian tubes are on the other side of the building.

And this is a similar angle present day taken by me as we got back on the AirTrain to get to the terminal that let us out to go and find the train into town…here we go!

And BAM(!), we are in Manhattan!  There is no easier and more filling way to eat tasty food anywhere in Manhattan than to find (“find” = “can’t miss”) one of the carts of either The Halal Guys or The Real Halal Guys or The Only Halal Guys or The Best Halal Guys or in this case 4Guys Halal Food or about at least a dozen more vendors/chains/whatever selling a huge plate of hot rice, meat, veggies, with delicious sauce for what used to be $5 but now is usually closer to a tenner I think.  This time I realized there are also regional specialty versions available of which I sampled a couple.  I’ve never been disappointed by any of them, and while I do love me a genuine Sabrett’s hot dog, there is no way the Halal product is any worse for one’s health than any hot dog ever made.

This is also when my son remarked that he had thought all the honking in NY was just something put into the TV shows he had watched that took place there, he hadn’t realized it was how it actually is.  You get used to it, it’s just background music after a few minutes…it is odd though, other cities are not that way.

Somehow we found a hotel with bunk beds!  This was a tiny place with a shared bathroom situation which definitely threw me for a loop, but it was clean and just as important, cheap.  And we never saw anyone in any bathroom or hallway, although there were always people in the lobby.  If you’ve never been in a New York City hotel room, just imagine any hotel room you’ve ever stayed in, no matter the brand, then shrink it to about a quarter of that size (at best) and quadruple the price (also at best).  Now you’re close.

Anyway, this was in midtown on E. 49th near 3rd, about three doors down from the Ukrainian Embassy with several other embassies within a block or two, a temple across the street, and lots of restaurants within steps along with easy access to all kinds of sights, sounds, experiences, and transportation.  This city, it doesn’t sleep.  We didn’t stay in the room much, and of course just dropped our bags, put a couple of drinks on the AC unit below the window which ended up working better than any mini-fridge to cool them down, and set out exploring.

There’s a Citroen H-Van everywhere nowadays and while there were actually 473,289 of these built over 34 years, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that there are currently more than that in service nowadays, it’s a lot like the Chevelle SS in that regard.

Radio City Music Hall

No, we did not go in.  And we did not kick our legs either.  But it’s an obligatory picture and was close by.

And we were hungry, so Halal it was!  Delicious.  And yes, we just sat down on the border of a fountain and ate it while people walked by and lived their own lives.  I believe this is the corner of Park Avenue and E. 48th Street.

Scion iQ

If you’ve ever seen me write about travel, you know it soon devolves, excuse me, I mean evolves, into cars pretty quickly, no matter the location.  So here we go as we walked off our filling dinners.  These two Scion iQ’s (Toyota’s probably superior take on the Smart Car) double the number I’d seen in the last year in one fell swoop.

Lexus HS250h

And then a Lexus HS250h, which paired a sedan both with a hybrid drivetrain (battery and 2.4l I-4 engine, think more or less Camry hybrid powertrain but the size of a Prius in sedan form) and some luxurious appointments, approximately 20,000 or so sold was the sum total of three model years (2010-2012) which was considered a failure in the marketplace.  See, even Toyota doesn’t always get it right.

There’ll always be some W124s about, this one looks pretty much like my old 1992 400E did, one I never should have sold.

What could be more useful to cross the jungle that is Midtown traffic while heading to the Upper West Side in than a first generation Range Rover?

Of course nobody ever went wrong choosing an E39 BMW 540i, especially with those twin-spoke wheels.  Delicious like Halal.

Another iQ!  And this one’s for sale, it may be a smart buy.  (It was asking $8,900 with 70,000 miles on it, btw).

By now it’s getting late and we were over by the East River, when we came across a lovely W123 (ok, C123) 300CD turbodiesel coupe in the obligatory Hellelfenbein color.  That was enough goodness for one evening so we turned back and got ready for the next day….

…which dawned bright and early and after realizing Ess-a-Bagel was not far from our abode (Ess-a makes perhaps NYC’s best bagels and are not to be missed, although even a bad NYC bagel puts most others to shame, admittedly, so no worries there), we indulged and then started walking towards my daughter’s place.  This not so old Jeep JK Wrangler apparently woke up and pulled someone else’s pants over its spare tire, for shame.

My daughter caught an Uber to meet us halfway and then we all hopped on the subway for the trip to the lower east side for today’s excursioning.  People seem to hate on NYC’s subway (perhaps for their own good reasons) but we had very good experiences and zero trouble.  It was efficient, cheap(ish), and quite clean, at least the multiple ones we were on.  We did also do some rudimentary route planning (SO much easier nowadays with Google and Apple Maps that tell you when, where, and how long to wait, go, and ride).  25 years ago it all would have taken much longer with much more confusion.

Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is always interesting to visit, somehow we got pictures without street vendors, the elevated walk and bikeway is wonderful and makes for some great car watching below.  I think we walked to the first tower, took a few more snaps with the city in the background (around the towers the walkways goes over the traffic to the sides), and then walked back to terra firma instead of continuing on to Brooklyn.  Still, very picturesque, uncrowded when we were there and entirely free.

Cadillac Lyric

After the bridge we walked some more and I saw my first Cadillac Lyric (this was a year ago, mind you).  I’m still not sure if I like it but I guess it’s different enough from what Cadillac used to do, so that’s progress I guess.  The rear sort of reminds me of a modern interpretation of Jensen Interceptor, and I like Jensens enough that it’s the middle name of one of our kids.

Cadillac Lyric

The front is a little busy and while I realize everyone pans the use of gray, white, black, and other non-colors, somehow I don’t see this thing being even remotely appealing in light blue, mauve, green, or purple.  Or even red, yellow, gold, or most other shades.  Maybe a really dark red?  It looks tech-y, I suppose “modern”, and, well, metallic gray works pretty well on it.  The yellow New Jersey license plate looks like an oozing wart on there.

I can’t ever look at an airplane intersecting (visually) with a building anymore without cringing.

Which made our next destination and picture all the more poignant.  I have no relation to or personal experience with anyone having anything to do with September 11th, but the last time I was in New York the memorial was still being built, consisting of two huge water sculptures set on the same footprints as the twin towers with a very large plaza, a remembrance building, and a few ancillary items.  Now that it and the entire complex is finished (as far as I could tell), it’s simply magnificent, appropriate, and if I may say so, necessary… It will not be forgotten and you’d have to be subhuman no not feel anything when on that ground.  It is not to be missed and I don’t know that it’s possible to walk away from there the same person as upon arrival.  It is extremely respectful and well done.  Very well done.

We needed to take our minds off things, so what better way than to walk a block into some sort of street festival (there seem to always be a few celebrating something or other) and German Bratwursts for everyone.  I’ll take two.  If only the Halal guys did Wurst.  Maybe they do in Frankfurt, I’ll have to check next time I’m that way.

Washington Square, NYC

It’s not right there but we ended up in Washington Square Park next (or at least that’s my next picture).  This mini Arc de Triomphe (apparently it IS modeled on it) is of course known to us rubes not from NYC as where Sally dropped Harry off after their long drive from Chicago in her yellow Toyota Corona wagon.  Alas, no Sally, no Harry, and unfortunately no yellow Toyota Corona this time.

Scion iQ

Instead another Scion iQ!  The Jan. 6th limited edition, in tactical flat black, apparently.  Sorry, there is no way to make a Scion iQ look menacing if that was the goal here.

We aren’t doxxing Taylor Swift but that’s her Greenwich Village house which kind of reminds of a fire station.  Apparently it was for sale AND/OR available as an AirbnB, whichever came first or both, so it’s public knowledge already.  We would have had to ask, so clearly we can’t afford it.  The sidewalk concrete has song lyrics embedded in it.  And we were not the only ones there, someone else took pictures as well.  I’ll not hesitate to say that I’m not the Swiftie in our bunch, although she doesn’t bother me either.  But you’re not here for the pop princess, you’re here for the cars and more, so let’s Shake It Off, walk south down the street and turn right.

Welcome to New York indeed, a 289 equipped Mustang is always a welcome sight, and looks quite good in Navy Blue with a black top for that matter, an uncommon color in my Mustang experience.  And then all of a sudden the heavens opened and there was a torrential downpour.  We huddled under an open patio umbrella of a restaurant.  Well, we huddled until the manager decided he needed to fold the umbrellas and bring them inside but offered to let us wait in his sidewalk dining area.

Which we did although this Covid-era remnant of an outdoor space (something that has caught on and is still in place in lots of establishments) was a little spooky as it sat on a corner and was in a former traffic lane, so you’d watch cars make a left turn, head for your table, and then veer over a lane to get by….

We didn’t eat but they were kind enough to bring us waters and we thanked them profusely.  And now we’ll give them a plug, if you’re ever in the West Village, check out Taco Mahal, very friendly people and the food looked good, sort of Indian/Mexican fusion.  Man can’t live on Halal alone.  Note that it’s only $2 to “guac it up”, Chipotle charges more than that if I’m not mistaken…

After the rain abated we said our thanks and continued on our way, without a specific goal or destination in mind, just wandering about and enjoying whatever we were seeing.  I thought Jason Shafer had come to visit but then realized he has the Ford version of this GMC Vandura conversion van so it wasn’t him.  While the van wasn’t rocking, we still decided against knocking, and just took a picture instead as it would last longer than the memory alone.

Honda Civic EX

When’s the last time you saw a sweet little red mid’90s Honda Civic EX Coupe like this?  It’s still a lovely little shape and quite the survivor here on the mean streets, this era is pretty much peak Honda design for me.

Porsche 993 Targa

I haven’t seen a street-parked Porsche 993 in years, perhaps more than a decade?

Porsche 993 Targa

And it’s a Targa at that, with that neatly integrated CHMSL in the hoop spoiler.  Lovely car, just sitting there by itself, it bothering nobody and nobody bothering it.  This is somewhere in the Chelsea District where we climbed the stairs up to The High Line, a park that is a walking path made from an old elevated railway, so you walk along about fifty (?) feet above the ground and try not to furtively peek into people’s living rooms and corner offices that presumably used to have a lot more privacy than they do now.

And you get to see where the other half parks their cars in lower Manhattan.  Yes, these car elevators out in the open with the expensive Mobil 1 European Formula dripping from your car onto whatever is below your car.  Or from someone else’s onto your car I suppose.  These are dotted all over the place, but from The High Line you get pretty close to at least this one. I have no idea what a space costs but it seems like a bit of a hassle compared to summoning a Lyft or whatever.  I suppose when you need to take the brood and the bags to the Hamptons it’s easier with your own car than just renting one.

At this point my daughter left us to meet her friends for an evening of carousing, and somehow we got back across the island (Manhattan Island is 2.3 miles wide at its widest point and 13.4 miles long top to bottom) and entered Grand Central Station on 42nd which was sort of near our hotel.  Always a hustle and bustle, it’s a magnificent building inside and out, with what I believe are constellations (or something interesting) painted on the ceilings, marvelous windows, rich stone and tilework, and as usual a heavy security presence.

It was also quite loud but it’s an interesting place with buses, trains, and subways leaving from multiple levels, various shops and eateries scattered about and overall a far larger place than any single picture can capture.  Quite clean too, for such a public space, as were much/most of the outdoor areas we visited during our stay.  As I recall we exited again and decided to walk towards Central Park, so quite a ways higher up the island.

Aston Martin showroom, Manhattan

I took no pictures of Central Park (imagine an enormous park with trees, paths, some water, a surprising amount of elevation changes, constant footfalls of joggers and otherwise amazing silence in the middle of a city and you’re halfway there) but I did take pictures of the nearby Aston Martin showroom (from outside the plate glass windows, my cargo-style dad-shorts were likely not welcome inside), located at 450 Park Avenue.  I didn’t realize until just now that they had just celebrated their grand opening the day prior to my breath fogging on their windows.

Anyway, that’s a display version of their 2023 season Formula 1 car, number 18 denoting not the two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, but rather his team-mate Lance Stroll.  Lance Stroll just happens to be the son of Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll who happens to be the current owner of Aston Martin, which he acquired in large part to provide a better showcase for his son’s talents.  Alonso is the better driver, but Stroll is probably better than he commonly gets credit for and likely better than some others on the current grid who got there by themselves, which is better for him than the alternative.  Aston did better last year than they are doing this year but the cars do look good and as we all know looking good is worth at least half the race, unfortunately though that’s the half that doesn’t pay.

Aston Martin Valkyrie

This is an Aston Martin Valkyrie, not street legal in the U.S. but it is elsewhere (what are the odds on T87 finding one curbside in Tokyo this year? I think he will) and examples can be had for the approximate starting price of $3.5 million dollars with “all standard features”, as Bob Barker used to describe the cars on The Price Is Right.  Options are at extra cost of course.  Apparently its V12 generates on the order of 1,000 hp and it’s basically a LeMans Hypercar Prototype for the street.  I like a back seat so I’m out of the running for one, but maybe that opens a slot for one of you.  Act fast.

Aston Martin DB12 New York

Which brings us to the last car in the last window and presumably the maid’s car, the CComparatively cheap and cheerful new DB12, starting at the tiddling sum of $245,000.  Let’s just take one in each color then.  Actually, I’ll give it that, I can’t complain about the color of these, and figure that Jim Cavanaugh got a far better deal on his coat of what looks like the exact same shade of F8 Green.

It was now quite dark out, and we had to walk home, it was a little chilly too so we put foot to pavement and covered the seven short blocks and three longer ones in almost no time…but along the way we found a little hole in the wall walk-up pizza place with three stools and a counter that sold slices for 99 cents (Yes, right around 3rd and 50th or so in Manhattan!) and canned sodas for a dollar.  So for $2.98 per person we each had two slices and a soda.  This place must have owned its building or something or been 75 years into a 100-year lease, and there was a constant line of people there.  Bagels for breakfast, Halal for lunch, and pizza for dinner with some fresh fruit as a snack from a street stand, well under $20 each per day is easily possible if you look.

The next morning after fortifications of more bagels of course, we took the subway south, transferred once or twice, and eventually met up with the daughter in Battery Park in order to brave the high seas.  Where were we going, you ask?

A three hour tour, the man said.  I’ve heard that before somewhere.  Anyway, the seas didn’t start getting rough so all was alright for now.  Lovely views of the city from offshore though.

Views everywhere.

Except for the damn boat itself which was crowded like a Bangladeshi ferry but thankfully stayed upright (this time).  I swear, our cities and states host some of the best national (and natural) history displays for the lowest (usually) possible prices and then a lot of it is ruined by the private contractor that handles the inevitable transportation or parking need and charges through the nose for the worst possible “service”.  I thought we were going to get tazed with a cattle prod the way we were herded down the ramp and onto the boat.  Anyway, enough of that, I think you might be able to see our destination!

Lady Liberty

Ahoy, mateys, yes, Lady Liberty herself!  On Liberty Island of course which you pass when heading for Ellis Island from overseas.  I’m an immigrant myself but I came through L.A. so I didn’t see the lady when I entered some two score and something years ago now and finally got to get up close and personal here.  Anyway, we landed ashore, avoided the cattle prods again, scampered up the ramp and walked all around this thing.  It’s again done very well, lots of viewing platforms and points of interest.  It turns out you can either stay at the base level, go up to the platform/balcony at the top of the stone just under her feet (we did and it was very cool, great views), or you could go all the way up!

If you’ve ever climbed the original spire of the Notre Dame in Paris you’ll know what this climb was like.  Narrow, very steep, claustrophobic, dizzyingly circular, hot, and nothing to see on the way except the heels of the person in front of you about to kick back into your nose.  I noted they were far more (and politely) concerned here about the physical condition of the patrons than they were that time in France (there you pay and you’re on your way up), here you were urged to take a real consideration of your own abilities without shame.

This is pretty much at the top where the space expands hugely (speaking strictly comparatively) and you can look out the little windows in the tiara.  There’s still only space for a few people at a time though, I suspect the stairs must back up a bit (actually I think they crowd-manage it at the bottom along with the full security and scanner checks.)

I believe we are above the armpit here and wow, we are high up.  That’s the promenade around the base at the bottom.


And then looking up towards the torch of course.  Quite the experience and highly recommended.  We descended and got smoothies at the gift shop and then wandered around some more until the next boat arrived which took us to Ellis Island, the Gateway to America!  However we either didn’t or weren’t allowed to take pictures there so I don’t have any. It’s another small island with a big building and some barracks, somewhat grim with a very government budget vibe.  I believe they are trying to restore everything but funding is an issue.  It’s worth going if you come from immigrants or are one yourself (i.e. anyone who doesn’t identify as a Native American, most “Real Americans” aren’t all that far removed from a huddled, crowded and miserable boat voyage themselves) just to see how things were and how your own people actually got here back in their day, often/usually not via a direct invitation to do so.

That all consumed much of the day but once the Bangladeshi ferry returned to port we got off and shared a knish from a stand (I love knishes, look them up if this is a new food for you).  We then made our way back across the island yet again, bought a big bag of cherries from a fruitstand on the sidewalk in Chinatown ($2/lb, 33% less than at home, and fresher/better to boot), and then walked north up I want to say 2nd or one over from there.

That’s where we saw this 70 Series Toyota Land Cruiser in the Bowery.  Range Rovers in Midtown, but the 70 Series is better here as some of the streets do have cobbles and sometimes the manhole covers aren’t entirely flush with the asphalt.  I’m not sure what happened to his Hi-Lift jack, maybe it’s mounted around the other side.

Followed closely by this mid 1990s Honda Accord LX.

While every Royal Enfield is pretty much an adventure bike, this appears to be a real Royal Enfield Adventure Bike!  Good for them, it’s good to see them expanding and sort of thriving.

We discovered Milk Bar’s cookies and other products a few years ago courtesy of a specialty close-out grocer near us that gets interesting regional stuff from all over the country in unpredictable batches, often never to be stocked again.  Their cookies and baked goods are generally very interesting and extremely tasty (and not normally available to us except for there), so we were really chuffed to come across an actual outlet of their own as we were walking by.  Just another unexpected thing to see.

And then got really tired and just popped in a subway to figure out a way home for the evening…Within minutes we were on our way and back at the hotel shortly thereafter.

And then the next morning headed West across Manhattan again.  Here we are outside Cadillac’s Manhattan showroom (I think this is the old new one with a new new one being opened across the street).  It’s a weird place for it, they only opened it about a decade ago when Johan de Nysschen was running the place (Cadillac Division I mean, not the dealership).  Not the part of town I’d put it in (Aston figured out the showpiece location) but they didn’t ask me so oh well.  Anyway, this was the most interesting thing inside, sorry about the color though.  Some things never change, huh?

There were however a lot of other dealerships in the area too so maybe it made sense, this Defender was I believe at some sort of importer’s place around the corner.

As was this shorty Mercedes G-Wagen, not a variant we ever got officially.  If you can afford fifty Suzuki Samurais but only have parking for one car, then I guess this is the sensible option.

And then we came to the decidedly not shorty USS Intrepid, moored on Pier 86 in the Hudson River and a museum for one and all to visit as we did.

There is lots to see on deck and below (on several levels), not just equipment and aircraft but also accommodations, messes, and whatever else has to do with the business of defense using ships, people, and aircraft.

It’s somewhat incongruous to see a Douglas Skyraider prototype (one of the first 25 built) against the Manhattan skyline.

I do enjoy the graphics on many of this type of machinery.  Definitely of an era.

There’s a decent amount of “space” stuff as well.  The Enterprise was of course the first of the orbiters to be built almost 50 years ago now and was the one that they tested after launching it from atop a 747.

My little astronauts in the gift shop, channeling Buzz and Sally.

When you are in command, you get a commanding view.  Sully landed his plane out there somewhere on what from here looks like a flat runway, not so much when you’re hoping for a Miracle on the Hudson.

But wait, there’s more!  They even have a Concorde, in this case a British Airways versions, one of 14 that actually was in service to New York.  This one has been renovated since last year and is now back in good form, looking far better than it did then.

Enough of the museums, there’s good stuff on the streets.  Check out that XJ Cherokee and what looks like a de-topped Bronco that’s also missing the skin of its rear quarterpanels.  Or IS the skin the rear quarterpanel?  I could not tell you the model of the little silver Italian car from Maranello though, but someone will know offhand.

We did wander into some sort of Toyota/Lexus showroom/museum that had a guy behind a desk and a few interesting cars to look at.  Can’t argue with a pristine FJ40 in mustard yellow, just appreciating through the roof as it ages here.

Lexus LF-A

The Lexus LF-A looks quite good in yellow as well, and was certainly an interesting exercise by Toyota, I suppose showing they could if they wanted to.

Thirty years down the road, I’m finally starting to like the Mk4 Supra shape, this one’s a JDM version and as nice as some of the ones that still exist are, this one is the closest to showroom fresh as I’ve seen.  It being in a showroom probably helps that but it was basically new, perhaps just plucked at random off the streets of Tokyo…

Then as soon as we left it started pouring again and we got on a New York City Bus!  I believe it was free (could that be?); it looked and felt new, and was a great place to be rather than outside.  Public Transit FTW!

We weren’t alone but we were left alone.  Pretty soon we got back across to our east side digs…

Brophy-san, you’re my only hope, what is this bus that we were on?  Here it is right after we got off.

Turns out it was a hybrid.  My kids were looking at me and wondering why would anyone own a car in New York City, it was so easy and cheap to get around here as a tourist.

Wandering around more we stumbled across a mid-2000s Jaguar X-Type 3.0, taking the obligatory pic for my other son.  Not a fan of the chrome wheels though, not on a Jag…

The count is now 2:1 in favor of W124 vs W123…

It was interesting to note how the gray in the foreground worked with the grays in the background but yet there were little yellow splotches scattered both in the fore and background as well…

I can’t see Dennis Franz and Jimmy Smits jumping out of a Smart Car on “NYPD Blue” but the only constant in life is change itself.

As we were walking around near the East River late that afternoon all of sudden my son says “Hey, check it out, the UN Headquarters”, like every 14 year old (or 54 year old for that matter I suppose) would naturally recognize the building amongst all the others from half a mile away.  That kid, I tell you…

And this was posted above the doorway of the building across the street (up the stairs) from it, which is the vantage point from which the prior picture was taken.

It may not be old, but any Maserati Quattroporte is picture-worthy, if only to have another reason to say Quattroporte.

A Mercedes W140 Coupe may be the polar opposite of a clean-energy bus, yet in NYC they coexist side by side and marks the last picture of the day.

With another not-so-bright but oh-so-early flight scheduled the next morning, it made sense for the three of us to reserve a cab the night before to get us to our respective flights the next morning, who knew that RickyBobby himself would be at the wheel of our LWB Ford Transit Connect taxi and got us to the airport in record time, slicing and dicing through the traffic as if it wasn’t even there.

When we got back to our car after four days, the battery was dead.  We waited for the airport service guy to arrive, however an hour into our wait the owner of the van parked in front of us (that was already there when we pulled in based on my location reference picture) happened to come back as well and had better jumper cables than us!  His plates?  Yes, from New York, he had recently moved here.  You meet the nicest people while traveling.

Thanks for joining us, hopefully we can take another trip soon!