M and I are having too much fun lately. We’re going to be bored to tears when we move back to the Bogs.
(Statue of Liberty, taken from somewhere in Brooklyn. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
I can’t remember if I mentioned why we decided to go to New York City so bear with me if this is a repeat.
In a galaxy far, far way…
Oh wait. That’s not it.
Way back when, M the Elder attended graduate school. While he was in grad school, we picked up a few friends along the way. One of those friends, R, was originally from New York and sometime over the decades since they finished grad school has ended up back in New York, doing quite well for himself.
We exchanged Christmas cards with R for a long time, then lost touch a few years ago. Shortly after our move to Sabbaticalville, M received a phone message from R (who had no idea we were now living back east) saying he had been thinking about his old pal M and to give him a call back. Long story, short, they played phone tag for a while, emailed a bit, and then R invited us to come visit him and his wife in NYC.
The timing, of course, was great because we happen to be living back east and getting to New York City is much easier than it would’ve been from the Bogs.
We got a late start on Saturday morning, not leaving Sabbaticalville until almost 11:00am. The drive to the train station in Hamilton, NJ took about an hour. The train ride should have taken about an hour, but we were delayed in New Brunswick (NJ) due to a medical emergency on the train (someone had passed out) and we had to wait for an ambulance. I think the delay was about 30 minutes all together. Going to Hamilton and using NJ Transit turned out to be a good deal. It was only about $40 for the two of us (round trip) and $14 for overnight parking. It would have cost us twice that if we’d taken Amtrak from Philly (and parking wouldn’t have been nearly that cheap).
Penn Station (in NYC) freaked me out a little when we first arrived. All those people! Wow. And the station is about the size of the small town we live near in Ohio. Maybe. I know this makes me sound like someone who has never traveled before, but I was truly amazed. Philadelphia is a good sized city with plenty of people. But New York! Wow. I haven’t seen anything like that number of people since London.
Neither M nor I have been to New York City since we were kids. I barely remember the few trips I made there. Just about everything we saw during this trip awed and amazed me once I got over freaking out about the crowds. I’m not comfortable, at first, in large crowds of people. Fortunately, I get over the shock of it fairly quickly.
We arrived in New York close to 2:00pm. Following R’s directions, we walked up towards 7th Avenue (Madison Square Garden exit) and took a cab to ??th and Broadway (which is close to where R and his wife, S, live).
(??th & Broadway. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(19th St. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
We walked where R had directed us to go, located his apartment building, rang the bell for R’s apartment, and then became thoroughly confused once we were buzzed through two doors and found ourselves facing an elevator with no idea what floor we should go to or even how to get the elevator to work. You can tell we know almost nothing about NYC living. You might almost think we were a couple of country bumpkins.
We got in the elevator and pushed a few buttons. Nothing happened. We stood there for a few seconds and then the doors closed. Up we went to the top floor of the building. R and S have a lovely penthouse apartment with a roof top garden/patio. There’s a great view from their patio.
(Daytime view. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
(Evening view. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
That’s the Empire State Building in the background to the left, lit up like a Christmas tree in red and green. I wasn’t able to get a nighttime photo. The lights had been turned off by the time we arrived back at the apartment much later that night.
(Part of the roof top garden/patio. Photo by Robin. June 2007)
R made a quick snack for all of us (a simple recipe he picked up on a recent trip to Spain that consisted mostly of fresh tomatoes and a delicious toasted bread) to hold off the munchies since none of us had had lunch, and then we set out to see the city. R and S have an SUV they use mostly for work purposes (they own their own business) so we piled into that. The original plan was to go to Coney Island and have hot dogs. R thought that would be a very New York thing to do. However, we got sidetracked and never made it to Coney Island. Maybe we’ll get there on our next trip.
I should mention that it was extremely hot on Saturday. Hot and hazy (you can see the haziness in the photos). Thank goodness the third H, humidity, was not in attendance or I’m pretty sure I’d have melted away. As it was, my body turned on the sweat switch and hasn’t stopped since. Ugh.
It was a whirlwind trip, that’s for sure. R took us through most of the well known New York neighborhoods on our driving tours (two tours on Saturday and one on Sunday). We did some walking later in the day, but most of it was drive-by sightseeing. I’d love to go back and spend a few days walking as seems like we saw everything and nothing. R and S did give us a good overview of the city. We’ll be well prepared and oriented for our next trip.
To be continued…