Saturday, Ivan and I went to Manhattan to check out some of the clichés.
First, I want to say that I am embarrassingly proud of the both of us for making the trip without the aid of any of our more NYC-savvy friends. I say embarrassingly proud because it was actually quite simple. We jumped on the R train north to Atlantic Street and transferred to the 4 train to Manhattan, which we rode until we reached Grand Central Station. If you look at a subway map of NYC, you might see how easy it really was.
But, still, there is a little pride there since I didn’t get stuck in the turnstile, miss a train, fall on someone when the train started or stopped abruptly, or made eye contact for longer than a half-second with anyone around me.
From Grand Central Station, we walked west a few blocks to Times Square where the advertisements cling to the skyscrapers like shrink-wrap, hordes of people weave around each other like a discombobulated knitting pattern and glowing trademarks are easier to locate than the hand of the person you were walking with just a moment ago.
In between the sign-shakers and tour guides, the camera-faced tourists and living Statues of Liberty, there was the opportunity to get swept up in the energy and spend hours shopping and touring and gazing at the stories-high flashing billboards till your eyes dry up. But we cut through the massive crowd and continued north, to Central Park.
Excuse my lack of flourish, but Central Park is big. I mean, really, really big.
And in any really, really big place in New York City, there are lots of people. I mean, lots and lots of people.
There is a road running through Central Park for the bikers and runners and horse drawn carriages and unicyclists and skateboarders and roller-bladers, and etc. The moseying paths cut along and across the road, with crosswalks and signs and all sorts of organization.
We only spent about an hour walking around and barely did more than breeze along the edge of the south-most quarter of the whole park.
We skirted along a lake, where people were able to rent canoes. We saw two wedding parties, a fashion show, two violinists and a guitarist. There were people sunning themselves on rocks, picnicking in Sheep Meadow and crowding around street performers.
Every so often, we’d emerge from the trees and wisteria-draped archways to see a skyline of vibrant green trees and unyielding grey skyscrapers. The dichotomy seemed so unique and alien to me, I couldn’t stop taking pictures of it!
We met our friend just outside of Central Park and had lunch at a little Cuban diner nearby.
As a side note: Thanks to our friend, John, we are now wholly reliant on Yelp.com for locating restaurants that meet our quality and/or cost needs. If you’re in New York, use it. For everything (not just restaurants).
Just like that, it was 5pm. We’d left the house at 10am and, knowing the dogs were waiting for us, we called it a day.
We found Grand Central Station again (and the Chrysler building towering behind it) and took the 4, then the R back to our home. (For those interested, it is a one-hour commute via subway from our home to Grand Central.)
And that was our Saturday adventure!