52 States in 8 Months

DC2NYC, Graffiti and a one-night-hostel.

Posted in East coast trip by Ulf on February 15, 2009

On December 30th we left Washington DC and went to New York City. As Newark is right next to the interstate between those two cities, we even went home for a few hours :-). After we left Delaware using the Delaware Memorial Bridge we went to the Metropark Station where we left our car behind. NJTransit took us directly to Penn Station, Manhattan.

2008-12-30_11-49-52-christmas-trip-4472 2008-12-30_14-07-53-christmas-trip-4849

If you want to know what the “Memorial” stands for in the bridge’s name: The bridge was dedicated to those Delawareans and New Jerseyans who died in WW2, KW, VW and GW1. It’s really interesting how many things here in the US are somehow related to the troops. Now even a bridge has something to do with war.

While the coaches of NJTransit were a bit more advanced than those of the SEPTA train service, they also used some very paper-wasting method for making sure that nobody reuses a ticket: Every passenger had to hand in his ticket, and instead got a little piece of paper which was cracked at some place, indicating the final station (up to which one you’ve paid). On one of the pictures above you’ll see this paper slip as it is attached to the seat.
After all, the NJTransit train service is quite similar to SEPTA. And like most other railroad transport corporations, NJTransit also has its own police force.

After arriving in Manhattan we went to Brooklyn to find our hostel. Although most of NYC’s subway system is in Manhattan, they also have many lines that go to Brooklyn. Lukily, our hostel was just two blocks away from a subway station. Along these two blocks, however, we’ve seen a real lot of graffitis:

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2008-12-30_16-19-52-christmas-trip-4864 2008-12-30_16-21-02-christmas-trip-4478

The “New York Loft Hostel” itself however looked great! It was very very new. The kitchen was enormous. Only two things were even larger than the kitchen itself: the microwave oven (look how much space it still has next to the turning tray!) and the large sleeping room (the picture shows roughly 1/3 of it):

2008-12-30_16-03-39-christmas-trip-4859 2008-12-30_16-06-22-christmas-trip-4475
2008-12-30_21-14-15-christmas-trip-4555

The only thing that I did not like is that they had only one toilet for the whole room (roughly 18 beds). And the shower was in the same room as the toilet, so only either one of them could be used at a time. I hope they will build another toilet room. I mean, they do have enough space for it…

According to the reviews on hostelworld.com, they seem to have opened this place last fall. Now it gets quite good ratings. In the beginning however, things did not yet work was they were supposed to. Someone for example complained about the sprinkler system being leaking above his bed at night!

EDIT: Stupid me. hostelworld.com only shows reviews from the last six months. This is why I thought it would have opened last autumn… ;-)

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