Saturday, March 27, 2021

Driving tour of Manhattan

If the Muppets can take Manhattan, then so can I! Last Saturday, my brother and I took a drive to Manhattan, for my Places I've Been project. I am not sure I've discussed that on here or not, but back in October 2019, on our family trip to Toledo, I photo documented every town we went through. I decided I enjoyed that and wanted to photo document EVERY town I've been to- not just on that one trip. Thus, the Places I've Been project was born. 

We had been to Manhattan a few times, but never with the Edge, That's important because it has the GPS built in that displays the places we are in...essential to the project. 

We set out early, around 7 AM, and instead of turning into Manhattan at 42nd street, like we normally do, we went all the way around the bottom, to the end of the Henry Hudson Highway, through the Battery Park Underpass (tunnel), and up FDR Drive until we turned in onto 42nd street from the other direction- which happened to be at the United Nations. We traversed the entire width of Manhattan on 42nd street, which brought us back to the Henry Hudson Highway, at which point we headed home. The entire time we were in Manhattan was roughly 40 minutes, and only that many because there are a lot of red lights. 

I took 887 photos on the day, which I will not be sharing here, but I will post some highlights. 

One of the highlights for me was seeing the Freedom Tower up close. When I saw it on TV and in print, I wasn't all that impressed. It didn't look like a special building. Now that I've seen it in person, I can say I was 100% wrong. It's stunning. The presence it has, watching it get larger and larger in the windshield as you approach it, it's truly awe-inspiring. 

The Intrepid is so cool!
sun on glass buildings looks interesting. This was taken out the roof.
First sight of Freedom Tower
Notice how little traffic there is?
Vent for the tunnel heading into New Jersey. The skyline across the Hudson is NJ.

The Freedom amazing. The last two were taken out the roof! 
Heading into the Battery Park Underpass
They can call it an underpass, but it's a tunnel
No idea the significance of the ship but love it!
Brooklyn Bridge
Empire State Building. I didn't get a better shot of it, unfortunately.
On the left is Manhattan, the East River, and Brooklyn on the right
lookin' at Brooklyn. Wouldn't want to park there.
United Nations
Chrysler Building
I like it when the buildings label themselves.
Looking straight up out the roof at the Chrysler Building. It's actually nicer from afar.
Grand Central
This is the image I chose to use as the official image of New York, NY for my Places I've Been Project. I was hoping it would say Manhattan, but no such luck. 
The New York Library's famous lions wearing a mask
The H&M building. This is where we turn to park when we go into Times Square area, and we  use this as the main location finder when seeing Manhattan at night, like on New Year's Eve.
Madame Tussauds, which you may recall from a post I made in 2019
Back to the Hudson, the ride is essentially over. It's all just retracing the roads we took to get there in the other direction to get home.

I have no idea what this apparently abandoned building is, but I love it. There's a section of Manhattan with abandoned buildings that remind me of Greek/Roman ruins. 

On the way home, we stopped as Ossining and found a part on the Hudson River, but it was super cold and windy and we didn't stay long. 

We ended with KFC but I didn't photograph that. The entire trip was over by 9:30 AM- which I know because that is when KFC opens and we were in their parking lot waiting for them, something we had never done before. 

If you want to see all of the photos I took, they are on my website here: Places I've Been Trip : Manhattan By time I culled out the blurry one and the duplicates, I was left with 831 photos. Honestly, they are some of the best photos I've taken on a driving tour, possibly because Manhattan speed limits are pretty low. Or maybe I'm just that good. 😎 I'll let you decide...


  1. Excellent pictures! I just love the Chrysler Building!

    Great blog.

    1. I took so many for you specifically

    2. I appreciate that. You take so many great pictures that I never have to leave the house!

  2. Great trip. The ship is the Wavertree. If you believe the sources, it's the largest iron-hulled sailing ship still afloat. It's only 135 years old....

    1. Oh wow, cool! Wonder if it's open for tours? Will have to investigate

  3. Very cool, did you find traffic lighter than usual? Looks like it.

    1. Yeah... being there really early on the weekend played a big role. For portions we were the only car around.

  4. Great photography as usual. Would have loved to see KFC pics too. Haven't been there in a long time... maybe I'll hit it up on my spring break. Btw... the Intrepid looks gorgeous. The Hudson River does too.

    1. Thank you. I would be glad to rectify that situation 😁 I was planning to go the Intrepid but getting to it actually is quite difficult. Then covid hit. Will be a challenge for me as heights are a major phobia for me. I'm going to attempt to conquer my fears though.

  5. Great photos. These are always fun to look at. Fun post.