Sunsets, family and friends….did I mention hot?

In scrolling through my pictures, it’s apparent much has happened since the last post. Where I left off, we were saying good-bye to Sherry and thinking about packing our bags for a quick weekend turnaround in Portland. Before we left, however, New York gave us Manhattanhenge, a hopefully spectacular sunset aligning with the east-west street grid. In order to see the full effect, one has to stand out in the middle of the street…no easy task in this city. But it didn’t keep people from trying to get the best view. In our neighborhood, the 42nd Street overpass was a perfect spot.

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So perfect, in fact, it came with entertainment.

That is one thing I’ve grown to love about New Yorkers. As sophisticated and “I’m too cool” as they may act while walking down the street, in the right situation they can and do get just as goofy as the rest of us. Too bad the actual sunset didn’t cooperate.

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http://www.weather.com/science/news/manhattanhenge-what-it-is-how-to-watch

We went  to Oregon for a joyous occasion, the wedding of Jordan and Megan, daughter of our good friends Bill and Linda.

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It was a gorgeous event made even more so by its location on the Oregon coast. 

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 The wedding-eve sunset joined in the celebration. It seemed to be shouting, “Congratulations!” right along with the rest of us.

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While in Portland we were able to take care of a few home maintenance issues. Thank goodness for our angel of a neighbor, Mary. She discovered an in-ground wasp nest that had to be attended to by the professionals. She has also been watering our pots, which is no small feat in all the heat Oregon has been experiencing. And I must admit, the pots look better than if I would have been home taking care of them. Thank you, Mary.

Back in New York, it was so nice on Wednesday morning to meet up for breakfast with my niece, Emily, her husband, Brad and their two children, Madison and Bradyn. I suggested going to a diner near their hotel. I mean, it’s New York….you have to eat in a diner!  Here for vacation, they had all sorts of sites planned to see while in the city. But the one that brought out the “mothering” in me was Yankee Stadium for a game…..on the subway. Remember photos I’ve posted in the past of the jam-packed trains to Yankee Stadium? I felt like I was sending sheep off to slaughter. But I don’t know why I was so nervous. If the pictures Emily texted were any indicator, they managed just fine. Look at these two, just chatting away, not a care in the world. Regular subway pros!

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Thursday evening, our New Jersey blues buddies, Margee and Leo, were gracious enough to make the trip into the city for dinner and then a stroll on the Hudson.

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As usual, it was fun to visit and catch up. Why do the coasts have to be so far apart?

Friday night found Brad and me at Citi Field, the Mets’ ballpark. They were playing the Dodgers. Sorry Carolyn and Tom, we had to root for the home team. Not only is Brad devoted to the Red Sox, he loves his Giants as well. No self respecting San Francisco fan will ever cheer for the Dodgers. The Mets couldn’t quite pull it off, even though they played one of Oregon States’ finest, Michael Conforto. Go Beavs!

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I enjoyed the food cart tour so much that Sherry and I took during her visit that I booked Brad and me for another version of the same on Saturday morning. Instead of food carts in mid-town we explored both the history and eateries of Greenwich Village…delicious, educational and entertaining rolled into one.

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In the evening we went to Lincoln Center for “Out of Doors” a free music festival put on every year for the past 45. Randy Newman was the featured performer, singing both new and the old familiars. If you care to watch, they live streamed it. And no, don’t bother looking for me on camera. My one claim to fame was “The View.”

(By the way, I just got a text from Sherry telling me the audience on today’s “View” received a $100 gift certificate from the Cheesecake Factory.  Jeez!  We thought we did good with free coffee and donuts!)

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randynewman-306x306-1354551049

http://lcoutofdoors.org/

http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/STAGE-TUBE-Watch-Live-Stream-of-Randy-Newman-More-in-Lincoln-Centers-Out-of-Doors-Series-Tune-in-at-7PM-20150725

Even though it was Sunday the next day and stinkin’ hot, I might add, why rest? Brad and I took a slow meander through, yes, you guessed it, Central Park.

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We stopped for lunch at one of our favorite spots in the park, Kerbs Boathouse.

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We did a bit more park strolling and then left for the subway and home. I love walking the gorgeous streets outside the park on the way to catch the train. My photos don’t do them justice.FullSizeRender (12)FullSizeRender (13)And even though I’m not the most fashion forward person, I always enjoy window shopping on Madison Avenue. Don’t let Brad fool you, he does, too.

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We finally made it to the subway. Did I mention earlier it was hot on Sunday? On days like that, the station air is so stifling you can hardly breathe. You hope for a train to pass, any train, just to feel the air it stirs.

IMG_5378But as good as the passing train creating a breeze seems, even better is the air conditioned train that stops to take you home…..

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Family, friends and fireworks!

What could be better than the 4th of July in New York City?

4th of July in New York City with Megan. What a great weekend we had!

Leisurely breakfasts, walks through Soho,

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shopping for fabric at one of the cutest stores ever,

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http://www.purlsoho.com/purl

and ending the day with a Broadway show, Chicago,

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starring Brandy.

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http://chicagothemusical.com/

The 4th of July found us strolling through the Whitney Museum. A touch of whimsy can be found both on the interior

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and the exterior of the building.

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http://whitney.org/

The Whitney overlooks the High Line, one of our favorite places to stroll….

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particularly if there are Legos to play with!

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http://www.thehighline.org/

This being the 4th, the city was appropriately decked out in red, white and blue.

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We were so lucky. The Macy’s Firework display was being shot off in the East River, just a short walk from our apartment. An hour or so before the show we walked over to be part of the mayhem. It was totally worth it! And yes, you skeptics, this is my video.

Megan had promised Brad a picnic in honor of Father’s Day at the park of his choosing. How could he not choose Central Park?

IMG_4898As you might have guessed by the jersey Megan is wearing, our next stop after the delicious picnic in the park was our neighborhood pub to watch the US Women’s National Team vs Japan on the big screen. Oh my goodness! Could you believe that game? What a perfect ending to the weekend!

Vancouver, Canada - Sunday, July 5, 2015: The USWNT defeat Japan 5-2 to win the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Final at BC Place.

Vancouver, Canada – Sunday, July 5, 2015: The USWNT defeat Japan 5-2 to win the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final at BC Place.

Here’s a riddle: what do the following have in common?

The View

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Be sure to watch the Rosie Perez segment. Listen to Rosie, but look at the audience.

http://abc.go.com/shows/the-view

The Tour

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http://thetournyc.com/

Battery Park

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http://www.thebattery.org/

The Irish Hunger Memorial

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Hunger_Memorial

The Tenement Museum

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http://www.tenement.org/

Junior’s

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http://www.juniorscheesecake.com/

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral

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http://saintpatrickscathedral.org/

The Soup Nazi

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Yes, we followed the rules!

http://originalsoupman.com/menus

Food Carts

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http://turnstiletours.com/tours/food-carts-and-food-trucks/food-cart-tour-of-midtown/

Coney Island

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http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/coney-island-beach-and-boardwalk/

One World Observatory

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https://oneworldobservatory.com/

Brooklyn Bridge

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http://www.history.com/topics/brooklyn-bridge

Roosevelt Island

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We gave a nod to Hillary…..this is where she announced her run.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/new-york-city/travel-tips-and-articles/76780

Grand Central Terminal

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http://www.grandcentralterminal.com/

Manhattans

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http://www.oysterbarny.com/

Ice Cream

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And what’s the common link to all of the above? My traveling buddy, Sherry! For just a little less than a week, she was here visiting. Those of you who know Sherry know that she’s not one for sitting. She wants to go, go, go! That’s exactly what we did. We either saw, toured, ate or experienced all of the above and then some. Getting around to all of these places was part of the experience.

IMG_4735I think Sherry should have a new nickname, Subby, as in subway. She was a natural. More than once she was responsible for getting us on the right train or headed in the right direction. And as both Megan and Brad can tell you, getting me headed in the right direction anywhere, much less the subway, can be a challenge. We also racked up the steps on our Fitbits. For better or worse, Sherry is the friend responsible for getting me “Fitted.” Much to Nellie’s dismay, we had record days. Our highest: 24,786 steps which translates into 9.86 miles. See what I mean about Sherry not wanting to sit? I hope she had as much fun visiting as we had hosting. It was such a gift to have a friend here in the city. Thank you, Sherry! And yes, next time we meet for lunch, let’s do it in Oregon!

loiskanagy

June 30, 2015

Brad was asked to return to New York for a 6 week assignment. So here we are once again, the lucky bums that we are, enjoying what the city has to offer. This also means for the time being, the blog has returned. Thanks for following!

We arrived a little over a week ago and hit the ground running. The first couple of days were spent settling into our apartment and venturing out to discover our new surrounds. For this visit we’re located on 2nd Avenue in the Murray Hill neighborhood. Brad has a short walk to Grand Central Terminal to catch the train in the morning. We’ve traded a view of the Empire State Building for that of the UN, the rectangular building in the distance. Not as picturesque, but inspiring just the same. This photo was taken from our terrace. Yes, I said, “Terrace.” There’s nothing as mundane as a deck in NY.

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This neighborhood seems to be more of a “living” neighborhood than our last and perhaps because of that it has been more welcoming. At a nearby diner, where we stopped for breakfast, we were given a “Welcome to the neighborhood!” cookie by the owner. He knew many of his customers by name. And the doormen for our building are amazingly chatty and helpful. We didn’t even get “stink-eye” for forgetting our key. There is a grocery store right across the street. You won’t see me schlepping bags in the summer heat. I’m beginning to shop like a New Yorker. No list, just strolling the aisles to be reminded of what I need. It’s a short walk to the library and I’ve already borrowed a stack of books. There are plenty of parks and quiet spots in the neighborhood to settle into for a shady, summer read.

As much as we’ve enjoyed getting to know our new location, we’re also enjoying revisiting familiar places. One such place is Carl Schurz Park on the East River.

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Just look at the gorgeous flower beds found there.
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http://www.carlschurzparknyc.org/

Lush plantings abound in another of our favorite places we revisited, Central Park.

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You can also find Cleopatra’s Needle,

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http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/attractions/obelisk.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

paths for strolling,

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Papaya Dogs for eating,

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and loggers competing. What?

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Can you believe it? We travel all the way from the Pacific Northwest, land of the loggers, to New York City only to find a Timbersports Competition taking place in Central Park. How crazy is that?

The last of our favorites to see on our first walkabout was Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. It has been undergoing extensive renovations and on subsequent visits it has always been shrouded in scaffolding. With work completed in the front, the cathedral’s reveal is breathtaking.

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http://saintpatrickscathedral.org/

We’re also lucky to be able to revisit favorite dancers of ours, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. You might not remember, but we had tickets to see a performance on Christmas Eve of our last extended stay. We were so excited to learn that they would be performing at Lincoln Center during this trip.

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Here’s a photo to jog your memory.ailey14

I thought you might remember him. It’s hard to forget these beautiful, athletic dancers.

http://www.alvinailey.org/

The following morning, Brad enjoyed Father’s Day with brunch at Garage, a jazz club in the West Village.IMG_4739 (1)

Look at that happy man! There’s no doubt he enjoyed the music and the meal as well.

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http://www.garagerest.com/

We have such great memories of all the Broadway performances we saw our first visit. And if the first show of this stay is any indicator, I’m sure this time will be no different. Brad was able to pick up last minute tickets to Larry David’s “Fish in the Dark.” It originally starred Larry himself, but now the star of the show is none other than Jason Alexander, George Costanza himself. And yes, it felt like one long Seinfeld episode, but who doesn’t like Seinfeld? It was hilarious! I think I’m still laughing!

Jason Alexander attends the First Annual SALUTE to the Playwright Honors Terrence McNally at the Saban Theatre on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

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http://fishinthedark.com/

When I asked Brad what he wanted to do this time in New York he replied without hesitation, “To see Shakespeare in the park!”  The parks in this city are filled with all sorts of wonderful shows and music this time of year, but the one perhaps most iconic, is just as Brad said, “Shakespeare in the Park.” For more than five decades The Public Theatre has been producing these plays. It’s estimated that more than 5 million people have attended performances at the Delacorte Theatre. And what’s even more remarkable, the performances are free, although it requires a commitment to stand in line for most of a day with no guarantee of a ticket. We opted for a “Cheaters’ Way In” and found tickets in advance. So with those tickets in hand, we headed to Central Park to enjoy  “The Tempest” under the stars.IMG_4784

Speaking of “stars,” the stars in the production that you might recognize were:

Sam Waterston of Law & Order fameSam Waterston

and Jesse Tyler Ferguson from Modern Family.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson arrives at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

In my opinion, Jesse stole the show. His role, that of Trinculo, the jester, allowed him to be even zanier than his lovable role on “Family.”

http://www.publictheater.org/en/programs–events/shakespeare-in-the-park/?SiteTheme=Shakespeare

As I said at the start of this post, we hit the ground running and are enjoying every minute of it. I have a feeling, though, that the fun has just begun. Before I close, I want to leave you with this. Sunday of this past weekend was Gay Pride Day here in New York. Included were speeches, parades and dancing in the streets. With the Supreme Court ruling of just a few days past, it was truly a victory celebration. Brad and I had fully intended to watch the Parade from a good vantage point. We left early in the morning for one of our long Sunday walks. It turned out our walk was longer than we remembered, making us think we had missed the Parade entirely. Just the opposite occurred. Seemingly, where ever we walked in the midtown area, there it was, winding through the streets. The participants were so happy. Even police officers were dancing in celebration.  It was one of the most amazing events we’ve witnessed here….a joyous occasion…..a long time coming. IMG_4787

 

Nothing but Favorites

How do you end an eight month adventure in a city that has made its way into your heart? Only the favorites will do….

You’d start with an old, familiar walk through Madison Square Park,

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 on to 23rd

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and then to the Hudson.

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The last days in NYC wouldn’t be complete without one last Broadway experience….”All the Way,” starring Bryan Cranston, an absolutely perfect choice.

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You would take a walk to the subway down one of your favorite streets, West 28th between 6th and 7th, New York’s Flower District.

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And even though riding the Staten Island Ferry was a new experience….

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you’d do it in order to say “Good-bye” to one of your favorite landmarks…the Statue of Liberty. After all, all those walks on the Hudson included a nod to “The Lady.” IMG_1979-1

A final walk in Central Park….

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followed by pizza at Patsy’s would be a must.

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And because you had that familiar “big belly” feeling of too much of a good thing, you’d take a long walk home where you’d fall into bed for one last night’s sleep under the light of the Empire State Building.

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Sweet dreams, New York.

xoxo

 

 

The City, Dogs and Coney Island

We’re packing up the apartment. Working on gathering belongings and thoughts. It goes without saying that emotions concerning the whole process are a mixed bag. Almost as confusing as they were 8 or so months ago before we came. So while I’m sorting through it all, I’ll fill you in on our last few days.

Brad’s friend from work in Portland came for a visit, both for work and pleasure. Brad brought Mike home on the train from White Plains, impressing him with the commute that has now become routine for Brad. After a bit of conversation in the apartment and then a crowded subway ride, we went for dinner at Spring Street Natural, a place that has become one of our favorites…especially for Thursday night jazz.

spring street

http://springstreetnatural.com/index.php

Mike wanted to see the sights of the city so we took the subway back to Union Square and walked to our neighborhood from there. I think we gave Mike more city experience than he bargained for….in our wanderings we witnessed an arrest by none other than the NYPD, were given an explanation of the “Smoking Building and Digital Calendar” by a man on the street who of course expected payment for his efforts and then, having escorted Mike to Grand Central Terminal, we came upon filming taking place for an advertisement in the main hall of Grand Central. All Mike could say was, “Wow, we’d never see all that in one night in Portland…”

The “Smoking Building and Digital Calendar”….actually it’s the “Metronome Art Wall” at Union Square….

building

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metronome_(public_artwork)

and filming in Grand Central….

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Last Saturday we decided to stay close to home and visit one of our neighbors, Teddy Roosevelt. Originally a row of beautiful brownstones, only his birthplace remains. As a faithful reconstruction, it contains approximately 75% of the original furnishings. The tour we were given was very interesting, both for the facts about Roosevelt and the city at the time of his life. I was intrigued with the young boy, Teddy, watching President Lincoln’s funeral procession pass in front of his grandmother’s house on 14th. The history and the connections made in this city of New York never cease to amaze.

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http://www.nps.gov/thrb/index.htm

The walk home lead us through Madison Square Park where spring is making its colorful showing. IMG_1827

But on this particular day, even more colorful than the park itself, was the event taking place both in and around…..the annual Sikh Day and Parade.

IMG_1844 IMG_1849 IMG_1862 While you might be tempted to think that Brad and I felt like “strangers in a strange land,” in reality, it was a joyous occasion and we were made to feel welcomed. Even the mayor got into the spirit of the day…”Bill de Blasio, third from left, attended the Annual NYC Sikh Day Parade in Midtown on Saturday.”

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http://www.sikhnet.com/events/2014/annual-nyc-sikh-day-parade-manhattan

Knowing that Sunday was going to be a great weather day and that we were close to one of the most iconic amusement parks in the country, our choice of what to do for the day was a “no-brainer”….Coney Island!

Unlike Disney Land or Six Flags, Coney Island is actually a New York City neighborhood that happens to have rides and other amusement type entertainments. It’s rumored that Donald Trump tried to “develop” Coney Island at one point, but concerned citizens stepped in and had the rides declared to be of historic value requiring preservation. Sorry Donald.

 It was just under an hour subway ride away from our place. At times it felt as if we were the only two going to Coney…

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The Coney Island subway station itself seemed to be part of the carnival atmosphere.

IMG_1882What a great place….rides, water, a boardwalk….Coney Island has it all….IMG_1895 IMG_1891 IMG_1899

Coney Island is also home to the Cyclones, the Mets’ Minor League team. Located in front of the stadium is this reminder of some remarkable baseball history.

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That’s Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese. The statue commemorates Pee Wee’s befriending of Robinson in 1947 on Crosley Field in Cincinnati.

And then there’s Nathan’s…no trip to Coney Island would be complete without a frank. Started in 1916 in Coney Island, Nathan’s has been selling hot dogs ever since. Brad and I both thought they lived up to the hype. Gene, I think you would have agreed!

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Right across the street from Nathan’s was Rita’s, Margee’s idea of heaven. Their claim to fame:  “Ice-Custard-Happiness.”

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Even though Brad and I were both stuffed full of Nathan’s, we couldn’t resist the happiness. Whoa, was it good and boy, were we happy!

http://www.coneyisland.com/tourist-information

http://www.nathansfamous.com/

http://www.ritasice.com/

As much as I’d like to continue to chatter, there’s still packing to be done, so I’ll bring this, my last post from New York, to a close. For those of you who might be despairing at the thought of no more “Patience and Fortitude” to read, fear not. I plan one last post in Portland to collect final thoughts. Until then…..

 

Easter, Passover and Happy #60, Brad….New York Style

I am continually impressed with New Yorkers’ sense of tradition and their ability to celebrate. Keeping that thought in mind, come with me for a taste of Easter, Passover and birthday festivities in the city.

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My route for weekly grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s involves walking down 5th. During one of my recent trips I heard a louder than usual horn honking traffic commotion coming up the avenue. It was the annual Pre-Passover Mitzvah Tank Parade….”consisting of some 60 converted motor homes and their crews of rabbinical students” that “travel throughout the NYC metropolitan area, encouraging people to increase in acts of goodness and kindness.” Not a bad thing, especially if you like walking to grocery shop while listening to strains of klezmer music.

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http://www.mitzvahtank.com/

I mentioned in a previous post that I was joining in the hunt for the Faberge Eggs. Of the 267 eggs spread throughout the city, I found 48 for my basket. The hunt is over and all the eggs have been gathered and are now on display at Rockefeller Center. I plan to go and view them once I feel like battling the crowds that always seem to be circling that part of town.

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Megan and Andy came up Easter weekend and good times were had celebrating birthdays and holidays.

Friday morning, Brad and Megan left together to go to the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn. The trip was a delayed birthday gift of Brad’s to Megan. Housed in an old subway station, the museum is an interesting glimpse into the past of this publicly mobile city.

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http://www.nycsubway.org/wiki/New_York_Transit_Museum

The four of us met for lunch at Wild Ginger and following, started Brad’s 60th birthday celebration. Megan and Andy had mapped out a pub crawl through the streets of Brooklyn.

beer map

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At each stop, the 3 of us “enveloped” Brad with love.

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It was a fun, thirst quenching afternoon.

We went to the Village for dinner….Quantum Leap….followed by dessert at the apartment.

Blow Bradley, Blow!!

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Saturday came with the anticipation of seeing the Broadway show “The Book of Mormon.” It was a gorgeous day. We couldn’t help but take advantage of the weather with a stop at Bryant Park on the way to the theatre.

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  “The Book of Mormon” is, without a doubt, the most popular of all the Broadway shows currently playing. Even though we bought tickets way back in December (our Christmas gift to Megan and Andy) the only seats left where we could be seated together were up in the corner of the balcony, the very last row.

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In all honesty, we could have been sitting in the rafters, and it wouldn’t have detracted. All four of us loved the show. “Mormon” left us not only with songs to sing and funny plot situations to recall, but topics of thoughtful discussion as well. I would recommend it to anyone that’s not put off by “South Park” humor….meaning it is rude, crude and at times quite vulgar. If this isn’t your choice of entertainment then you should refrain from clicking on the links below. Nellie, we’ll have to talk when I return to Portland.

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http://bookofmormonbroadway.com/

If you’d like to listen to the complete soundtrack….

We had enough time to walk back to the apartment to put our feet up and give our “dogs” a rest before dinner at Vatan, an Indian restaurant in our neighborhood.

http://www.vatanny.com/

Megan and Andy left on Sunday, but before walking them to the bus we had breakfast at Big Daddy’s….

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and a quick stop at New York’s famous bookstore “The Strand.” Although the store is huge with books galore, Megan and I both thought we’d sooner shop at Powell’s on Burnside.

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https://www.strandbooks.com/

Saying good-bye to Megandy always leaves Brad and I feeling a bit empty. In need of comfort, we picked up a few items for a picnic lunch and headed to “The Park.” If you haven’t figured it out by now, Central Park is one of our absolute favorite places. Our time spent on Sunday further confirmed our love of the place.

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With bellies full and spirits lifted we were ready to head out in pursuit of The Easter Parade. Yes, New York still holds its parade up 5th Avenue. You know the one I’m talking about…”In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it….” Dating back to the mid-1800’s, New Yorkers are still upholding the Easter Parade tradition, albeit with probably a larger number of participants…..

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and zanier interpretations of both hats and attire.

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That’s a “Peep” mohawk on the gentleman above.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYac9O3GYTM

The 23rd of April was the actual day of Brad’s birthday and the celebrating continued.

He was remembered at work by both the Portland and New York offices.

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Brad was told his co-workers were inspired by this priceless photo….

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We had hoped to celebrate at the B.B. King Blues Club and had tickets to see Delbert McClinton. But the show was postponed for some unknown reason until July. Needing an alternative, the Birthday Boy opted instead to go to a favorite place of ours for watching sporting events, Campeon. With 6 80 inch TV sets , 22  39 inch sets, and 8  47 inch sets, all in HD, what’s not to love?! The game of choice was Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich with Real Madrid winning, 1- 0….nice gift for Bradley.

http://campeonnyc.com/index.php

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27119749

Dinner was pizza at Patsy’s followed by a stroll down 23rd to the Hudson.

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I have to say, this New York style of celebration is pretty special. How lucky Brad and I have been to celebrate not only our 60th birthdays but all the holidays here. I love New York!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Denzel, Wynton, Red Sox and Unicorns

I can’t believe I’m able to put all of the above in a title for a blog post. This was an exceptional week in what’s been an ongoing eight months of “I can’t believe it!” I’m sure you’ll have to agree.

The first in our list of “pinch me” moments was watching Denzel Washington at the Barrymore Theatre in Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.” No, we weren’t there the same night as the Obamas, but believe me, as excited as I was, Denzel was more than enough!

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http://www.raisinbroadway.com/

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2014/04/watching-the-obamas-watch-a-raisin-in-the-sun.html

We barely had time to savor “Raisin” when we were off to our next “I can’t believe it” event, listening to Wynton Marsalis and his orchestra play Dave Brubeck at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Marsalis, trumpeter, is known for his contributions to classical music, but when we saw him, it was all about jazz. The concert was a loving tribute to Brubeck and what he meant to the world of jazz and to civil rights. Held in the beautiful Rose Theatre it was an exceptional night all ’round. Shirley, tell Jerry I was thinking of him….

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The view of Columbus Circle from inside “Jazz”

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http://wyntonmarsalis.org/

http://www.davebrubeck.com/live/

On Saturday morning with strains of “Take Five” still circling in our heads, we took the A train to the upper west side where we met up with our friends Margee and Leo. Our destination together was visiting old boyhood haunts of Leo. We met at The Cloisters, the branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. It’s a glorious display in an even more glorious surroundings. Thanks to John D. Rockefeller for the land, building and part of the collection. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Palmesel, Germany, 15th Century

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The Fuentiduena Apse, Spain, 1175-1200

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The Unicorn in Captivity Tapestry, Netherlands, 1495-1505

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I can’t begin to describe how remarkable a place The Cloisters truly is. And perhaps even more remarkable, 50 or so years ago, when tourism in New York was not the industry it is today and museums were not nearly as well cared for or as guarded, this was the playground of Leo and his friends. Yes, The Cloisters! Just imagining 10 year old boys running through the halls, brandishing swords and fighting valiantly for their king had my thoughts more riled up than the art work itself. The Tapestries, the tombs, the art work, it was all there ready to fire up the boys’ imaginations. What an amazing playground!

Once the boys were finished with inside imaginings, they could continue it all outside in the beautiful and enormous Fort Tryon Park. A gorgeous spot on the Hudson River complete with….

trails for exploring and rocks for climbing….

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benches for sitting…..IMG_1526

and vistas where a knight could keep an eye on the Cloister castle.IMG_1525

I think Leo might still believe in unicorns….IMG_1524

http://www.metmuseum.org/visit/visit-the-cloisters

http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/forttryonpark/

From Fort Tryon Park, we continued our day with a drive through Leo’s old boyhood neighborhood. He’s truly a New York kid.

History of the Revolutionary War kind was thrown into the day’s mix as well. The Morris-Jumel Mansion is Manhattan’s only remaining Colonial residence. It was built as a summer “villa” in 1765 by British Colonel Roger Morris and his American wife, Mary Philipse. (Actually, she would have been his Colonial wife, right?) General George Washington used the house as his headquarters during the Revolution. In 1790, Washington returned for a cabinet dinner which included Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Hamilton, and Henry Knox, among others.

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http://www.morrisjumel.org/

All this history talk left us hungry. Next on the agenda was a drive to the Bronx and Arthur Avenue. We ate at a fun little place, Dominick’s. It’s claim to fame, besides great food, is no written menu (the waiter lists off what’s available) and meals served at communal tables. Then, when your meal is finished, the waiter returns and announces what you owe, no written check. Keep in mind, all the waiter’s banter is being carried out in the finest Bronx-Italian accent. Thank goodness we had Leo there to interpret!

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After dinner we waddled down to Palombo’s, a comfortable neighborhood bakery, for coffee and dessert. An unlimited assortment of gorgeous treats awaited.

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A delicious ending to another fun day with Margee and Leo. I only hope they realize what a gift their friendship has been during our New York stay.

http://www.nycgo.com/articles/take-a-tour-arthur-avenue

http://ny.eater.com/archives/2012/11/who_goes_there_dominicks.php

http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/palumbo-pastry-shop/

And as the title to the post indicates, Brad and I had a great time returning to Yankee Stadium for a Red Sox game. While the game in itself wasn’t remarkable….the Red Sox lost, Brad and I did remark about how relaxed we were as far as the logistics of getting to the game this time as compared with last September. In September, we left hours early for fear of huge crowds on the subway and just the unknown of it all. This time? Hey, what can I say? We were just part of the crowd.

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