The PATH train to Newport / Pavonia, New Jersey, for Cheap(er) Cigarettes

The sign for the PATH train to New Jersey at 14th Street and 6th Avenue.

Yesterday I went out to New Jersey with my mom.  She clued me in on something that I’ll have to keep in mind if I plan to keep up my bad smoking habit here in New York City.  The clue?  It’s damned expensive!  If you want to buy a carton of smokes here, you’re going to pay somewhere around 100 USD, average.  New York City taxes the hell out of a pack of cigarettes.  They’ve always been expensive and in the past when I’ve come to visit I brought cigarettes with me, but nowadays it’s just insane.  You either have to quit, or you have to get creative.  One way of getting creative is to leave the city, and the state entirely, to get your cigarette fix.

A mural on the wall at the Newport / Pavonia station. Click through for super large size viewing pleasure.

Sorry for the cheap stitch job, but it wouldn’t have lined up right anyway.

If you hop on the PATH (Port Authority) train at 6th Avenue and 14th Street, you can head out to New Jersey where the shopping is cheaper.  The PATH train is 3.50 one way, so 7 dollars for a round trip, but it’s worth it, because that same carton that would cost you about 100+ in the city will only cost you around 65 to 75 in New Jersey, depending on your brand.  So, even with the transit cost thrown in, you’ll still save money.

The area just outside the Newport / Pavonia PATH station.

Besides being cheaper for cigarettes, the Newport / Pavonia area of New Jersey is actually pretty nice looking.  It has a real southern city feel to it that reminds me of Columbus, GA or Atlanta.

The area just outside the Newport / Pavonia PATH station.

Even the skies there were clearer than in Manhattan.  When we left Manhattan the sky was gray and overcast.  In New Jersey the sky was blue with just a few scattered, puffy white clouds.

Hudson River Waterfront Walkway metal plaque set into the sidewalk.

Apparently there’s a river walk in the area.  I’m going to have to go back on another trip to check it out and get some shots of the Manhattan skyline.

The Light Rail in New Jersey, Newport / Pavonia area.

This is a shot of the Light Rail from a bridge that goes into the Newport Mall.

An angry bird that was unhappy with us sitting on 'his' bench.

And this is just some angry bird that got pissed when we sat on ‘his’ bench.  He didn’t let up in his show of indignation until we got up and took a few steps away.

There’s a lot of city to explore, but tomorrow I’m taking another flight, this time down to Georgia to visit family for two weeks.  Wish me well on the flight.

Beer & Cigarettes in Singapore

Differences in prices between locations is nothing new to me, but I was shocked to see the price of alcohol and tobacco products in Singapore.

I spent most of the years I lived in the US in the southern states, where prices are more reasonable, due to lower taxes. I won’t go into the “when I was younger” stuff, but when I left the US in 2008 you could get a pack of cigarettes for about 3 dollars in Texas. It was about the same in Georgia. When I would visit my mother in New York City I would typically bring cigarettes with me, because they’re about 7 dollars a pack there, which I thought was ridiculously expensive. Beer is about 5 to 6 bucks a pack regardless of where you are in the States.

So, like I said, I was used to seeing different prices for these items. Still, I was shocked when I saw that in Singapore the average price for a pack of cigarettes is 11 Singapore dollars and the average price for a six pack is about 15 to 18 Singapore dollars. I had to wonder why the prices were so high, and after having spent some time here, I think I’ve found the reason. Singapore is a country that prides itself on cleanliness and that carries over into a push by the government to promote healthy living.

That’s not all bad, of course. I’ve never seen a place with so many parks, free work-out areas, and playgrounds, all of which are kept in near pristine condition. On top of that, each regional area has a gym and pool, which have very low entrance fees. If you’re a swimmer or you like to work out in a gym then you’ll definitely appreciate the Singapore government’s health initiatives.

On the other hand, the Singapore government has also put steep taxes on the alcohol and tobacco, to influence people to use them less, if not quit entirely. Again, that’s not exactly a bad thing. However, for foreigners who come to Singapore to live, it requires a slight lifestyle modification.

I never really drank much anyways, so cutting alcohol almost completely out of my life didn’t phase me. The cost of the cigarettes, though, makes my wallet cry. It’s hard to go from carefree smoking to counting your cigarettes and counting your puffs. I remember tossing half smoked cigarettes into butt cans on my way into buildings, but now I stop to finish the cigarette before continuing.

So, if you move to Singapore and like to drink and smoke, expect the amount of time you spend partying to get cut down. On the bright side, you can take advantage of the convenience of the gyms and pools to get back into shape, so you can look good when you take vacations to the numerous, gorgeous beaches in the Southeast Asia area.