Saturday, May 09, 2009

But the Battery’s Down

Those of you who know me well won’t be surprised to hear that I could often be found singing Broadway tunes on the streets of New York. Did I care that people thought I was crazy? Not even during my “Singing in the Rain” dance number at the corner of Broadway and 42nd.

One of the few times I stopped singing was to listen to the various tour guides on the Grey Line bus. This, in my opinion, was one of the best deals I found in New York. For $54 I could ride all three of the Line’s buses and had on and off privileges for 48 hours. This meant that I had one day of guided tours and one day of free taxi service throughout the city. With only 15 to 20 minutes between buses, the taxi service was a great value during my rainy days of shopping.

I should note that not all the guides on these buses were interesting or knowledgeable. Luckily, the nature of the service meant that I was able to ditch lame guides and wait a few minutes for the next bus. In two days of bussing it, my best experience was on the uptown tour where the guide was so good I stayed on long past my scheduled stop.

The other downside of the Grey Line was the tip grubbing on the part of the guides. It was one thing to hear a request for tips once every few stops, but one guide literally spent five minutes telling his passengers how he and the driver don’t earn much in salary and depend on tips to survive.

Despite these two points I would gladly buy tickets for the Grey Line again. The buses took me from one end of New York City to the other with dozens of points in between. Between the bus and the map I had plotted out before I left Toronto, I was able to see everything I had planned and several places I had previously assumed were too far out of the way.

I know I sound like an ad for the Grey Line but this bus tour was truly a great find for a girl wandering New York alone. I had so much fun walking around the city and this gave me a great way to get from the Staten Island Ferry back up Central Park without having to walk in the rain for an hour, or pay a fortune for a taxi. And a dollar saved on a taxi is a dollar more I could spend on fantastic meals!


the ungourmet said...

Oh you are such a brave lady! I have a bit of a phobia about going out alone to a new place!

Love the Gigantic M&M!

Bluefish said...

I didn't use Grey Line when I visited NY by myself. Instead I took the subway and walked a lot.

Betty said...

I admire your guts! Alone in New York...I´m not sure I would enjoy it, but make it sound wonderful! Thanks for the great tips.

Kathy B! said...

I am going to copy your adventures some day -- even if it's just in my imagination :)

My favorite part of the post was this:

"And a dollar saved on a taxi is a dollar more I could spend on fantastic meals"

This is my philosophy whenever I travel!

Brenda said...

I love tips like this! When I get to New York I will certainly consider the grey line if I don't have a lot of time.

Anonymous said...

I love the photo of the button and needle! And yes, the cardigan for BBA's house still needs needle, buttons and thread:)

Sturgmom said...

I am WAY impressed that you ventured NYC alone. I'm incapable of navigating my way out of a wet paper sack, so I'm in awe of your worldliness!

Nicole said...

That bus ticket seems to be a great deal. I guess without it you would have paid a LOT more!