|Sunday in Hoboken -- 06/11/01|
As I think I have mentioned somewhere in these entries, Adam, my eldest, is getting married this summer. Until this point we had never met any of Leah's family; her parents live in Ithaca (upstate NY) and her brother and sister are in New Jersey. We'd exchanged notes and phone calls, but had never met.
Sunday morning found us on an Amtrak train to New York City, on our way to an engagement party in Hoboken, New Jersey. Sean and I were reading novels, Jennifer was alternating between reading and trying to nap (she's been working third shift in a supermarket, stocking shelves all night long), and Nancy was doing lesson plans.
AmTrak into Penn Station, then up to the surface world for a block or so, over to 6th Ave, then back underground to the PATH station to catch a light tranist train to Hoboken. So... fare is $1.50 and there is a cash fare machine by the righthand turnstile... so I feed a five dollar bill... out come three tokens and two quarters... (and I think, okay three times $1.50 is $4.50 and two quarters makes five bucks)... there are four of us so we need four tokens and I figure I'll get some for the return trip while I'm at it... in goes another five, out come three more tokens and two more quarters... so I've got six tokens, need two more (yes, I know, you New Yorkers are laughing at me) so I feed it a dollar bill and two quarters and nothing comes out and... and then a passerby says "You can just walk through now" and I see that the turnstile has an LED sign saying fare has been paid, please enter... and I realize that those "tokens" were really dollar coins, those new gold colored ones (the first ones I'd ever seen outside of a newspaper picture)... so it was five dollars minus $1.50 is $3.50... Oh well... the turnstile let three of us through and then Nancy had to feed it another $1.50 for her fare.
Gee, these hicks from out-of-town sure get confused here in the Big Apple...
Adam had given me instructions for finding the right address, about a fifteen block walk from the PATH station, but it was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to follow his instructions rather than taking a taxi.
It was a very pleasant walk, much of it along Washington Street, mostly four and five story older buildings, apartments above, shops and offices on the ground floor... lots of restaurants, many of them with tables and chairs on the sidewalk. We all liked the street. I've not been to Hoboken since the mid-1940's (my father's mother lived there) , and I was really just a baby then so I have no memories of it at all. (I do have a memory of being on a New York City subway that dates back to that time, but no memory of Hoboken.)
It was a delightful party. Adam's future in-laws are marvelous people and we were so happy to meet them at last. Sean was appropriately social... one never knows with teenage males at gatherings like this... I'd half expected him to spend his time sitting in a corner with a vacant look on his face while listening to CDs on his Diskman... but soon I saw him in conversation with an attractive teenage girl... and then later having intelligent conversations with adults. Poor Jennifer was so exhausted... eventually she found a couch in a second floor playroom and took a nap... and then revived enough to come down for coffee and cake.
We walked back to the PATH station and rode back to Manhatten. The Puerto Riccan Pride parade had taken place while we were in Hoboken and the Penn Station area was still crowded... lots of people with flags and banners... and Teletubbies... (people wearing Teletubbies costumes, presumably a promotion for something, PBS maybe?)...
We got down into Penn Station a bit past 6:30... and saw that the 6:30 train to Boston was delayed... maybe we could exchange our tickets and take that train instead of waiting for the 7:30 train... but the lines were too long (and slow) at the AmTrak ticket counters so we settled down to wait for the 7:30 (which, this being AmTrak, of course, was fifteen or twenty minutes late).
When our train reached New Haven we stopped and they announced that another train had broken down on the tracks ahead of us and we had to wait there until a rescue locomotive could haul it back to New Haven... and after half an hour or so, that train was pulled back into the station and those passengers boarded our train... yes, it was that 6:30 train... so even if we had managed to get on it, we still wouldn't have reached home any faster... As it was, we were about an hour late by the time we reached our station.
We were all quite tired by the time we got home, a few minutes past midnight, but it had been a very good day.