From West 125th Street, there are two quick ways back downtown. You can take Morningside Drive which starts at 122nd Street and proceeds to 110th Street, with no traffic lights in between, and it spits you out on Columbus Avenue for a direct run aiming straight south. Or you can take 125th or 126th to their farthest point west and find the West Side Highway for a faster approach downtown. The Iron structure above me is the Broadway subway line, but here it is 6 flights above street level, this is because 125th and Broadway is the deepest point in a valley between Morningside Heights and Hamilton Heights. The Broadway line is definitely the most interesting subway line in Manhattan. It has both the highest elevations and lowest depths from street levels of any Manhattan line. The beautiful bridge ahead, dead center, is for Riverside Drive, which also connects the two neighborhoods and overpasses the valley. Check out Jez Coulson's shot from under Riverside Drive, truly awesome shot! Sorry for calling you out Jez, I wasn't sure myself which road was which either, I had to double check google maps to make sure.
It takes a morning to really appreciate the district, after everyone stopped drinking and tripping over the cobblestones, clumsily walking through an upstream dis-flow of taxi cabs and limousines. Here it is quiet, and the early light casts blue hues over the restored buildings. These buildings were all once warehouses, but even twenty years ago they were converted to residential spaces. The difference now is that it's cool to live there. And with that hype, the apartment spaces have actually been renovated with luxury amenities, and they have been rented or sold for astronomical prices. Modern or post modern architecture has turned up, building new hotels and creating floor to ceiling windowed retail spaces. And still amongst it all, there are still meatpacking facilities on Washington Street.
I waited at the Hotel Gansenvort. And while I was there I found a fellow weekend cabbie, but he wasn't cabbing. He was just in the neighborhood to visit a bathroom. We talked about the garage he switched to, versus the one I was with. He told me he missed my garage because the quality of cab was pretty much unmatched, and they told him he couldn't work for (with) them because of one too many accidents. However the cool thing with his garage, is he had less waiting time before receiving his cab. Still, it was really nice looking at my odometer and seeing it had under 50,000 miles on it. It still had a new car smell!
I can't say much about this, it's where I go for a 20 to 40 minute break if I can, during the slow hours. During the week when I'm off I go meet my friends here too. I can't get enough of their quality coffee. And no, I'm not telling you where it is.