People here in Austin are constantly whining about how bad traffic is, and I have to admit that I sympathize with those who commute north or south on I-35 and have to put up with an hour or more of delays during rush hour. However, after my recent vacation I have to say that I take their complaints a lot less seriously, because I've been to the Mecca of all traffic and lived to tell about it.
As part of our recent trip to the East Coast we decided to spend several days in New York City. It turned out to be cheaper to take our rental car into the city and park it for our stay than to pay to bring everyone in and back out to the airport in Manchester, NH by train, so we ended up driving into the city despite its reputation for bad traffic.
To do this we followed the directions of my New Yorker sister and her significant other, who we figured ought to be well informed, though we really didn't take into consideration that as New Yorkers they generally don't actually drive anywhere. My last personal experience of driving in New York City was over 25 years ago, and back then getting into Manhattan wasn't the problem, it was the traffic jams on the streets themselves, so I was by no means prepared for what we encountered.
As we approached the city from the north, all the signs were telling us to exit and take Rt. 278 through Queens to get to midtown Manhattan - in fact they offered us 3 opportunities to take it. I was tempted to go with what the signs suggested, but our 'expert' advisers had told us to take the Cross Bronx Expressway (btw, don't believe any of the nice things they say about this road on the website) and from there turn left into Manhattan from above.