A New York Minute

First let me disclose and apologize for the photos or maybe lack thereof.  It’s a long story but the basic of it is we live overseas and have phones overseas except we kept our iphones from before moving overseas to activate and use on visits home.  Following me?  So…the photos are using an old iphone, not the best quality and a confession that I have this problem with enjoying the moment and forgetting to get a photo of it.  All of that said, please enjoy my diary notes from a quick weekend in NYC.

My lovely and amazing friend, Shirley, was our tour guide and awesomely helped cram in as much as we could of what we deemed worthy of our first real trip to NYC.  Big thanks and was a great time to share with you!

We took the train in to the city Saturday morning which was rather epic simply because we arrived at Grand Central Terminal… which is incredibly iconic and lived up to all of the movies and stories over the years.  It did seem smaller to me though but that wasn’t a bad thing.  The ceilings and stairs and everything… oh my!  It was mesmerizing and rather busy in there but we made our way to the street and with Shirley’s lead took off to experience the Big Apple.

Walking towards the hotel we strolled rather casually right up to Times Square which was pretty amazing even mid day!  Again, living up to the history and hollywood of it all.  One thing I didn’t realize was there are two ends of it also my friend pointed out and explained that the ball that drops at midnight for New Year’s slowly climbs up all through the year.  Is it me or is that a rather unknown factoid?  I never heard that before.  Pretty cool.

 

We explored Mid Town and walked by Rockefeller Center and to Battery Park to view the Statue of Liberty in the distance.  We took a cab … yes we survived a cab ride in NYC! .. to St. Mark’s Place in East Village to grab lunch, the husband wanted a schwarma, it was a thing for him.  I had a mighty fine falafel pita.

 

From lunch we decided to go ahead and do the 911 memorial instead of waiting till Sunday for it.  I have reflected some on my experience and feelings there and I’m not sure I can fully express them correctly here but I will give some of the experience.

The reflecting pools outside the memorial definitely got me in the mindset of why we were there and what had happened.  In a few words, the reflecting pools did their job.  I was reflecting and honestly it didn’t seem that far away all of a sudden.  It felt like it had just happened last year.  Does that make sense?

A side note:  I didn’t take photos really of this area.  It’s just a thing with me regarding memorials and spiritual places.  You gotta go to know… a photo isn’t going to be enough and it was about being in the moment for me, not posing for a selfie.

The Memorial building was visually interesting and quite a symbol itself with the structure resembling a piece of the fallen building that I remembered seeing that day.  Inside a lot of the museum has to do with the actual structures and why they held/didn’t hold at different points.  It was very different for me than Hiroshima which was largely more about the human suffering and devastation.  Both had many stories being told by survivors and/or family members or witnesses.  I’m not saying one is “better” or “worse” .. just different ways to tell the stories I suppose.  Both very somber and sobering memorials.

It is a personal thing but I don’t really understand the need for humans to kill each other. I get that it’s a kind of psychosis in many cases but I still don’t get the genocide aspect.  Is there really a God out there who wants everyone eradicated if they don’t follow him?  And if so, is that really a God worthy of so many followers?  But I digress…

After the memorial we wandered a bit and found a German restaurant that sounded good and it was!  I had meatballs which were close to Swedish meatballs but the gravy was darker and wonderful.

We also stopped at St. Patrick’s Cathedral that day, it was magnificent and though I normally don’t take photos of religious places, I did of the outside of it.  Beautiful and the interior was breathtaking.  My husband was taken aback.

Night was upon us so we were led back to Times Square to see it and it was magical.  Signs lined the street all lit up reminding me of Las Vegas and the street was bustling with people of all sorts, sizes and attitudes.  It was around this moment when I realized we didn’t make enough time on this trip and MUST return.  I can’t imagine not going back to experience the shows and maybe a tour or ferry, food and Stanton Island.  This would be the first trip to NYC not the only one.

Falling asleep after a day in the City with a smile on my face meant it was well worth the jet lag and extra effort to squeeze this trip in.  Sunday we had one destination in mind…Central Park.  This was the only other thing we wanted to see on this trip, everything else will wait till next time.  Strolling Central Park on a Sunday morning was everything I wanted it to be.  There were art vendors and some food vendors starting to set up, all sorts of people wandering like us or running by.  I wonder if they feel special running in such an iconic park or if it’s just another Sunday for them?  Breakfast/Lunch was at a street vendor selling sausages and such.  I wanted a hot dog but this was close. haha   Next time we are doing the hot dog!   I don’t know how long we were at the park but it was only enough time to see a small portion of it.  There was an acapella group singing under a bridge at the “Friends” fountain, doesn’t get much better than that.  Oh wait, there was a guy playing with a huge bubble loop with kids.

Originally, we were going to spend more of Sunday in NYC but we decided since my friend’s husband couldn’t join us we would leave early to go kick back with him, it had been ages since we’ve seen him last.  So, we made our way back to Grand Central and the train out of the city.

This was such a memorable and wonderful trip and I couldn’t imagine doing it without my friend.  Thank you for showing us around and just for being you.  It’s another moment in my life you have made extra special.

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I will have a look at my husband’s photos and if Shirley wants to share some of hers I’m happy to do a separate additional photo post from the NYC trip. 🙂

3 thoughts on “A New York Minute

  1. Do you know what I love most about New York City? The fact that every time someone visits me who has NEVER been there before gives me another opportunity to experience the city with new eyes. I love that I no longer live there and can love it again. The beeping hustle and bustle of various and sundry motorized vehicles, the stench of millions of people making millions of memories, the food, the cultures, the “every day is special and so am I” feel of merging into the oneness of the mob from Grand Central to Bryant Park to Time Square and ultimately St. Mark’s Place (circa 1986) keeps me yearning for the city I ways I cannot express adequately with words. As long as I live I will always be a “New Yorker” and “Japanese” and “Austrian” and “Alaskan” and sooner to be “Italian” because I leave a part of myself behind and take a bit of these adventures back with me…and that makes me home! Wherever I go, there I am. And, if I’m being honest, I love where I go and where I am. Going is knowing! You created a space in my home and as long as I am…you are welcomed. Loved seeing the city through your eyes. More to come, more to experience, and more to be thankful for!

  2. Awesome post, Diana. I haven’t been to NYC for such a long time – it was nice to catch up in your post. Hello to Shirley!! Thanks for your thoughts on the 9/11 Memorial. The last time I was in NY, that area was still just a giant hole =(. I’m glad you guys enjoyed. The meatballs look BOMB!

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