How do I get picked up in New York?
October 24, 2007 7:17 PM   Subscribe

A small and easily answered question: If I take the Acela from Baltimore to Manhattan (Penn Station), where's the most convenient place for someone to meet me and pick me up?

Is there a passenger pickup and dropoff area (or a taxi area regular cars can sneak into)? A street side it makes the most sense to wait on? A nearby coffee shop or other place that's more accessible? Or do I just tell them to park and we'll meet somewhere inside the station? If I had my druthers, I'd just take a cab or a train to their office, but they are insisting on coming to get me. I suppose they'd know, but I don't like to ask them (it's been a long, annoying, sort-of-exasperating process to set this meeting up on all sides).
posted by peachfuzz to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (6 answers total)
My recollection is that there's a sort of taxi stand right outside the entrance to the station (well, the main entrance, anyway, not sure how many there are ... the place is a horrible underground warren), but it's not somewhere someone could park and wait. Basically, they're going to end up circling the block until you call them and tell them you're ready so they can swoop in and pick you up.

Not sure on cafes or anything, I took a taxi as soon as I got to the street level.

I suspect if they say that they're coming to pick you up, that they may already have a plan in mind. If I was going to do it, and I had the manpower, I'd probably send two people, one to wait and drive the car around in circles, and another to stand in the station. It doesn't strike me as the kind of place where there's a lot of convenient, inexpensive parking.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:25 PM on October 24, 2007

Best answer: Here is a map of the Penn Station area on Google maps and here is one with coffee shops marked. There is an Amtrak waiting area that is pretty well-delineated if you were going to meet someone inside. If you don't know the area it makes the most sense for the person meeting you to figure it out because a lot will depend on when you are arriving, how many bags you have etc. Are you sure they're coming to get you by car? This site has a list of several nearby parking garages which would be okay places to meet, but my guess is that either

1. they're going to park and come get you, carry your bags to their car, etc, or
2. come on foot if you're getting in while they're at work and/or nearby, or come in a cab once you call them possibly

You could always feign a lack of knowledge of when you're getting in (or some deal on the other end that is unpredictable) and then swear you'll cab it there, but otherwise if they're getting you it makes more sense for them to call this one if you don't know the area.
posted by jessamyn at 7:33 PM on October 24, 2007

Best answer: Parking will be far more difficult than just picking you up. Of the four "sides" of Penn Station/MSG, your best bet would be to have them pick you up on the south side of the station- 31st St, somewhere midblock. That street has a taxi stand, and private bus pick up, but it's less traversed than the other sides. Your friend can probably double park and wait for you.
posted by kimdog at 7:33 PM on October 24, 2007

Best answer: When meeting out-of-towners @ Penn St. I wait for them directly under the sign that gives the track-listings, right in the middle of the huge waiting room.
There are so many exits that if you don't know the area it's hard to explain which one to take, but I second the south side/31st street as the most logical for a drive-by pickup.
Other possibilities:
Meet at the nearby pub Tir Na Nog, (8th Ave. & 34th?) just northwest of Madison Square Garden.
Meet in the lobby of the Hotel Pennsylvania, directly across the street on 7th Ave.
posted by egret at 9:38 PM on October 24, 2007

There is a parking lot on 31st street next to the Garden and Penn Station where kimdog said.

I recommend that you tell them your train arrives later than it does and take a cab to the office before they even have a chance to think about it.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:40 PM on October 24, 2007

N'thing the 31st street side, between 7th and 8th - its the least busy part of the station and fairly easy for someone to find a spot on the north side of the street to pull over and wait.
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:58 AM on October 25, 2007

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