Eclectic Excursions: Biting into the Big Apple

James Bickford

From our perch on College Hill, we as a campus community can often feel isolated, a world unto itself. But there is a world outside campus. There are many opportunities for excursions off the hill, to get out into the Lehigh Valley and beyond, to experience all this region has to offer.

With fall break coming up, it is time to turn our attention to larger and better known areas of travel. Being only a two hour Trans-Bridge bus trip away, New York City is one of the most popular destinations for students on break. The bus from Easton brings students directly to the Port Authority Bus Terminal, which is right in the heart of Manhattan, making a trip to the Big Apple not only appealing, but excessively easy.

The most notable, and for many the most exciting, place to visit is only a block away from the terminal. Times Square, named for the New York Times building located nearby, is legendary for being one of the largest and most colorful tourist traps in the country. Although the iconic Times Square Toys ‘R’ Us may have closed down, other famous stores, such as the M&M and Disney store, still stand proud.

As a note, visitors to the M&M store should be aware that the actual candy can be purchased on the third floor. The first two floors consist almost entirely of other non-candy merchandise, such as t-shirts and mugs.

Broadway shows are another famous attraction of the area, though they may be expensive to attend. If you can afford it, many of the most popular musicals in the world are always showing, such as “Phantom of the Opera,” “The Lion King,” “Wicked,” “Mamma Mia!” and many more.

For an authentic Broadway experience, get a reservation at Sardi’s, a legendary restaurant located on 44th St and 8th Avenue frequented by Broadway actors and other celebrities. Most famous for the caricatures of all the famous people that have eaten there that line the walls, if you go look out for one of their many famous clients. If you go there after seeing a show, you may run into cast members winding down after the big performance.

Alas, one of the largest problems of going to New York is that it is hard not to drain one’s budget very quickly. Entertainment never comes cheap in NYC, but there are some cheap alternatives to eat around Times Square, such as Famous Original Ray’s Pizza and a half dozen other small restaurants. A perfect chance to try authentic New York pizza.

From the bus terminal, it is easy to catch a subway ride uptown to see Columbus Circle and Central Park, and the shuttle train from Times Square to Grand Central makes the East Side very accessible.

However, despite how safe the city is these days, one should always when traveling in the city make sure to be aware of one’s surroundings. Keep valuables secure and remember the address of the bus terminal: 42nd St and 8th Avenue. All taxis must accept credit and debit cards for all fares, without exception, and if any driver tries to tell you otherwise call 311 to report them.