Getting around NY during GOP convention

Old Jul 22nd, 2004, 07:15 PM
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Getting around NY during GOP convention

I'm going to be taking a train into Penn Station on Sept. 1--smack in the middle of the Republican convention--in order to board a cruise. I understand that there will be street closings, etc. Will these affect the Penn Station and cruise ship dock areas? I'm already assuming that the taxi line--never fun at Penn Station--will be worse than usual.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2004, 07:22 PM
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The main taxi stand will be moved from Seventh Ave to 32nd Street between Fifth and Sixth. Just follow the signs.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2004, 07:39 PM
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I know they said the taxi stand line will be longer than usual and that some exits from the LIRR at Penn Station will be closed. I don't know if they're doing the same for Amtrak, but I would opt for catching a train even if the line for a cab is too long.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2004, 07:43 PM
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The convention is taking place in MSG - right on top of Penn Sta. You can anticipate lots of delays, closed entrances to the station and trouble getting cabs. If you have a lot of luggage with you, you might consider another way of getting to the ship.

Not sure where you're coming from, but a car service direct to the pier from either your home - or a major train statin outside of Manhattan - might be more efficient and less aggravating.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2004, 07:59 PM
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Anonymous, how much further from the station exit is that? I'll have my mother with me, and she can't do too much walking. Missjanna, I'm not sure I understand. When you say "opt for catching a train" do you mean take the subway? Or are you saying I'll be better off on train than plane even with the taxi line?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2004, 08:19 PM
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I think you should consider changing your plans to enter NYC via Penn Station. Streets all around that area will be closed, and I've heard that the station itself will be closed at times.

Good Luck!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2004, 01:51 AM
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I would also suggest you re-organize things to avoid Penn Station altogether. According to the
NY Times, 5 out of the 7 exits from the station will be closed during the convention, which means everyone will be trying to get in and out of 2 exits. You may end up walking further with your luggage in large crowds than you or your mother would want. If you are arriving at rush hour, IMO it will be truly insane to get out of Penn Station with all the commuters.

If you can tell us where you are coming from (a NYC airport or by Amtrak into NYC?), and where the cruise ship departs from, we can give suggestions for alternate ways to reach the piers. One way would be by ferry from New Jersey, take a look at the website below. They have ferries from Hoboken and Jersey City to the 38th Street area where there are some cruise ship piers. You might want to call them to see if they have suggestions or are making special arrangements for additional ferries during the convention period.

1-800-53-FERRY
www.nywaterway.com

You could also take a bus from Newark Airport to the Port Authority bus terminal at 42nd Street and walk or get a taxi to the piers. I assume this will be a bit of a nightmare as well, as everyone from NJ will be taking the bus in rather than the train if they can.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2004, 05:33 AM
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If at all possible, AVOID Penn Station. If you are traveling with bags, you will likely have to walk several blocks to get anywhere near a cab or bus. The taxi line at Penn Station will be worse than usual as it won't exist. Much of the area around Penn Station will be a frozen zone. Apparently, everyone leaving or entering the station will need to do so at one entrance several blocks away.

Are you coming from south of the city via NJ Transit or Amtrak? If so, I might suggest you get off the train in Newark. Take either the PATH train or NJ Transit to the Hoboken train station. A cab from there to the NY Waterway Hoboken North Terminal is $4. The ferry is $5. The boat will leave you off on West 38th. You can take their free shuttle to a stop right across from the Cruise Ship Terminal. I know this sounds like an awful amount of extra stops - it is. But, the alternative is likely to be much worse, significantly longer, and more complicated.

If you live in the area, I might suggest you find a bus service. Getting off at the Port Authority might prove to be a far better option - this time.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2004, 05:38 AM
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The main taxi enrtrance to Penn Sta is between 31 and 33sts west of 7th avenue. If they're going to move it to 32 between 5th and 6th (I'm not sure how they would do this - where do the cabs come from? down 7th ave?) that will mean a walk of an additional 2 long blocks - presumably on a very crowded sidewlk dragging your luggage behind you.

I would not care to try this with an older mom - never mind the extrra time it will take all of those people to get out of 2 entrances vs 7.

Definitely mind another way to the pier.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2004, 06:54 PM
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Thanks. I see that the message is clear not to go into Penn Sta. We're coming up from Washington, DC, and I'm told the ship docks at a pier in the West 50s. I'm looking now at either taking the train to Newark and finding a car service that doesn't break the bank (thanks, Cicerone, for the ferry idea, but I don't think Mom can cope), or just flying into LaGuardia and leaving the traffic battle to a taxi driver. I'd been concerned that the latter would be even worse than Penn Sta, but it sounds like it won't be as bad. We're arriving midday, so won't have rush hour to contend with.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2004, 07:41 PM
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As we New Yorkers say: FUHGITABOUTIT. Do not even think of being anywhere near Penn Station.

Fly to LaG and take a cab to the Passenger Ship Terminal on the Westside of Manhattan. AVOID MIDTOWN. Have the cabbie go across the Triborough Bridge and then go across town UPTOWN, then down the Westside. Most New Yorkers are leaving the city during the conventions days...not looking forward to it at all.

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Old Jul 24th, 2004, 07:12 AM
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There's something else not mentioned yet - the feds have been trying to close Penn Station entirely. The battle keeps going back and forth and I wouldn't bet yet that they're done trying. You may not have a choice and end up on a bus no matter what you do.

At a minimum, also figure that if it is open, you're going to go through airport style security to get into Penn Station.
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Old Jul 24th, 2004, 08:27 AM
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Just to add my voice to the chorus: my daughter works across the road from Penn Station and they have been advised that only people with appropriate authorization will be allowed anywhere near the place. She has elected to work from home during that time because she feels it won't be safe there; she says it would be too easy for ill-intentioned people to get authorization well ahead of time and perhaps create some kind of trouble, or disruption at the very least. I'd avoid the area like the plague.
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Old Jul 24th, 2004, 08:44 AM
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This thread is sounding exactly like the thread a month ago about the Democratic convention coming to Boston next week.

My daughter who works a block away from the site had to get a security clearance to enter her buliding, they can't have guests in for meetings, etc. And, yes, the commuter trains and other public transportation in the area will be shut down.

Watch next week's news about the DNC for a preview of the Republicans' impact on NYC!
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Old Jul 24th, 2004, 08:53 AM
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since the cruise ships leave from the west side, flying into newark and then taking a taxi might be best bet. then you won't have to fight your way across the city. Taxi from newark to nyc should be in the vicinity of $50 and should take approx. 30 minutes.
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Old Jul 24th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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Rebecca, is the train station in Newark much further from Manhattan than the airport? The price for train is significantly less than plane to Newark (tho' not plane to LaGuardia--go figure), but taxi fare may make up for the difference, as I expect the train station is in the heart of Newark and the airport is closer to NY--but I don't know, which is why I'm on this board asking.
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Old Jul 24th, 2004, 03:13 PM
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Question?

If you are coming from Was.DC. can't you take Amtrak to Newark [Amtrak], and catch PATH from there to WTC sta. and catch a taxi from thereto the pier?
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Old Jul 24th, 2004, 03:53 PM
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The "shuttle" goes between DC and LGA -that is why LGA is cheaper, it is a standard, regular, very profitable flight. The shuttle is often cheaper than the Acela express train and sometimes cheaper than the slower Acela train. LGA would still be a cheaper cab ride than Newark, and probably about the same timewise, but during the convention LGA might be better because the Lincoln Tunnel /West Side Highway may be problematic.

The PATH option is also good, but don't go down to the trade center. The PATH is a subway-type train that runs from the Newark train station, so it is an easy transfer if you take the train, and you can take the line that goes to 34th street rather than to the WTC but get off at one of the earlier stops and grab a cab from there - I'd even get off at the first stop (Christopher Street I think) to avoid getting too stuck too close to MSG/protests, etc. and grab a cab. That will save you money as compared to a cab from Newark (I'd guess a $10-15 cab ride at that point).
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Old Jul 24th, 2004, 04:27 PM
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Although the ferry seems like a reasonable option, the OP already thought that would be too much for her mother. Taking the PATH from Newark Penn to Christopher Street requires changing PATH trains at either Journal Square or Exchange Place, which is more of a pain than anything else. Simplest choices are either Train to Newark & Cab to Cruise Ship Pier, or Fly the shuttle to LGA & cab to Cruise Ship Pier. Good luck!
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Old Jul 24th, 2004, 05:15 PM
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The train is not much different distance wise than the airport (newark). If the train is the cheaper option, then that is just as convenient. the taxi can take you to nyc through either the Lincoln or the Holland, depending on traffic and where you are staying.

The "path" train from Newark train station does go directly to nyc, and you could get off at Christopher, 9th st, 14th st, 23rd st or 34th (but that would put you at Penn station). The "path" train is fairly quick, but would require a change, which might be too much for your mom with luggage.

Another thing that you need to consider here is that a protest group has been given permission to march/protest on the West Side Highway, but I'm not sure on what day. This will definetly snarl traffic. There have been lots of articles about this. I don't know offhand if this will be every day of the convention, or just once. Nor do I know specifically where on the West Side Highway they will be. My guess is they will be somewhere around West Side Highway and 34th. Does anyone out there have info on this? If not, perhaps a search of the web.

I vote for train to Newark, cab to cruise.
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