With a train station right on campus, going to cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, and D.C. are a breeze. The SEPTA Regional Rail takes you to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia in about 30 minutes and, from there, the whole East Coast is accessible through Amtrak/Megabus. I decided to take a trip up to New York City recently and chronicled my adventures for anyone curious about traveling off-campus.
Friday June 19th
walking through a crowd, the village is aglow
After getting off work, I headed down to the train station to take the 5:13 PM from Swarthmore to 30th St Station in Philadelphia. I got there at 5:44, a mere 30-minute ride, and took the 6:15 PM Megabus to Manhattan. I was there by 8:30 PM, all in all about a three hour trip. After buying an extraneous muffin from Dunkin Donuts on the way to the subway station so that I could use their bathroom, we were on our way to my friend’s apartment in Brooklyn.
Saturday June 20th
everybody here was someone else before
The next morning, we looked up things to do and found two museums in Manhattan that we wanted to check out.
Before any of that, though, we were hungry, and went to my friend’s favorite vegan restaurant. It was in Brooklyn, so we took the subway just a few stops and walked into M.O.B. I had a delicious pizza, and he had a vegan burger.
Then, it was off to the Museum of Chinese in America in Chinatown, then the American Folk Art Museum. The Museum of Chinese in America was so informative of Chinese-American history, and it was only $5 with our student IDs. We even stumbled upon a toy-making activity for little kids and made minions out of corks, inspired by Tyrus Wong’s handmade toys. We looked a little out of place, but our minions looked great and right at home.
The American Folk Art Museum was definitely interesting. The exhibit was performance art that consumes the artists’ entire lives. The exhibits seemed to be mostly from outside of the United States, and I didn’t understand some of them, but they did shed light on how some aspects of our lives are considered performances.
After those two museums, my friend and I had dinner with his sister at Nanoosh, a Mediterranean hummus restaurant. We had amazing meals, all of us, and I especially enjoyed my Baked Falafel Hummus Plate. It was definitely a lot of hummus, but I enjoyed the challenge.
Then, we walked a few blocks and got to Snowdays, a snow cream shop that was full when we arrived and packed when we sat down. We enjoyed a large YetiTracks flavored bowl with Pocky and M&Ms, topped with peanut butter sauce. I could only eat a few spoonfuls, but it was delicious and fluffy.
Sunday June 21st
like any real love, it’s ever-changing
The next day, we got a late start to our morning. After a light breakfast, we headed to Brooklyn Bridge Park to check out Smorgasburg, a food flea market. We walked around, smelling all the good food cooking, and eventually only bought an ice cream sandwich from The Good Batch because we felt too frugal to shell out $10 for small entrees.
Then, we rode the subway to Prospect Park (Brooklyn), called ahead to The King of Tandoor, an Indian restaurant, and walked 1.5 miles through the park to get there. We got our food and took the subway back to the apartment. Eating takeout Indian food while watching Orange is the New Black was the perfect way to end my weekend, and as soon as I had packed my bag, we went to the Megabus stop in Manhattan near Penn Station and I got on the 7:40 PM back to Philadelphia. I was back at Swarthmore by 11 PM after an amazing weekend full of travel and adventures.
Going to New York for a weekend is relatively pain-free and cheap, and a lot of students take advantage of that. I’ll be back, New York, for more hummus and walks in the park!