The weather in NYC was perfect for two days. Then, Wednesday, it happened, as I expected all along. The air got drunk on water, garbage, autos and human smell. When I stepped outside my body’s own water supply was magnetically attracted by this strange atmosphere and poured forth to join the air, too. Water ran down by back, my shirt was soaked all day and walking was akin to swimming. It didn’t stop us. We plowed on. The temperature was the same as back home…84 degrees. Back home the humidity was 5%. It was 16x higher in NYC.
We cooled off in nice places: The Waldorf Astoria, The Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and a twilight cruise around the amazing island of Manhattan.
We heated and sweated again walking along the east side of Central Park and then across the park from East to West.
By sundown, on the boat, my shirt dried and the threatening rain held off. We cruised down the Hudson, up the East River, under the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, and some other bridge they call the Ed Koch Bridge. We then cruised out to Lady Liberty and gazed in wonder. Here’s Amy’s cell phone picture taken Wednesday evening.
It was a wondrous sight to watch the entire island of Manhattan begin to twinkle at dusk, and then highlighted in colorful light at dark.
Three days in Manhattan so far, and none of the New Yawk attitude that is written about. Extremely nice, helpful folks, especially the five cabbies we’ve met so far. One of our taxi-drivers, from India, knew the families of some of our Indian friends in Bakersfield…small world again.
The most noticeable difference in watching the thousands of strangers on every block was the number of people smoking. I had to Google the percentage difference and it’s only about 4% higher than California, so it surprised me that both Amy and I noticed what we thought were people smoking everywhere. We don’t get out enough I guess.
Two more mentions of note: The “limo” of choice is the black Suburban (Blacked-out windows, of course). We’ve seen hundreds every day, besides the thousands of cabs. Every theatre, fine restaurants and clubs have dozens waiting to pick up their rides. I can’t imagine driving a “stretch” limo on Manhattan streets, so the Suburban is “thee ride.”
Being a former Hoosier, I halted in my tracks just before turning into the Empire State Building. There was this very cool bar called “Heartland Brewery” and they were featuring their signature IPA called Indiana Pale Ale. That called for a tasty before going up to the top of that giant skyscraper. The owner of the brewery, a former Hoosier, has five of these incredible breweries all over Manhattan. The food was also delicious.
So, until Friday, I’ll send out a toast to all my friends, East and West:
“Drink to the girls and drink to their mothers,
Drink to the fathers and to their brothers;
Toast their dear healths as long as you’re able,
And dream of their charms while under the table.”