the amazing race: urban style

photo from Marionzetta

After only 2 days in the Big Apple and only one of those at our new apartment, we headed up to Montreal to visit my friends and family. We decided to embrace the maze of the New York public transport system. We needed to get to Penn Station for 7:30 for a train heading North. Through the nifty iPhone app, we figured out that our nearest subway stop was only 4 blocks away and the local train that stopped there would get us to Penn Station within 15 minutes.

So off we trekked after a jet lagged night of sleep – this means intermittent waking at all hours and Preston asking at about 4 AM weather it was morning or not. Preston had his little backpack, Chris and I had our carry-ons and rolled a suitcase each. On top of that, Chris was laden down with a car seat that we had decided we’d bring up to Montreal, we figured we were more likely to drive their than in New York.

Chris was pumping up the road at a pretty brisk pace, forgetting that his walking mates are a nearly  30 week pregnant oompaloompa and a dawdling nearly 4 year old. We all made it to the subway in one sweaty heap – thankfully the subway was only 2 blocks away (Many New York subways have multiple entry points, sometimes confusing as they do not always correspond to the name of the subway). For this time of year, New York is remarkably hot and humid. I’m happy about this as we just left winter in New Zealand and I am not particularly looking forward to my first North American winter in over 8 years.

Down the stairs we travelled – thump, thump, thump our bags go behind us. Though I think this is a 24 hour station, this entrance is unmanned. Hmmm….how do we get our bags through the turnstiles, and not to mention P as he just fits under the height limit as a free rider on the subway.

I buzz the help button, assured that this should be easy enough to do. I tell the voice on the other end our predicament and a garbled message comes back – something about swiping the metrocard, pushing a button and opening the gate. I pretend I didn’t hear him and hope when he repeats himself it’ll make more sense…but it doesn’t. After he turnstile munches up one entry and doesn’t let us through, we maneuver or bags and Preston through somehow.

Still not sure how we are meant to get prams/strollers, free kiddies or other big tickets items through the gate when there is nobody to buzz you through. Any ideas? If you are a New York mama that can give me insight on how to do this, I would love to hear the answer! I figure their will be lots of trips with prams in the future so I really do need to get this sorted.

The good news is we made Penn Station with plenty of time to spare. I think on the return trip we will hail a cab though.



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KiwiCanadian expat adventures with my husband and 2 kids from life in New Zealand to New York and back again. Adventures in inspired family living, travel, health & fitness.Read More »