New York, You’re Killing Me

November 23, 2014 at 4:32 pm (Uncategorized) ()

When I go to New York, I often talk about the “Curse of New York.” The first time I went to New York was in 1986, and since then I’ve at least a dozen times. And over this time,  I’ve had flights cancelled by storms (we sat on the runway for over two hours), had flights delayed by hours, got caught in a blackout, suffered from serious illness, fallen while alighting from a coach (that’s for all you all Healyites out there), and so on. But I continue to chance my luck.

I went to New york twice this year; not bad. I was in New York for a weekend in June without incident, so maybe I got cocky. About a month after the trip I was talking to my younger sister and discovered she had never been to New York.  My wife and her brother take trips all the time: right, I though. Taking my sister to the Big City.

Friday night, we took a Porter flight into Newark Liberty then a bus into Manhattan. No real problems except that I have a tiny 50s style ray-gun key ring at which airport security frowned. Oh, and the staff at Newark were fairly unhelpful in giving directions to the bus, but I digress.

We stayed in mid-town, and our hotel was a short walk from the Port Authority bus station. My sister thought it would be a good idea to go to the Empire State Building Friday night (it’s around the corner from our hotel), to check one thing off of the list right away. Good idea. I’ve been up the Empire State Building twice, but never at night, and I have to admit the night views pretty impressive. Still, a voice in my head muttered quietly: It’s 11:00 at night and you’re eighty stories above the ground. It’s freezing and you don’t have a hat. Is this wise? In retrospect, I should have listened to that voice.

Saturday morning,  we went uptown to the Guggenheim. We went to see the Zero exhibit. 1050’s European avant-garde artists. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but a lot of the art and installation were pretty cool.

Then came the best part of the trip, a walk through Central Park. I’ve been to the park on other occasions, but the weather was perfect and the leaves hadn’t dropped yet. A glorious blend of autumn colours  made for a great moment. The old Chinese guy playing the Tennessee Waltz at Belvedere Castle made for another moment too.

But alas, the strains were already starting to tell. When we returned late afternoon to the hotel, I noticed the begging of a cough. Was this the curse of New York? But we persevered. In the evening I fulfilled a long-time goal: a drink in the White Horse Tavern. The White is of course the bar where Dylan Thomas drank his last.

On Sunday, we walked the High Line, and wandered through Chelsea (past the hotel), down through Greenwich Village and headed over toward the Bowery. And then my sister got sick too. We headed back to the hotel, but the tide had turned. I later headed over to Staten Island to meet a friend (sorry JG, I wasn’t exactly well). It’s a not a trip to NY unless you ride the Staten Island Ferry.

And then it was back to Toronto. Two week later, I’m still sick. I missed a number of days at work the following week, and the hacking cough is still with me.  (sorry again JG, I wasn’t as well as I let on later) New York is a great city. It’s my go-to getaway town. Lots of favourite places and shops, but man, do I ever have bad luck whenever I go.

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