Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New York City: March 25 to April 1, 2013

We're in New York City and the weather is finally getting warmer for us.  We are staying at the TRYP New York Times Square South.  It is a little expansive to have Times Square as their location, but despite that, we are close to many things like Penn Station and the subway.  The location feels safe because the hotel is across the street from the Midtown Police Station.

In New York City we were tourists again.  Twice we walked the Highline which is a rail line that has been turned into an urban walkway.

Along the Highline

Only in New York City can a parking company get away with this advertisement. 

Grand Central Station in its 100th year 

We had lunches and dinners with our friends Lou and Cathi and with Dan's friend (now mine) Ann.  We saw Broadway and way off-Broadway plays.  In the Village, we saw the thought provoking "Shaheed: The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto."  On Broadway, we saw the fun "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" with Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce, and Kristine Nielsen, and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" with Scarlett Johansson.  "Cat" was very good, but it was a little hard to understand/hear Scarlett Johansson.  We also saw another lovely off-Broadway play called "Passion" by Sondheim.

We went on the "Irish Outsider" tour at the Tenement Museum.  On this tour we saw the inside of the tenement building at 97 Orchard (lower east side) and learned about an Irish-Catholic immigrant family who moved from the very rough Five Points to this address in "Little Germany" (Kleindeutschland).  Because they were Irish living in a German neighborhood, they were considered outsiders.   It was an enlightening experience.

Near the Northern boundary of Central Park

We took a Noshwalks (www.noshwalks.com) tour of the Inwood area of Manhattan Island.  Inwood is on the northern most tip of the island and bears no resemblance to New York City.  

Walking around Inwood we saw a vender with a juicer mounted on a shopping cart full of oranges, another man was selling roasted corn and sweet potatoes that smelled divine.  

There were small groceries with fruits and vegetables spilling out onto the sidewalk.  

Myra Alperson, owner of Noshwalks, led us and a few other participants on a walk to various ethnic restaurants and bakeries and she accumulated enough food for us to have a picnic in a small park.  She offered information about the history of neighborhood.  This neighborhood has everything from the last Irish pub that also serves food to Dominican, Mexican, Ecuadorian, Argentinian, and Asian restaurants.
On the Noshwalk we had tacos.

We had a drink of freshly extracted juices and Dominican cake.


Irish Soda Bread

Argentinian chicken from a 24-hour buffet restaurant

To finish the tour, we walked to the Dykeman Farmhouse Museum.  The farmhouse built in 1784 is the only remaining farmhouse on Manhattan Island.  

This was the first Inwood tour offered by Noshwalks.  Noshwalks has tours to many other parts of the greater NYC area.  On Noshwalks literature it says "Nosh your way from Odessa to Bombay...and never leave New York" --I second that.  It is a great way to spend an afternoon and have lunch, too.

Myra meeting a student she knows from a nearby school 

And, then Dan flew to Montenegro on March 30, and I was left alone in New York City.  That is a bit of an exaggeration.  Ann and I met for Easter brunch at a Jean Georges restaurant called Nougatine in Trump Tower.   I had the 3-course lunch which included a chocolate volcano cake for dessert.  Poor Ann who was at the beginning of a cold had french toast with apples.  Then, I went to "Trip to Bountiful" with Cicely Tyson, Cuba Gooding, Jr, Vanessa Williams, and Condola Rashad.  The acting was superb and the story touching.  

It was Ann, Lou and Cathi that are responsible for us getting to so many plays.  They focused us and stepped in as our booking agents.  If left up to Dan and I we would have shown up in New York City and found that all these great plays were already sold out.

The next afternoon, I flew home via Jet Blue, the best, most comfortable airline I've ever flown.