Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Little bite of the Big Apple

A Little Bite of the Big Apple We are spending a nice chunk of our summer in New Jersey, which affords us many opportunities to venture into 'The City.' It's as if there is only one city in all the world. For many New Yorkers, I am sure this is how they feel. I am getting a passion for it myself... On our first trip, we decided to drive to Staten Island and take the ferry. Everyone should make this trip at least once I have been told. Glenda the Good Garmin got us there and all was fine except that Staten Island is home to the worst drivers I have ever seen. The metric seems to be: the closer to The City, the more treacherous the driving. The parking area all around the port was under construction-something the GPS can't anticipate-and went around and around trying to figure out how and where to park. We finally followed a bus into the orange cone abyss only to find the lot full and with many sections roped off...We rolled down our window to ask an NYC construction worker what to do and I think he looked at our panicked faces and two kids in the back seat and he MOVED a traffic cone and made a space for us! I had to restrain myself from giving him Texas-sized bear hug....we did thank him profusely. We dashed down the ramps and up and down stairs and finally hopped on the Staten Island Ferry. Splashing by the Statue of Liberty, I could hear the poem in my head and it made my throat tighten up. As the breathtaking view of The City got closer I realized that the two buildings under construction, rising from within the midst of all the others, were the new towers. I felt the anvil of sadness the rest of the ferry ride. Once the ferry ride was over, we were off to the subway. We messed around Midtown most of the time, found a street fair(!), took the NBC Studios Tour and went to the Top of the Rock. Rockefeller Center is 63 floors high with an elevator that gets to the top in 45 seconds! The views were amazing and the weather exquisite - especially for July. We ate the best soul food on the planet at Sylvia's in Harlem. We made it back to the ferry with only two minutes to spare to catch the 9:30 back to Staten Island. The view of The City at night was a beautiful way to end our visit. The drive back to New Jersey was harrowing, as usual, but we made it. A few observations of the day: don't go to The City if you are claustrophobic; there are rats; subways are full of crazy people; I heard great live jazz, Irish and mariachi music in/on the subway; I heard so many different languages spoken I lost count; there was lots of honking at pedestrians who crossed against lights...they kind of asked for it...; no other city like it on the planet...I loved it! Coming soon...more in NYC, fashion observations and reasons not to wear tube tops...

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