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Commuter Corner: Helpful Traffic and Gas Station Apps; Museum Mile Festival and Shakespeare in the Park Events

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Here in the Valley, we definitely have the best of both worlds: Nature surrounds us at home, but we also have easy access to New York City. It’s so easy, in fact, that a great number of us block out an hour or two each day to commute there. But don’t let those tedious hours in transit drag you down. Below is a list of helpful hints, fun events, and a personal story to keep you from singing the commuting blues.

Traffic Tips

Don’t be blindsided by a delayed train or traffic jam. HopStop Live!, a new app for smartphones that launched in April, allows users to share real-time information about the status of public transit. If a train is delayed, for example, users of the app can report it and warn others to find alternate routes.

If you drive daily to and from the city, fuel prices are burning a rather large whole in your wallet. The GasBuddy app can help make that hole a little smaller. It locates gas stations with the lowest prices in your area; when you report a price, you earn points towards prizes.

The best part about both these tools? They’re free to download.

The Main Event

The Museum Mile Festival takes place on June 11. Approximately one mile of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue will be closed to cars so thousands of pedestrians can make their way between 10 museums — including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Guggenheim Museum — which offer free admission from 6-9 p.m.

Shakespeare in the Park returns for its 50th season. The Public Theater produces and performs the Bard’s plays in the Delacorte Theater in Central Park — and admission is free. The Comedy of Errors — the hilarious adventures of two sets of twins who are separated as children and then suffer mistaken identity and wrongful imprisonment — takes the stage this month and stars Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Visit www.shakespeareinthepark.org for ticket information.

Share Your Story

On a late train home from Manhattan one night, the conductor suddenly stopped the locomotive so the police could board. My fellow passengers and I naturally became concerned — but none more so than one woman, who immediately bolted to the back of our car. When she found there was no escape from the law, she stood on one of the seats and challenged the officers: “Come and get me!” At which point, they promptly did. More yelling ensued, the woman was escorted off the train, and the rest of us went on our way. — Cynthia O’Connor, Hopewell Junction

Have your own commuting saga? Submit it to the form below, and we’ll consider printing it in a future issue.

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