White Plains

Back a few years, which now seems like a lifetime ago, I used to go to White Plains, New York for work on a fairly regular basis.  There are several things I recall about White Plains, NY.  First, if you ever have to go there and someone suggests you should fly into LaGuardia or Newark, just say no.

The first time I went there, I flew into Newark on a Sunday and spent 3 hours trying to get across one bridge–there are really only 2 bridges to choose from when coming from Newark to White Plains and apparently the entire world is divided between those two bridges on a Sunday afternoon.

My second trip, I flew into LaGuardia and my transit time was cut to about an hour and a half.  On my third trip, when I arrived in Cleveland and ran for my connection, arriving at the gate all flushed and flustered just after the door closed, the gate agent asked me where I was going.  Not thinking, I replied, “White Plains.”  She looked at me and said, “The flight to White Plains is at that gate,” pointing at a gate across the aisle.  I managed to switch flights in time to go to White Plains.  When I arrived, I discovered that airport was exactly 8 minutes from the customer site I was visiting.

I asked the customer why they had recommended Newark or LaGuardia.  They’d assumed I wanted a direct flight.  They didn’t realize that I had to connect pretty much anywhere I flew to.  Still, I haven’t figured out why someone would think it was better to have a direct flight and a 3 hour drive (or even an hour and a half drive) than to have a connection and an 8 minute drive.  Even if I had an hour and a half layover, it’s more productive than an hour and a half sitting in traffic.

White Plains itself is quite beautiful.  Like most of the parts of New York I’ve been to (other than New York City), you see more trees than buildings.  Everything is cloaked behind stands of evergreens.  It’s hard to even tell when you’ve arrived at an office park.

For the less nature-centric, there is also good shopping, good food, great access to planes, trains, and any other imageable form of transportation (including horses, although I think they were all privately owned).  Just don’t try to drive there.

I had the rare pleasure of spending an evening alone with my camera on one of my trips to White Plains.  I made an exploratory pass around the neighborhood and found a lovely Spanish restaurant on the shore of the Hudson along with a park.  After filling my belly, I walked along the dock, taking pictures of the scenes on the river.

What was most surprising to me was the view of New York City.  Looking down the Hudson, Manhattan spread itself across the river like a bridge in the distance.