Entering New York, by bus, from New Jersey – northbound
The scenery of the southern New Jersey Turnpike is horrifically boring. All endless, uniform, monotonous forest.
But then gradually, from inside the rocking white-noise silence of the bus, the landscape begins to show evidence of a great metropolis – giant warehouses and factories appear, their numbers growing slowly more dense.
Once upon a time, coming from the south, the first visible signs of New York City were the small boxy silhouettes of the monolithic Twin Towers way in the distance. Today the new World Trade Center has become the new beacon, announcing Manhattan across scores of miles.
The Meadowlands – marsh, straight marsh… squeezed between Newark and the cliffs lining the Hudson River, fighting heavy industry for scraps of waterlogged earth. Enormous steel skyways arc impossibly, hundreds of feet above – arteries feeding the great city.
The diminutive skyline of Newark, New Jersey, shirks huddled in the northwest, as planes taxi and take off from its airport along the turnpike, receiving and discharging people from every corner of the globe.
Now – paralleling the ridge of the southern Palisades, the entire breadth of Manhattan becomes abundantly clear. You can pick out more of the skyscrapers now – the Time Warner Center, Worldwide Plaza, the Chrysler, the Empire, 40 Wall, the AIG Building, the World Trade….
Here the highway turns eastward and begins to trench through the ridge; the skyline mysteriously disappearing as the road burrows through primal granite.
And then emerging back into the wide open air, suddenly the view becomes total Manhattan, the skyline, right in your face, just across a thin stretch of the Hudson River. Arrival.
The bus curves around the Helix, and then quickly into the Lincoln Tunnel, plunging under the river and straight into the into the very shadow of the Empire State Building – a tower you’ve been tracking from afar for many minutes.
“counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike…”:
(Granted – this journey is far less magical in heavy traffic.)
Posted on April 2, 2012, in NYC present, travel, Uncategorized and tagged bus, greyhound, lincoln tunnel, meadowlands, new jersey, new york, new york city, nyc, skyline, travel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.