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