Tom Cruise got all the free publicity he could have asked for yesterday with print and TV coverage of his Ethan Hunt-style multiple-vehicle criss-crossing of Manhattan. But I wonder how many of my fellow New Yorkers were really impressed. Many people here manage trickier feats of transportation every day, and without being able to ride on fire trucks, speedboats, helicopters, or private subway cars. You want to impress us, Tom? Here’s your mission, should you choose to accept it:
-Take the Lincoln Tunnel into the city during morning rush. Stay awake.
-From Times Square, hail a pedicab. Have the driver pedal you to Central Park, about a mile away. Try not to get socked for a $20 fare.
-Rollerblade your way to the United Nations. Dodge the taxis, diplomatic limos, and bicycle messengers.
-Cross the island from the East River to the Hudson River via 47th Street by any means you can find. In less than 15 minutes.
-Go to Brooklyn. Eat some cheesecake at Junior’s, then just try to walk.
-Cross the Verrazano bridge on foot, like the marathoners do.
-Ride the Staten Island Ferry back to Manhattan. You are not allowed to sit.
-Bicycle up the West Side Highway from the Battery, through Riverside Park, up to the George Washington Bridge. Dodge the trucks, skateboarders, and pigeons.
-Take the No. 1 subway train down to Times Square, navigate the alphabet soup of transfer corridors there to the N/R, and ride to Union Square, then find your way through that maze to the 6 train.
-Ride the 6 train uptown at 5:30 p.m., packed into a standing-room only car with sweaty commuters.
-Get off at 125th Street and Park Avenue, and try to hail a cab. (And keep trying. And trying.)
-Finally, take the cab to JFK. Get to the airport in half an hour without using the parkways.
As always, should you become apprehended, PopWatch will disavow all knowledge of your actions.