23 August 2007

My trip to New York - The Beginning

My trip out to New York was pretty uneventful. My flight even landed a few minutes early. I met Katya and we got the bags and it all went very smoothly. We stopped at the A&P to pick up a few things and then headed over to the house. We got there and the air conditioning was so nice that Katya suggested I stay at the house rather than in the flat (with no air conditioning). I agreed!

We had a lovely little noshy dinner avec vino and when Hubby came home, we even sang karaoke until the wee hours (or so it felt with jet lag involved).

I was awakened in the night by the most furious thunder & lightning storm I have heard in some time - and yes it was also raining.

The next morning, Katya drops me at the station on her way to work and I head into the City. It is approximately 8:30 am when I board the train. The conductor apologised that the train was delayed by water on the tracks. No worries for me, right? I'm on vacation.

I get off the NJT at Penn Station and NYPD's finest are blocking the subway entrances - no subways running due to rain.

I am planning on going to Cloisters up in Harlem. I know the M4 bus goes there, but where to board? I head outside. I finally find the stop at Herald Square. Luckily, it's near the beginning of the route and there are few people lined up so I get on AND get a seat!

I get off the bus at Cloisters at 12:30pm - that's right! Including my train trip in, this adventure has taken 4 hours! Ridiculous, but I console myself that I am not trying to get to work or school or to an appointment. I am on vacation.

I enjoyed the museum and had lunch in the cafe (Katya had packed me some squash pie!) but while I'm admiring the view along the Hudson, I get an urgent text from The Little Dutch Girl who will be joining me tomorrow morning. She's heard about the subways being shut down and is a bit agitated about our schedule the next day. We go over all of her options and I tell her to phone when she lands tomorrow.

Upon leaving the museum, I discover that the subways are indeed running again and grab the A train downtown. I hop off and catch the crosstown bus to 5th Avenue and manage to squeeze in a quick visit to the Met before meeting my Hillsides Gal Pal for drinks after work.

On the downtown bus, a VERY handsome doctor (think McSteamy & McDreamy put together!) sits near me and answers pages while reading a Leica magazine. Everyone's got to have a hobby, right? The morning tranportation woes seem to be a hazy memory.

Something else that's relegated to the past: The Plaza Hotel. It has gone condo! It's all covered in scaffolding and leads me to the mantra for this trip "I guess you can do anything if you have enough money".

More later...

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