Carol and I are back from New York. Carol’s daughter lives in a nice high rise apartment on the West Side and has a high powered job in marketing. Carol went early and spent a few days with her before she went to the west coast and I showed up.
The apartment looks across Central Park to the East Side and points east. I could have spent the whole time looking at the view. The cliche says visit, but don’t live there. With the apartment, I could live there. Go down to the street and Central Park and the Lincoln Center are right there, along with shopping for everything you need within a couple of blocks. Manhattan is a wonderful place with more attractions you could see in a lifetime.
The people are from everywhere on the planet and are actually nice for the most part. Except for the Gray Line people who are beyond sick of tourists. They lie or don’t know. Or both. Everyone else is nice and willing to help confused tourists trying to get around on the subway.
Our first excursion was up to the north end of the island to The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Built in the 1930’s by John D. Rockefeller Jr, it is a big stone edifice with several courtyard gardens surrounded by cloisters supported by columns from ancient churches and abbeys in Europe. Carol looked at the gardens and I looked at the architecture and stonework.
The many rooms on several levels are filled with medieval European art. There are paintings, tapestries, sculpture, and architectural features. The themes are consistent. The New Testament, focusing on Jesus and Mary. There are lots of saints and martyrs as well, but it is mostly the Holy Family. It is easy for me to go into overload in museums, but the cloistered gardens offered relief.
At our age, one thing per day is enough, so next day we took the Gray Line tour of Brooklyn. I wanted to see Brooklyn, having read so much about the borough. Those double decker bus tours are a good way to get an overview of an area. Don’t use Gray Line, however. Take the Big Red Bus. We did most of the tour, had lunch at Junior’s, a Brooklyn tradition, and took the subway back to Manhattan rather than catching the next bus. We went to Brooklyn, but I wasn’t satisfied. Renting a car and using the guidebook and maps is what I would do next time.
Next day was the Museum of Natural History, one of those places you could spend weeks exploring. As Neil DeGrasse Tyson fans, we saw a planetarium presentation on dark matter, going back to the Big Bang, narrated by Tyson. We walked through a number of sections, but focused on only one. Yes, you guessed it, Geology. I don’t know if I learned anything new, but a lot of things came together for me.
Our last excursion was to the High Line. Carol is an avid gardener, and the High Line is a mile long garden above the streets. It was built as an elevated railroad serving the Meatpacking District. The rail cars could be unloaded into buildings backing up to the rail line, and gravity aided the Meatpacking process. Abandoned, it was derelict for a number of years until it was redeveloped as an elevated garden.
There are good views of the Hudson River and the city. The gardens are amazing, a hugely diverse number of plantings. It’s fun to enjoy the greenery above the noise of the city. Big problem, though. As we walked along, my eyes an nose started running and my eyes hurt. An instant allergy attack. Staff members said which grass, but I was so distressed I don’t remember the name. Here in Colorado it is Rabbit Brush doing me in every fall.
We flew United into LaGuardia and left from Newark. They sure cram a lot of people onto those planes. I had virtually no legroom. Oh, for the days when Frontier was a good airline.
We will return, there is still lots to do in New York.