Directions to Washington Square Park

[Rory gets off the bus and looks around. She walks out of the station and onto the crowded sidewalk.]

RORY: Could you . . . um, excuse me, sir, do you know . . . do you know where Washington . . . excuse me, ma’am . . . Washington Square Park?

PASSERBY: End of Fifth.

RORY: Thank you! [to someone else] Excuse me, where’s Fifth?

Rory gets off the bus at the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 625 Eighth Avenue, in the heart of Times Square. She asks strangers for directions – because the super organised Rory has of course headed off to New York without a map, or even looking at a map! Impulsive Rory has taken over, and she doesn’t check anything!

Someone eventually tells her that Washington Square is at the end of Fifth Avenue, upon which Rory starts asking people where Fifth Avenue is. Basically, Rory has been directed to walk along West 41st Street and across (or past) Bryant Park until she reaches Fifth Avenue – it’s three blocks and perhaps 10 minutes walk from the bus terminal. Once on Fifth Avenue, she can walk straight there – but it is a distance of almost two more miles, almost forty blocks, and more than half an hour on foot, carrying a heavy backpack!

Google Maps tell me it would be slightly quicker (by about five minutes) for Rory to walk straight down Eighth Avenue and then approach Washington Square Park on an angle via Greenwich Avenue, but I think the directions she received were less likely to get her lost or confused – just straight across, then straight down. The numbered grid pattern of Manhattan streets makes it relatively easy to navigate the city.

It’s more than two hours from Hartford to New York City by bus, so, presuming Rory was able to get a bus fairly quickly after leaving Chilton, it might be around 11.30-11.45 am when she arrives at the bus terminal. She still has quite a bit more of her journey ahead of her.

“Ask a New Yorker” informs us that New Yorkers are actually very ready, even eager, to give directions to tourists and strangers in town, but you should always ask at least a couple of people, because sometimes their directions aren’t that great. (They know their own small part of the city very well, the rest of it, not so much).

New Yorkers walk an average of five miles a day getting around the city, and they walk fast, so Rory is getting straight into New York mode by hitting the pavement and wearing out shoe leather. Hopefully all that walking around Stars Hollow has kept her fit – although at the start of the episode, she moaned about getting sore feet just walking to Sookie’s house …

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