We return to New York City

We are finally on the road again after a few weeks in Boston/Melrose and North Carolina.  We take a Greyhound bus from South Station in Boston to Port Authority Bus Station in New York.  It takes the same amount of time as the Train and costs much less.  It’s a little less comfortable and we can’t walk around but it is under five hours.

Leaving our Melrose home again.
Our new front stoop in the West Village, 13th Street, window is our bedroom.
The other side of the window.
Living room with bathroom & kitchen on the right.
One person kitchen.
Large back deck.

Our apartment in the West Village has much more personality than a sterile high rise or corporate rental but it is very old and tired with creaky floors.  Its amenities are right out of 1990 with a house phone, fax, antenna only TV and dial up speed wifi.  It feels like our Grandmother’s home, but we are comfortable here and the location is very good.

So great to be running NYC again.


Washington Square.


Gay liberation Monument in Christopher Park.

Our first run was just exploring our neighborhood, up Sixth Avenue a few blocks and then west to Union Square. Then south on 5th Avenue to Washington Square and west to Christopher Park which was the site—along with the adjacent Stonewall Inn—of the beginning of the gay rights movement in New York City.  Our next few runs we run ¾ of a mile to the river and run either north or south averaging 3-4 miles per run.  The Hudson River Park extends for four miles from 59th street to Battery Park with wonderful views of Manhattan and New Jersey.

Interesting buildings along the Hudson River Park while running north.
This is the furthest north that we made it, Hudson Yards.  More on this later.
New construction of the futuristic Pier 55 park designed by Thomas Heatherwick and financed by billionaire mogul Barry Diller and wife designer Diane von Furstenberg.
A model of Pier 55 at completion.
Running south towards the World Trade Center.
Beautiful gardens and sculptures along the way.
We love New York.
Pier 26 looking south.


Really nice clean running paths without any wheeled vehicles.

We are only a few blocks from the beginning of The High Line which opened in 2009 and has slowly been extended since then.  We have walked The High Line in the past and were not that impressed with it but in the interim it has vastly improved and its 1.5 miles  is alive with art exhibits, plant life, beautiful views, interesting architecture, walking tours and hordes of people at times.  We first walked it on a busy Saturday and then ran the length of it early on a rainy Sunday morning which was ideal as it was almost deserted.  It is definitely on our NYC recommended list now.IMG_8234IMG_8229

Art on The High Line.


Frida Kahlo & Andy Warhol from The High Line.  We have been to both of their home town museums.
Same mural from the street below.
The High Line from the street below.
Same viewing area from The High Line.
The Shed on the left and The Vessel.  The Shed is a movable arts facility which can expand on rails to double its footprint.
The Vessel at Hudson Yards is its architectural centerpiece.  It is a spiral staircase to a great view and nothing else.
Southern end/beginning of The High Line.


Residences and art along the High Line.
IMG_8248 (1)
Final piece of The High Line, the Spur, is opening June 5.  This piece of the spur is called The Plinth dedicated solely to a rotating series of new, monumental, contemporary art commissions.  The first one is called Brick House, a sixteen-foot-tall bronze bust of a black woman whose torso is conflated with the forms of a skirt and a clay house.
View of Hudson Yards from near the northern end of The High Line.  You can see the West Side Yard which stores the Long Island Rail Road trains.

Hudson Yards is a real estate development in the Chelsea and Hudson Yards neighborhoods. It is the largest private real estate development in the United States by area. Upon completion, 13 of the 16 planned structures will sit on a platform built over the West Side Yard, a storage facility for Long Island Rail Road trains. The first of its two phases, opened on March 15 of this year and comprises a public green space and eight structures that contain residences, a hotel, office buildings, a fancy mall, and a cultural facility.


We climbed this on a rainy Sunday at its 10am opening time.
Sandy at the top.
154 intricately interconnecting flights of stairs, almost 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings.


Looking down to the center blue light.
Standing on the blue light at the bottom.
Very eerie, isn’t it?

Our friends Mike and Caryl Erdos sold their home in Winchester Massachusetts and moved to the Upper West Side earlier this year.  Sandy worked with Mike in the Emergency Department at Lahey Clinic many years ago and then Jim worked with Mike from 2001 till his retirement in 2016.  They have become very close friends and welcomed us to NYC with a brunch at their home on our first morning here.  After Caryl’s wonderful brunch we walked around the Upper West Side visiting a private roof top garden where Caryl is volunteering.  We then walked by the co-op that they want to buy on Central Park West and then through Central Park to the reservoir.

Secret rooftop garden.
Walking the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park.

Caryl and Mike are members of the MET and have taken us along as guests to three different exhibitions.

The Met Brueur, Siah Armajani, Follow This Line exhibition
The Roof Garden of The Met.  Alicja Kwade, ParaPivot.
Beautiful rooftop with great views of Central Park and the city.
Every other day has been cold and gray alternating with warm and sunny.
Another visit to The MET.
Camp: Notes on Fashion is one of the current exhibitions.


Mike, Caryl & Jim outside the MET.
After museum lunch at Bluestone Lane set in an old chapel next to The Church of the Heavenly Rest.
Church of the Heavenly Rest with Michael Pendry’s Les Colombes (The Doves) exhibit, which features over a thousand origami doves inscribed with messages and prayers of peace and hope.

Another beautiful spring day we met Mike and Caryl at the Conservatory Garden in Central Park which is a six-acre formal garden divided into three smaller gardens, each with a distinct style: Italian, French, and English. The Garden’s main entrance is through the Vanderbilt Gate, on Fifth Avenue between 104th and 105th Streets. This magnificent iron gate, made in Paris in 1894, originally stood before the Vanderbilt mansion at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street.  We had a very pleasant morning wandering this beautiful garden.


Two old men on a bench.
Everything is so lush and green.  It is great to be in New York City in the springtime.

We do have another friend here who lives in Brooklyn.  We first met James Deaver in México City through our friend Walter and we planned an evening together with him in Brooklyn as an old friend from Boston was coming from Florida to stay with James for a long weekend.  Paul Andersen lived on the third floor of 87 Beacon Street in the early 90’s and we have been friends with him since.  He now lives in Florida with his partner Chris Willis who we met for the first time this night.  James lives in a single family brownstone in the Clinton Hill neighborhood.  He completely renovated his home and has it decorated beautifully with amazing artwork.

James Deaver on the left and Paul Andersen in the back, Charles Hovland beside Sandy and Brent Sikemma on the far right.
IMG_8298 (1)
Looks like the same picture, but Paul’s partner Chris is now in the back.

IMG_8288 (1)IMG_8289IMG_8287We returned to Boston for some bedroom renovation meetings and for Mother’s Day.  Friday night we had dinner with Audrey and Neil at Neptune Oysters in the North End of Boston.IMG_0045This is a great place for seafood but Audrey and Neil usually get a hamburger.  If you want to eat here, go early or expect a long wait.  Saturday, Sandy went to a Nursing School reunion at a classmates home in Wakefield after which we got to watch our grandson Nico pitch for his baseball team.

Sandy with her nursing school roommates.
Nico setting up for a blazing fast ball.

After Mother’s Day brunch with Jennifer, Rob and Jackson we returned to NYC on the Peter Pan Bus.  We had another nice week as the weather finally warmed up permanently on Tuesday.  After our runs we explored our neighborhood more, walking all of Bleeker Street one day.IMG_0079IMG_8347

IMG_0037 (1)
Union Square Green Market.
A great restaurant on our street, Flex Mussels, the picture on the back wall is PEI which is where Sandy’s father came from.  The mussels were some of the best we have ever had.

We braved the bedlam of Times Square one night and went to see Burn This  with Kerri Russel and Adam Driver.  Mike and Caryl met us there as we had purchased four tickets.IMG_8365 (1)

Theater set, an apartment in Manhattan.

Friday night May 17 after struggling with very slow wifi for two weeks Jim sent an email to our host requesting that he upgrade to a faster server.  This was his response:   Jim,  We are going to reset this relationship tonight.  I am not remotely interested in what you think that I “really must” do.  I have no interest whatsoever in your advice or where you have traveled.  You have exhausted my good manners.  Let’s start working tomorrow with HomeAway.com to find a new place for you and your wife to complete your stay in NYC.  BTW, there is a higher-speed alternative Internet available.  All you had to do was ask like a gentleman.
Disgustedly,     So, last Saturday we spent the day on the phone with HomeAway trying to resolve this problem with no success.  Jim then found us another place through AirBnB while Sandy packed everything up and we moved to the Upper West Side.  Our new place is on the third floor of an 8 floor building, a sterile corporate rental but it is now home for the next month.IMG_0098IMG_8412IMG_8406IMG_8405More drama and stress in our lives.  We are still loving New York and hoping that the drama is almost over.  Our bedroom renovations are progressing slowly but steadily.  Hopefully it will be livable within another week or two.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend with great weather and good food.

Our granddaughter at bat at her softball game.  We always try and attend the grandkids events when we are home in Boston.
Jim trying out the portrait mode of his new iPhone X.


Some more of the Camp exhibit.

IMG_8361 (1)


9 responses to “We return to New York City”

  1. […] Side style. Father’s Day dinner at Flex Mussels.  We ate at the one in the West Village in May and thought they were the best mussels ever.  Not disappointed tonight, still great. Spicy […]

  2. Belinda Knight Avatar
    Belinda Knight

    What an asshole…… Glad y’all are done with that host…… I’ve rented a lot on Airbnb and had one ugly experience but realized it…. Have fun and loose the drama life’s too short … One day at a time is all I do…. Live you both ….. You can come to MS and stay at my place anytime …

  3. Dear Sandy and Jim,
    All the years that I have known you, you have always presented yourselves with dignity and compassion. Too bad you had to run into a”host” who presented the opposite of those traits.
    Enjoy your new living arrangements . You both are so exceptional. I love following your blog.
    You present the bad with the good but always are positive in your outlook.
    Hope to see you this summer.
    With love,

    1. Dear Ruthie,
      You are so sweet to say those nice things about us. We somehow rubbed our host the wrong way for him to react that way. It was quite traumatic and stressful but we survived and really have a better place to live for the last month. We do try and maintain a positive outlook no matter what. We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful life and still have each other.

  4. Devan Sandiford Avatar
    Devan Sandiford

    Welcome back to New York! Glad you were able to find a new place away from there terrible host.

    1. Hi Devan, great to hear from you. We were asking Peter and Kurt about you last night. Where are you now. Would love to see you.

  5. Ur west village HOST was deserves the award for the WORST host ever!!!!!
    With those “ people skills” ( or lack there of ) he should seriously rethink a career change out of the SERVICE industry!!!
    Who would put up wt him? Glad u left. That aside.. looks like great fun in the big city.

    1. Katiti Kironde Avatar
      Katiti Kironde

      What a jerk! Yelp him a nd disgrace him!! Give him THE worst review! No one will ever frequent his apartment again. How dare he test you like that?
      He messed with the wrong people

      1. He sure did. Have to get all our money back before we rate him though.

Leave a Reply