My family had the pleasure of visiting New York City this past weekend. This was our second trip there. Our last visit was in July 2010, so it has been a while.
Our First Visit
We had a nice visit the first time we were there. Our niece was with us. We walked a lot, saw some different things, ate some great food, and our niece was able to meet up with a high school classmate. The thing that sticks out in our mind from that trip was our surprise at how many subway stations were not handicap accessible. When we were done visiting with our niece's friend on that trip, she pointed out the nearest subway stop to us. She was astonished when we told her we couldn't go there because there was no elevator. She quickly became aware of the challenges we had on our trip.
Preparation for This Trip
This time we knew that subway transportation would be a challenge. We did more research at home to familiarize ourselves with the needed accessible stops near things we wanted to do. We were also there for a specific purpose - to attend the Casting Crowns concert at Carnegie Hall. Anything we did above and beyond that was a bonus to our trip.
Because we drove from our home to the area, we stayed in Jersey City which is easier to get to by car. We have stayed at the Doubletree Hotel both trips. It's close to the PATH which is accessible (lucked out the first time because we didn't know to check for that). The hotel staff was wonderful about giving us information, maps, suggestions, etc. One desk clerk clued us into hopstop.com which will give subway directions and has a filter for accessible routes. Thank you!
We made it around the city just fine. We did a lot of walking (over 17 miles in 2 days) because sometimes it was just easier. Also, we had the opportunity to see some really cool things. J took over 400 pictures on the 2 days we spent in the city.
We visited Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, the 9-11 Memorial, Times Square, Grand Central Station, Rockefeller Center, ate at Junior's (didn't feel guilty about the delicious piece of devil food's cheesecake since I walked so many miles), consumed some Jamba Juice, had cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, some goodies from Carlo's Bakery, and attended a concert at Carnegie Hall which we were able to admire and enjoy by ourselves for a while since we were seated early.
People of New York: You have outdone yourself on your helpfulness and politeness to this visiting family! Kudos to you! We were all amazed at how helpful everyone was to us.
*We rode on a water taxi, and the workers were very helpful to ensure that S made it on safely.
*Statue Cruises: The staff was amazing! They were incredibly helpful in clearing paths for S to safely get on and off the ferry and helping lift his wheelchair when necessary.
*People who were willing to answer questions and offer help and assistance wherever we were.
*When S's front caster became lodged in a raise in the sidewalk, multiple people came forward to help my husband.
*Security guards helped with doors at various buildings.
*On our return trip to Jersey City, the elevator was out at the Hoboken PATH station. A worker came by to confirm with us which stop we needed since we would have had problems there.
*Any time we were on public transportation, the other passengers helped make room for S's wheelchair, offered up seats to our family, helped clear paths if we needed to get off, etc.
A Few Memories of Our Trip
|A photograph of our trip photographer|
|View from our room|
We will have fun looking at pictures from our trip and reminiscing. However, there will always be an overriding memory of this trip that will stick in our minds - the people and their willingness to help. Thank you!
I will be on the couch with chocolate and my memories of the goodness in people.