Me and three friends are headed on a July 4th trip up to New England. I'm doing the trip planning and procuring a vehicle, so I need to figure out where all of us should meet. It's quite a drive, so we need to leave early; the problem is that we live scattered around the 5 boroughs, so it wouldn't be fair to just ask them to meet me at my place (some of them would inevitably have to be up even earlier for a ridiculously long a.m. commute to reach my place on time).

  • I live in Queens, close to the Bronx-Whitestone bridge (making for easy passage out of the city)
  • another lives in Brooklyn
  • another lives in Staten Island
  • another lives smack in the middle of Midtown Manhattan

My Vice Trip Planner suggests that we simply meet in Hell's Kitchen, as it is a central location. While I dislike the idea of driving in Manhattan, traffic shouldn't be too bad early morning on a holiday weekend. Or if I forced them to meet at my place anyways, that means a quick exit from the city so we can get to our destination faster. Given the info above, is there perhaps a better place that we could all rendezvous to begin our trip, or is somewhere in Midtown the best we can do?

  • The Red Ball Garage, 31st west of 3rd Ave, seems natural as it has the historical legacy of being the starting point for the Cannonball Run. Get Queens and Manhattan there, then head west on 31st, North on 8th to Port Authority to collect Brooklyn and Staten Island, continue west to the Lincoln Tunnel. Pick up the NJ Turnpike at Exit 16... – Gayot Fow Jun 13 '15 at 6:30
  • @GayotFow depending on one's location in Brooklyn, the Red Ball Garage may be more convenient than Port Authority. The same would be true for the Staten Islander if she or he is taking the ferry. It's hard to answer this question, therefore, without knowing more precisely where these two live. Also, unless the destination is in western New England, it may be more convenient to take the FDR drive to the Bronx for the Bruckner Expressway and I-95. – phoog Jun 13 '15 at 7:26
  • You'll have a car; make use of it! Go pick everyone up. – Michael Hampton Jun 13 '15 at 20:22
  • Hell's Kitchen it was, then up the west side highway. Traffic was incredibly smooth on the way back in, amazingly! – Bigbio2002 Jul 6 '15 at 14:14