(james benedict brown) on the road

New York

Posted in Uncategorized by James Benedict Brown on 14 October, 2005

And so that was the weekend that was… I’m back in Montréal after four nights and three packed days of, well, just mooching about NYC. I always wanted my first trip to be a bit of a wander; travelling in the footsteps of Rabigliati and Doucet, I went with wide eyes to the great metropolis, and had a few days being an easily distracted flâneur. My first day was spent almost entirely on foot: breakfast on the Brooklyn Heights promenade, before walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan and all the way up Broadway to Times Square. Day two was spent largely in the Guggenheim, Central Park and the Met… I caught sight of the shabby end of the Columbus Day parade, but wasn’t too fussed about missing it. Day three involved more mooching, mainly in downtown Manhattan and across to Statten Island on the (free) ferry.

Special thanks are due in no small quanitites to Abby for letting me invade the personal space of her and her cat Slinky, and for a memorable evening meal every night (NYC is, of course, the city to eat out in). Also thanks to Ellen Quint, at Delloite and Touche for a very personal tour of a small part of the World Financial Centre, and an understanding of what it was like to have worked in the shadows of New York’s stolen towers.

I headed north on Wednesday morning, again with Amtrak, but this time on the ‘Vermonter’ train – via Connecticut, Massachusets and Vermont, with a very personal connection from St. Albans, Vermont, to Montréal by bus. The train arrived at it’s terminus in St. Albans on Wednesday evening. Right by the door we disembarked the train from, a Vermont Transit Greyhound bus was waiting for us. Just five people boarded for Montréal, although it was nice to see that the driver (who would spend the night in Montréal before running a return connection early the next day) had brought his wife with him for company :-)

Unlike going south, customs was a breeze… Yay! two more stamps for the passport!

I’ve been planning a second trip in January and my findings suggest that this distant outpost of the Amtrak network is set for closure… a great shame, although with more crew on the train than passengers (one per carraige, I noted) I can understand the economics aren’t there. But for US$97 return (about £54) the value-comfort ratio was incredible… Enjoy it while you can!


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