Anniversary!

Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of United States  , New York
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Our plans for 25th August 2010 had to be altered somewhat.....the original plan was to spend the day taking it easy in and around Central Park, with a meal in the early evening at the Boathouse restaurant next to one of the lakes. However, although Olivia was feeling better, she wasn't up to a long day in NYC. And perhaps more pertinently, it was scheduled to RAIN all day!! I had actually already taken the precaution of re-arranging the restaurant reservation to Friday, and sat down early to work out the logistics of a new plan. It was rather like solving the problem of getting the Fox, the Chicken, and the Cabbage across the river, as I wanted to try to cater for everyone getting out, but ensuring at least one of us was in the flat to look after Olivia.

So, first up Katie, Chris and I headed off to Times Square, and Liz stayed with Olivia. The plan was to see the action, and get back so that Liz and I could then go to Grand Central for the tour and lunch, whilst Katie & Chris looked after Olivia! This meant we were on a tight schedule, as the walking tour of Grand Central was Wednesday lunchtimes only, at 12.30. Fortunately, the no 7 subway line goes straight from Woodside to Times Square, so despite a rather lengthy delay whilst Katie got herself ready (!), we managed door-to-door (apartment to Times Square) in less than 45 minutes. Although it was raining, this sort of added to the atmosphere, and the dark skies helped to enhance the giant electronic billboards. It was all rather frenetic, as you can imagine, and definitely worth seeing. However, the fact that we needed to get back to Woodside by 11.45 gave us probably just about the right amount of time there. After getting fairly wet, we jumped back on the subway, and managed to get back to the flat at the appointed hour. Whereupon, Liz came with me, and we rushed back to the subway - leaving Katie & Chris to do the Olivia-sitting duties.

The efficiency of the New York subway system got us to Grand Central by 12.20....ten minutes early for the guided tour! There must have been about 50 or so people assembled for the tour, the vast majority Americans, it seemed. We split into two smaller groups, each led by an enthusiastic early-60s-ish guide. Ours was a native New Yorker who had spent his whole life in various guises studying and teaching architectural history. And he could certainly talk! The tour was fascinating, but I have to confess that Liz and I flagged a bit towards the end....it was an hour and a half of brisk walking to all corners of the huige station complex, and we were hungry!

At the end of the tour we wandered up to the classy steak bar which overlooked the whole concourse, and had the $12.50 "design your own burger" option whilst sat at the bar looking out over the concourse. It was one of those occasions where the food is almost incidental - it was the location that was key. Having said that, the burgers and fries were VERY good, and we could have stayed there several hours. However, the next part of the itinerary was to get back to the apartment for a further swap......

This time the plan was for Liz, Chris and Katie to go the PS1 Modern Art building, which is en-route between Woodside and Manhattan. So, once Liz and I got back to the apartment I took on the Olivia-sitting duties, and off they went. It later transpired that I had goofed (local expression) and PS1 was closed on Wednesdays! Undaunted, Liz, Chris and Katie headed to Times Square for a further slice of frenzied New York life (fortunately a drier version now, as the rain had stopped). Back at the ranch. Olivia and I went for a short walk of the neighbourhood, and then played cards for a while. Liz was back by 7pm, having left Katie and Chris to enjoy the delights of one of the Irish restaurants in Woodside.....they returned later in the evening with tales of HUGE maincourses, soup and salad which had to be declined, and their deserts, which they'd had to take away in doggy bags! Olivia and I went on a short walk to find a supermarket (to get Liz some mayo) - we spotted a likely looking establishment on the far side of the main freeway going through Woodside, and plucked up the courage to cross the road (at the traffic lights), and I counted FOURTEEN lanes of traffic!). 

As I write this on Thursday morning the sun is already rising in a cloudless sky, and it's looking like being hot.... 
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Comments

John on

Was it your wedding anniversary? Sensibly you're making the most of your visit despite poor Olivia's problems

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