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The New York Experience

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Photos:
Roving Rube

October 10, 2003

Waiting to board, Times Square

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It is not always quite so easy to "Hop On, Hop Off", as promised on the Gray Lines double-decker tour bus at left of this picture. When it is a beautiful weekend in early fall, there can be long lines (actually 2-jpg shows only the line for the Uptown Loop; facing it is an equally long one for the Downtown Loop).

When there are no busses to be seen, the ticket agents walk along the lines and tell people not to worry, they haven't been forgotten, another bus is about to appear. And it does, and then you are off!

The ticket agents have distinctive red vests and often speak with thick accents, as if they were recent arrivals to the city.*

There used to be several bus companies competing for the double-decker business, but the other ones used old busses just like the ones from London -- shorter and perhaps a bit taller -- but those had more noxious exhaust fumes, which sometimes blew back on the passengers -- and were also somewhat dangerous, being old. Now it is only Gray Lines, with these modern busses.

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*The Rube chose his Howard Johnson's picture of several days ago because of the somewhat forlorn, Bartleby-the-Scrivenerish ticket agent at the far left, which so matched the Rube's own mood at that moment.





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