Monday, March 19, 2007

Travel Tip: Penn Station

if you're ever in New York City and learn that you have only twenty-four hours left to live, I'd strongly recommend that you spend that time in Penn Station.

Now I understand that there would be much better and far more majestic places in which to pass the all-too-brief remainder of your life. You could go to the top of the Empire State Building for one last panoramic view of the city's beauty.1 You could take a carriage ride through Central Park and marvel at the beauty of nature preserved in the midst of the bustling city. You could traipse down 5th Avenue, buying everything your heart desires.2 You could wind your way through the twists and turns of historic lower Manhattan.3 The list of options is nearly endless.

But for my money, there's no better place than Penn Station to spend your remaining hours. I say this not out of any over abiding sense of love for the grimy and overcrowded transit hub. In fact, it's difficult to imagine a more depressing place in which to pass the time. And that, of course, is the point. Experience tells me that a mere hour in Penn Station feels like a lifetime, so twenty-four hours would be an eternity.

Let's hope you never find yourself in the situation described but if you do, just remember to send me a postcard thanking me for the tip.
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1 If you do choose this option, try to avoid looking west as any view that includes New Jersey would probably ruin the experience.

2 Confident that you were going someplace that the creditors would never find you.

3 Though spending your last hours hopelessly lost does seem to be lacking in appeal.