Visiting NYC as a Native

train to Grand Central

As someone who has lived in NYC all my life, I would never imagine wanting to return to NYC during my time at Yale, especially not on a random weekend by myself. To my friends’ surprise, until this past weekend, I have never taken the train from New Haven to NYC, and to my surprise, taking the Metro-North from New Haven to New York was a lot more seamless than expected.

After a chaotic morning that consisted of my club’s annual kickoff event, I packed my backpack and headed to a Yale shuttle stop conveniently located across from Silliman. Since I didn’t want to miss my train or walk 20 minutes in the September heat to Union station, I decided to finally make the most of Yale’s free shuttle service with DoubleMap.

After a few stops, I was dropped off at Union Station and ran to catch my train. Although you can buy a train ticket from the kiosks, I opted to download the MTA TrainTime App because purchasing a train ticket online gives me an extra 5 minutes to catch the train. During off-peak hours, my $17.75 one-way ticket was enough to secure a comfortable 2-hour journey to NYC with views of Connecticut and New York. 

views from my seat in MetroNorth
Thankful for the views from the train

Instead of studying or working on my PSETs, I opted to catch up on TV shows and enjoy my first-ever train ride from New Haven to New York. Unlike the dark tunnels from NYC subway windows that I am familiar with, my view on the train was surprisingly scenic, especially as the sun began to set and streams of light flooded through the windows.

Although I was already immersed in the Yale bubble only after a week of classes, stepping into Grand Central Terminal was enough to bring me back home. Within my first hour back in NYC, I already managed to successfully complete the 3 tasks all Yalies complete when visiting NYC.

1. Walk around Manhattan
2. Use the subway
3. Take pictures

Yale Club Building
Yale in NYC

After an enlightening night in New York City and visiting my sister, I grudgingly made the trek back to New Haven. Unfortunately, my luck ran short this time, and missed my train. When I finally got on the train, I was grateful for the convenient and comfortable transport back to New Haven. Finally, at 4 am, I rode an Uber back to Timothy Dwight.

Union Station at night

While my excursion to NYC was highly enjoyable, I never thought to be glad to have made it back to my suite in TD. The short 6 hours that I spent back home were eye-opening since I learned just how close New Haven is to New York City. Most importantly, I realized that if I am ever feeling homesick, I know that my family is only a brief train ride away.

the ceiling of Grand Central Terminal
My blurry picture of Grand Central after missing my train