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The Vicinity Of New York
( Originally Published 1936 )
There are many delightful day trips to be made in the vicinity of New York.
One boat trip that many visitors enjoy is a circuit of Manhattan Island which leaves the Battery twice daily (10.30 A.M. and 2.30 P.M.) in summer and costs $1.50. I know of nothing else which makes the contour of the island so comprehensible and gives so splendid a panorama of the docks, the bridges, etc.
There is also the sight-seeing yacht Marilda which makes three trips daily from the foot of West 42d Street, each cruise taking three hours and costing $2. The trips start at 10 A.M., 2 P.M., and 7.30 P.M.
Every day except Sunday, from late May to mid-September, you can take the Hudson River Day Line at the foot of West 42d Street at 10 A.M., arrive at West Point at 1.15 P.M., stay there till 5.25, and be back in New York at 8.45 P.M. Round trip $1.25.
The Royal Blue Line (and others, I dare say) has a Picturesque Long Island Tour which runs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9.30 A.M. (phone Pennsylvania 6-0179), leaving New York by the Triborough Bridge. East on Long Island through heavily wooded country with many beautiful estates. The first stop is at Oyster Bay to visit the grave of Theodore Roosevelt. Stop for luncheon at the clubhouse in Bethpage State Park which contains four beautiful golf courses. Then to 'Jones Beach, one of the finest and most popular in the country, where a stay of about one and a half hours is made. Return to New York via Old Country Road, pass the Vanderbilt Race Track, the airport from which Lindbergh took off on his famous flight to Paris; go through Forest Hills where the International Tennis Matches are played; and return to Manhattan in ample time for dinner. Price $5, luncheon not included.
The same company operates a West Point and Newburgh tour on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, leaving at 9.30 and also costing $5 without luncheon — which is taken at Newburgh.
Leaving New York City for Westchester County, you see many sights of Uptown New York. Then on, through country rich in historic associations and in Washington lore, to Sing Sing. Cross the Hudson by the Bear Mountain Suspension Bridge and drive over the Storm King Mountain Highway to Newburgh where Washington had his headquarters (house still standing) from the spring of .1782 until August, 1783. There he wrote the famous letter rebuking Colonel Nicola for suggesting that he assume the title of King. There he averted mutiny among his unpaid soldiers. There arrangements were made for demobilizing the Continental army.
From Newburgh, after lunch, to West Point, where an ex-tended stop is made, to inspect the buildings and to see the famous Parade — one of the most thrilling sights of its sort to be seen anywhere in the world.
The return to New York is made via the west bank of the Hudson, viewing the Jersey Palisades, and crossing to Manhattan by the George Washington Bridge.
This is a glorious day and should not be missed. The Gray Line has a similar tour on Tuesday and Thursday and Sunday afternoons, leaving at 2 P.M., returning at 8.30, price $3.
These are only a few of many trips which may be made out from New York City in a day. I list them because they can be taken on scheduled tours, with guide-lecturer.
Scores of regular transportation buses run out from New York to a multitude of outlying communities, nearly all of which have charm and some interest. It would be difficult to suggest certain among them as special objectives for the sight-seer; but almost any of them will offer an attractive spot and give an idea of the sort of communities in which hundreds of thousands of people live whose breadwinning is done in New York. Some of these people use buses; many more use trains. If you feel the significance of this great twice-daily movement into and out of the vast city, you should have a ride on a suburban train at a `rush' hour — say, one leaving the city between 5 and 5.30 P.M. Just as, if you are a hardy adventurer and really seek not merely `sights' but impressions, you should take one `rush' houT ride in the subway, and realize what hundreds of thousands undergo, twice daily, to get to some cliff dwelling with rentals they can afford.
Bridges, tunnels, ferries, subways, buses, elevated roads, are choked each evening with multitudes `going home,' and each morning with the same multitudes pouring into the piled-up spaces where they earn their bread. It is a tremendous drama of movement, of definite purpose in each little scurrying unit.
All my life I have been accustomed to it, but I never fail to find it food for fascinated reflection. When I see the morning rush, I always wonder to how many of them `the job' is really the main part of life, and to how many it is only a means to enjoyment when the job is done. When I see the evening rush, I wish I could know what is in the mind of every one. Industry regiments him, perhaps, but his other hours are his to dispose.
New York has many impressive sights; but none of them is so ceaselessly interesting as her populace.
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