Back in January I mentioned my desire to ride an Amtrak train sometime in the near future. Next week I'll be doing it. In fact, I figured I might as well take the opportunity to explore a few different modes of long-distance transportation in our country while I'm away.

(from Flickr user jpmueller99)

On Friday morning I'll board a Lake Shore Limited train in Cleveland. About 12.5 hours later (and hopefully on-time) I will arrive at Penn Station in New York City. The decision to pick New York as the destination was made easy by the fact that I won a free stay at the Affinia Manhattan back in the fall. Since hotel is actually a stone's throw away from the entrance to Penn Station, it felt like a sort of calling.

After a two night visit, I'll hop on a BoltBus in Midtown on Sunday night and travel 200 miles south to Baltimore. On Monday I'll take a MARC train from downtown Baltimore to Union Station in Washington for an afternoon meeting. By evening I'll catch a Southwest flight from BWI back to CLE. Of course I'll be using public transportation in all 4 cities. I may even hail a cab or two. As much as I'd like to bike around New York, I don't think I'll be able to make it happen this time.

Now for the bleg: I'm looking for interesting urbanist related sights and attractions around New York City. I saw all of the touristy stuff that I wanted to see during my last visit, so now I'm looking for the cool stuff that doesn't get featured in the guidebooks. I'm also looking for a recommendation on good crabs (for a reasonable price) in Baltimore. I'll probably only have time for one meal, so I'd like to make it a good one.

This will also be the first trip I'll be taking since I got a smart phone. In the past, I've planned out my trips ahead of time, set an out-of-office email and taken a break from technology for a few days. This time, you will probably have to deal with my stream of 'ordinary observations' via my Twitter if you subscribe.


    A word to the wise -- don't count on the Lake Shore Limited being on time, either leaving Cleveland or arriving in New York. It's the unfortunate reality.

    I saw someone off on the LSL a few months back, and I found a non-Amtrak website that somehow automatically tracks the progress of all the Amtrak trains, so, if you can find that, that might be helpful on telling you when you should be at the station. I no longer have the URL, unfortunately, I did some kind of websearch to find it.

    But enjoy the trip. If you sit on the left side, you may be able to see Buffalo Central Terminal (sadly unused) as you go through. If you sit on the right side, you'll have the good view of the Hudson between Albany and NYC.


    If you haven't already, make sure to check out the new pedestrian malls in Times & Herald Squares and Madison Square Park in front of the Flatiron Building. Also the High Line is a fantastic new urban park concept.

    For good, cheap-ish seafood in Baltimore, head to Faidleys in the Lexington Market (it's at the back of the market right off of Paca Street. They make a killer Soft-shell crab.

    Too bad you won't have more time here in DC to check out all the new bike lanes DDOT has been adding including a sweet contraflow lane on 15t St NW.


    BP, I believe the website you are referring to is - based on their data, in the past four weeks the LSL has arrived in New York City early 20 times and late 5 times. Knock on wood, but that doesn't seem too egregious to me.

    herrVebah, I have seen the new pedestrian malls. I haven't been to the high line, but I've heard good things. Thanks for the tip on the seafood, as well.

    On April 15, 2010 Anonymous said...

    I'd suggest renting a bike and going up the Greenway from Battery Park all the way to Inwood Park (along the west side). The ride is especially pleasant north of Harlem, and you might keep an eye out for neglected paths and possible improvements north of the George Washington Bridge.