You have to go to come back, I suppose. And so I have done both of these things. I spent this summer mostly in and around Ireland, and partly in Dresden, Germany.
Trying different combinations of transport from the airport, I took the LIRR to Penn Station and got a cab with my gigantic luggage (wasn’t fancying the subway on a Friday afternoon).
After taking the West Side Highway, the taxi driver wisely bailed out at around 79th Street at the sight of congestion there and (comparatively) sailed up West End Avenue, mitigating the Manhattan midday madness somewhat.