New York 2015 Whirlwind Tour

August 30, 2015 at 2:16 pm (Uncategorized) ()

Earlier this month, I made the trip to New York. I’m not sure how many times I’ve been there (must be dozens now), but it’s still a revelation each time. A couple of months back, the boy mentioned the next time I went to New York for a non-political thing he’d like to come as well.  And so began the plan for the next NY expedition.

We took the train. I just had this idea that it would be a cool thing to do. Sure it would be longer, but I’d take a few books and magazines and catch up on stuff. And it would be cheaper and more civilized than flying. But it was longer. Actually, the trip down wasn’t too bad 30 minutes late, although inexplicably, the trip included a two-hour stop at the US border. Returning was worse: Three hours late, but I did do a lot of reading!

The trip began on a mildly ominous note; as we left the house early Sunday morning, I realized that the boy and I were dressed the same: black jacket, navy blue shirt and grey shorts. With the luggage, it looked as if we were contestants on the Amazing Race. The rest of the trip though, apart from its duration was without incident. as we left Penn Station at around 10:30, the book looked up at the still buzzing city,  “Cool.”

Day 1.

We took the subway to the Roosevelt Island Tram. The two-minute ride offers an amazing view of the city over to Roosevelt Island, a thin strip running along the upper east side of Manhattan. The tram is featured in Spider Man (2000) when the Green Goblin forces Spider-Man to choose between Mary-Jane Watson and a tramcar full of passengers. Nothing so dramatic for us.

Next was a walk through Central Park, which is always great. The boy and I did the tourist thing and ate pretzels by a fountain (we chose not to follow Tom Lehrer and poison pigeons) . Central Park took us to the Guggenheim; the boy had told me he didn’t want to go to art galleries or museums (kid – you’re in New York!), but I managed to persuade him to go to the Guggenheim which has such an interesting structural design.

A quick cab ride took us to Serendipity. A friend had mentioned this place to me (I vaguely remembered the movie), but we decided to go for the Frrozen Hot Chocolate. The story was that Jackie Kennedy has requested the recipe from the store’s founder for a party she was having. He declined though he came to the party to make it for the guests. I think if we had walked back to Toronto we might have worked off some of the calories, but it was good.

From there we wandered through Rockefeller Center and Times Square back to the hotel. One thing struck me. Americans have a reputation for being the most obese nation on earth (I suppose Canada is second), but this wasn’t at all in evidence – was it just that everyone walks in ew York so they are fitter, or that most of the people were tourists and so not Americans? Maybe a sociology thesis in there.

After lunch and a brief rest, we wandered along the High Line, an elevated walkway-park that runs through the old meatpacking district.

Phew.

Day 2.

It was raining. Really raining. As we came out of the subway, the opportunists were there selling umbrellas. I said to the boy as I handed over my money, “If this lasts to the end of the day, I’ll have gotten my money’s worth.” As it turned out, I still have the umbrella.

Misreading the subway train meant we got off near the Brooklyn Bridge, so we decided to walk across that. The Brooklyn Bridge is the bridge that Gwen Stacy falls from in Amazing Spider-Man, but in the comics, it’s misidentified as the George Washington Bridge. We walked through Wall Street and the financial district, and then gradually made our way through Soho, stopping at Evolution to buy some odds and ends. Our trip ended with a walk through Times Square at night. (Didn’t see those Desnudas girls on either trip BTW)

This was probably my most tourist-y trip to New York. Sure, sure, I went last year with my sister, but to go with an 11-year old is even cooler.

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1 Comment

  1. Goodbye 2015 | Notes from Underground said,

    […] I was in New York twice this year. In the fall for a political session, and in the summer for a two-day quick trip with my son. There’s something to be said for seeing a great city with someone who has never been. Great […]

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