Wander logo

The Four Stupid Things I Did Wrong When I Went to New York City

I learned my lesson and still had a good time

By Lee J. Bentch Published about a year ago 4 min read
The Four Stupid Things I Did Wrong When I Went to New York City
Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash

I have traveled to New York City multiple times for business. Going there is always an adventure. I look forward to going back soon.

After watching this year's New Years' celebration at Time's Square, I began remembering a few challenges I had on my first trip.

Let's call the challenges little blips that a Texas guy learned from. At first, I was not wise to the ways of the city, but I quickly adapted.

Here are four lessons I learned:

  • The first lesson is my relaxed Texas way of life was opposite of the fast pace of the northeast. I quickly figured out I needed to think fast, act quickly and stay in a heightened state of alert. That tired me out.
  • The second lesson is I needed to learn how the train system works. I was able to get from Newark to Penn Station okay. But once at Penn Station, I was overwhelmed. It was the most confusing challenge I had.
  • The third lesson is the Chrysler building is not the Empire State building. I walked out of Penn Station with the intent to take a tour of the Empire State Building. The tallest building I saw and walked to was the Chrysler Building. The security guard was friendly but laughed and told me I was not the only person to make that mistake.
  • And finally, I had a business meeting in Brooklyn. I got on the subway, going the wrong way. Fortunately, I saw a sign for Jamaica, which I knew was opposite Brooklyn. I was an hour late for my meeting. The customer had a good laugh, especially since the meeting was with the NY Metro Transit Authority.

A few honorable mentions of things I won't do next time I go:

  • I won't stay in Secaucus or The Meadowlands. I could catch a cab from there into the city but had a lot of trouble finding a taxi to take me back. I had to bribe a cab driver for the ride.
  • I had dinner one night at Bar Americain; it was okay. It's since been closed down. Not sure I'll eat at another Bobby Flay restaurant.
  • I won't stay at a cheap hotel off 42nd Street. The price was right, and it was available. It was clean, but the room was the size of my master closet at home.
  • And finally, I won't eat the Breakfast Buffet at The New York Marriott Downtown. My business partner insisted he pay for breakfast and heard the buffet at the Marriott was good. I tried talking him out of it. He wasn't a road warrior and didn't understand that the price would be high. We had a great breakfast, and the food was phenomenal, the selection was terrific, the service was exquisite. The bill for the two of us was $120. I would've been okay with a scone from Starbucks.

Amongst the missteps, I fell in love with the city. Here are four things I enjoyed:

  • The Blue Bar at the Algonquin Hotel. What a unique historic place to have a drink or two. I was there fifteen years ago. As I sipped on a Classic Martini, I could hear the walls speak from being part of the historic daily meetings of The Algonquin Round Table, a group of well-known writers, actors, and journalists that met for drinks and companionship. I believe The Blue Bar is closed now.
  • I will never forget the Pastrami Sandwich I had at a local deli in Brooklyn, around the corner from the MTA offices. The smell, the ambiance, and the food were more than I ever imagined. The sandwich was enormous; the pickles were fresh, the mustard was tart, the bread was warm. The meal has sat on my mind for over 15 years now.
  • And finally, I will never forget the stories I heard from a customer whose office is on the 35th floor of a building, with a view of the World Trade Center. His stories of the 9/11 attack were deep and emotional. The pictures he had from his living room window were poignant, earth-shattering, and provided deeper insight than I've ever seen.

The energy of New York City never ceases to amaze me. My friend took a recent trip there; her stories are close to mine, except for the Covid precautions.

I know my experiences are only a fraction of what NYC offers. Next time I head up there, I'm sure there are a few Broadway or Off-Broadway plays to enjoy, a few museums to tour, and a ton of new restaurants to try.

It's one of many cities on my retirement bucket list.

travel advice

About the Creator

Lee J. Bentch

I am a general interest author actively involved with technology and communications. My inspiration to write is multi-dimensional. I am a multi-service Veteran.with a Masters in Communications from the University of Northern Colorado.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.