What could have been a highlight of my holiday season instead made me feel like Scrooge.  I was in Manhattan Saturday night.  I got off the New Jersey Transit train and it took 15 minutes just to get up the stairs and to the street.  The trains were packed, obviously, so filtering everyone into the terminal took some time.

NYC is beautiful at this time of year.  Everything’s decorated and roasted chestnuts are being sold on street corners so it looks and smells like Christmas time.

But with a gazillion people on the streets trying to experience this holiday magic, it’s hard for anyone to enjoy it.  The crowds this year were worse than I have ever experienced.  And I wasn’t even near the big tree at Rockefeller Center!

My walk from 34th to 53rd Streets took about an hour.  That’s ridiculous.  There were so many people clogging up the sidewalks, walking, taking photos, and waiting for rides that at times it was gridlock.  Scaffolding and vendor carts make the sidewalks even smaller than they already are.  In a few spots I had to go into the street just to move forward.  Thankfully I didn’t get clipped by a taxi or cyclist.

I think NYC is one of the greatest cities in the world.  I grew up in Queens and have spent so many wonderful moments in The Big Apple.  But what can be done about these crowds?

I hate that I sound so curmudgeonly right now but I’m really put off.

For Jersey Shore residents, a trip to Manhattan is usually a lovely, easy to do day trip.  If you go, I hope you experience the sights and smells and tastes that make you happy and fill you with holiday cheer.  But as my public service announment: please pack your patience.  And allow extra time for everything!