"It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed." Art Wolf

Saturday, August 3, 2019

July's Adventures in NYC

Apologizes to my son who has lived in and then around NYC for a while now but it took me a while to actually go there to the city explore.  Trips to the wilderness. Check!  Trips to large cities, not so often.  My daughter kindly took pity on me and agreed to be my tour guide.  It meant doubling the number of museums I got to see but so worth the trip and I got to watch my daughter try to stay supportive of my city hiking skills.  Sadly, I will probably not be around when she is almost 70 to compare notes on how she is doing but maybe she will think back with a fresh perspective.  It does do my heart good to think that she has such high faith in my abilities though. 

And yes, maybe I could have taken more pictures, but I confess that after that first afternoon of lugging the big camera around I opted for reducing carrying weight. Then, I opted for not even getting the phone out very often but just feeding my future memories with my eyes and ears.

I found "hiking" the canyons of the city as tricky as clamoring up and down forested trails of rocks and gnarly tree roots.  Besides keeping up with swift footed, nimble daughter, which I can usually do on flat land, there was the constant, "must watch where your feet are landing" issue, dodging foot traffic, and frequent changes in the consistency of the pavement.  For someone who was trying to take in the sights, that walking stuff was just distracting.

Kate took me on a walk that was expected to end with a climb of the "Vessel"  Unfortunately it started raining just as we arrived so we didn't get to climb.  But the "Vessel" could still be appreciated for its artistic architecture and marketing, as in build it and the tourist will come to visit and maybe stay and shop and eat.

But if you can't climb one tourist attraction you apparently can head over to the NYC public library and make up any missed steps. I appreciated meeting the famous lions out front and the grandness on the interior.   But, yes, the Morgan Library later visited on Saturday afternoon was the best!

Again, may I mention that there were numerous fascinating Museums visited, some planned and some just because they were on the way between here and there.  

 "Don't mess with my ride."

The word "iconic" kept circling through my brain frequently all weekend in response to sights and sounds and experiences but not wanting to seem like a complete rube I keep most of those comments to myself.  The city is all that myth, and story and history make it out to be.  On the other hand it is a large international city in similar ways as are other large diverse cities.

Apparently getting married in the Park on a Friday afternoon is a thing.

Listening to the tour guide on the boat speak about the history and story of Ellis Island and the Lady is enough to make your heart ache at this particular time in history and politics. 

From the roof of the Met. 

Kate, my tour guide from Charlotte, NC, is on the left. Sarah and my son, Ben,  and their family came into the city on Saturday and met us at the playground in Central Park and visited for a while. It also involved pizza.

And Grant gives his Aunt Kate the stick eye for what only an 18 month old might think.

So, I didn't take many pictures but after a couple of days what did fascinate me among all the new and shiny glamour of the city was the old but effective technology of keeping up the water pressure with wooden water tanks perched above the buildings.  They were everywhere.   How large cities support everyday needs of millions has always peaked my interest and imagination.  All that plumbing, wiring and infrastructure in the layered tunnels under a city.

Speaking of tunnels under the city, I also learned to ride the NYC subway. Makes all those references to the NYC subway come alive.  And thought I had already contemplated what shutting down the subway would mean to a busy working city, I got a very small sample of the situation later on Saturday evening.   And what subway trip would be complete with out viewing the wildlife: a subway rat or two making their honest way around the tracks, the puking man and the pissing one.    Didn't I tell you I had the best tour guide!  She didn't want me to miss a thing, for sure.

Saturday night Kate and I met up with my step-sister, Libby, and a old friend, Roger, from high school.  Both have a long tenure living in the city.   Beside having a wonderful dinner that caused us to linger at the table until past closing, the final event of the night was watching two experienced New Yorkers confer on the best way to get home since it was the night of the electrical black out in Mid-town, the subway was not running in our neck of the "canyons" and the taxis were all full as they zoomed past us.  As was pointed out, the down side of Uber and Lyft is that they rapidly raise their prices to take in the market demand.   Kate and I learned a new skill. With directions of those that knew the routes, Roger and Libby,  we traveled on the Metro and made it back to our lodgings.   

So, yes I finally made it to the Apple. No, I didn't take many pictures. Yes, I would like to see a Broadway show or two next time.   But as those of us that travel know, you can't see everything, so enjoy what you get to see and plan a trip back if you are interested in seeing more.  

These guys said I was missed.....