Driving Into NYC

photo is a link to CBS news report after a search on “Lincoln Tunnel Helix images”. It’s a still from a CBS video which shows the moving traffic

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to drive into New York City? I’m not talking about riding the bus, because someone else drives the bus. I’m talking about the rite of passage of driving The Helix (Rt 495 from the NJ Turnpike to the Lincoln Tunnel) and emerging in mid-town Manhattan on Dyer Avenue.

NYC skyline and a bit of the Hudson River as seen from the Helix

The very first time I drove in NYC I was in college. That means that I’d only been a driver for perhaps 3 years or so. My mother, who was an actress, got food poisoning after a rehearsal in the city. She couldn’t take the bus home. I needed to go get her. At night. I called her best friend, Cathy, and Cathy rode with me into mid-town Manhattan. Cathy served as moral support and navigator.

NYC skyline from the Helix, approximately 7am, May 24,2023 – through the car window

As intimidating as that trip was, it was decades ago. The roads got worse, the traffic got heavier, and people seem to have a lot more road rage. Not to mention the aggressive window-washers who accosted you as you were stuck on Dyer Avenue. Driving in NYC got a lot worse after my initial foray. A few mayors ago laws were passed to prohibit the incessant horn-blowing and “blocking the box” (sitting in the intersection because you didn’t clear it while you had the light). I think that since the very bad traffic perhaps 10, 20 years ago, the driving has gotten much better and the window washers are gone.

this billboard has been here for decades. always kept up-to-date. 🙂 you are looking south – Hudson River and NYC to your left, about to loop to the right to the tunnel entrance

If we’re going to the theater or some other event/excursion we often take the train. Now that we are Senior Citizens that senior discount is FANTASTIC. No WAY can you drive & park for less than 2 or 3 train tickets. 🙂

the cliffs along the helix, homes with fantastic views of the river and NYC. I assume they are high enough to avoid the noise and pollution. at this point we’re making the turn to head to the tunnel entrance

Sometimes, however, it is necessary to drive in. My brother-in-law needed to get to the upper east side of Manhattan for an appointment with several surgeons. He cannot drive. My sister, who could drive, wanted to be focused on her husband, not traffic. Driving in NYC is not something she enjoys at the best of times. I offered to be the limo driver.

and here we go….

Unlike Honour and my husband, my sister cooperates when she is a passenger. *grin* I told her to take pictures of NYC from the Helix. She went above and beyond, taking photos of what it actually looks like to get down the Helix and merge 7 lanes into 4 tunnel lanes, including the bus lane. There are 3 tubes, 2 lanes each. But 2 lanes are needed for traffic heading out of NY. In the afternoon the tubes switchover to provide more lanes for outbound traffic.

surprisingly little traffic this morning – it was about 7:00 am and I expected a lot more rush-hour traffic

As you might expect, while most people understand the rules of merging and patience, and understand ultimately we will all get through the tunnel and into NYC, there are always a few who are more important and in more of a hurry than anyone else.

yeah, yeah, we all need to just get along and merge

I actually LIKE driving in to NYC. Some people like playing video games. I like the real-life challenge of driving in rush hour, jam-packed traffic, with crazy people who are akin to video dangers and booby traps 🙂

don’t forget to remove your sunglasses

Yes, it is exhausting. But to drive into the city means you need the adrenaline flowing, your senses heightened AND your patience running at 110%. Fully charged but calm. Hey, it’s a crazy way to commute but someone’s gotta do it. 🙂

you do this for 1.5 miles. wondering how far the river IS above the tunnel ceiling

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There's not much to say about me. I discovered SecondLife by accident, wandered in, and decided I wanted to stay. This blog was a chronicle of my adventures and misadventures in SL. It also includes stray thoughts that occur to me as a result of my time in SL. Both I and my avatar are female. We both love water and the beach and gardening and parties and hanging out with friends. Updating this after quite some time. I haven't appeared in SL in many many months (probably over a year by now) but SL has remained in my thoughts. I do miss my SL, but at least I still have contact with some of my friends from there. In the meantime.... this blog has evolved to be about my RL adventures. :) Nowhere near as risque as my SL but I do keep busy. I still like all the things listed above. I didn't have any cats in SL (only ducks and a panda) so my cats feel that they should play starring roles in my posts. :) I didn't do much eating IN SL although certainly food and drink accompanied me in RL while I roamed inworld. Cooking and baking have become more fun and interesting once I redid my kitchen. That renovation took longer and cost more than if I'd done it virtually, but I'm thrilled to have a tangible new kitchen! I hope you like food and drink as well! Thanks for reading!

4 thoughts on “Driving Into NYC”

  1. Somehow I never knew that famous tunnel goes under a freakin’ river!!! Nope, nope, nope! There’s gotta be a bridge somewhere I can take instead, right???

    So along the helix and everything getting TO the tunnel, like what speed are you driving? Are you having to merge from 7 lanes into 4 tunnels while going 75mph or are you crawling along at 5mph? If we’re crawling along and doing the whole stop n go, I could probably do the drive. I think that’s the whole reason I have no problem driving in L.A. Stop and go, stop and go. Annoying, but super easy. lol

    The step by step pictures are much appreciated, just in case I ever make it to NYC. lol

  2. *laughing* omg. there is NO WAY you could get to 75 mph on the helix. I think the best I have ever done was maybe 30mph? 40 mph in the middle of the night?? It’s pretty much stop & go the whole way from the NJ Tpk to NYC. and then more stop & go in NYC. too many cars, too many turns. that’s one of the reasons NYC is looking at imposing no-drive areas in Manhattan. and NJ is NOT happy about that.
    To get to the tip of Manhattan you can take the ferry from Staten Island across the bay – are you better with boats than tunnels? 2 tunnels go under the Hudson – the Lincoln & the Holland – which brings you in way down around Canal St (think SoHo). The bridges are further north – The GWB – sorry, the George Washington Bridge – which brings you to upper Manhattan. Also the Tappanzee – now renamed to the Gov Mario Cuomo – which brings you into Westchester county. That was built at the widest part of the Hudson, which you’d think was “dumb”. But it was the southernmost point that was still NORTH of NYC which meant they didn’t have to deal with the Port Authority. *grin*
    And of course there is mass transit: the train (which also goes under the river), buses (which go under the river) and the PATH train (also under the river). *grin* of course you could hire a helicopter.
    of course you’ll make it to NYC – we’ll go sight-seeing together. 🙂

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