Friday, November 04, 2005

What a trip, What a City!

Okay, so I know you've been waiting (with baited breath I'm sure) to hear about my first ever trip to NYC!

It was everything I hoped for, and more. What a city, what heart - in another life, I could easily have lived in NYC very comfortably. My lifestyle now doesn't fit (I wouldn't really want to raise my daughters in NYC - it's wonderful, but I prefer a more rural atmosphere for child rearing) but I enjoyed pretending for the weekend that subways were my main mode of transportation (I loved the subway - one of my favorite "motion" pix of the subway is below) and strolling through Times Square was an everyday occurence.


The weather was crisp and cool enough that I was happy for the jacket and gloves, and before the weekend was over, we'd added hats and scarves. We did Chinatown for Dim Sum, were amazed at all the street vendors who sidled up to us - giving us their pitch for designer handbags (faux, of course) and rode on top of a double-decker bus for a different view of the city.

We visited Ground Zero (I particularly wanted to go there) where I learned, for me, a very interesting truth. There was nothing to see there. In my mind, it was as if I'd heard of a relative who was gone, and I wanted to visit their home to try to connect with them. No inanimate objects are imbued with anything for me to bring back what is gone - the spirit of the person (and in this case the persons and event) lives on in my heart and nothing, or no one, can take that away. But I honestly felt very little looking on at the gaping hole filled with construction equipment - other than the desire to have seen or to see the towers rebuilt - bigger and better than ever! More poignant to me was a quick visit to St. Charles Chapel, across Church Street from the World Trade Center complex. The picture below was taken of the stump of a 100 year old sycamore which was toppled on 9/11, and the text from the plaque I found very interesting:

"The tree was toppled on September 11, 2001, when the collapse of the World Trade Center sent tons of debris hurtling towards the church, including a large steel beam from the North Tower. Miraculously, the Chapel's trees shielded it from damage and not a single pane of glass was broken throughout the church."

While we didn't actually go into Central Park (I love nature, but lets get real here - I live in a rural area where I see wild turkeys on a daily basis, so that's not what I went to NY to see!) I did snap a favorite photo of Central Park taken just Southeast of the Grand Army Plaza:



We went to see "Fiddler on the Roof" and had awesome seats (front row Orchestra). It was a great show - we'd been reading that there were mixed reviews with Harvey Fierstein playing Tevya - and while his gravelly voice took a little getting used to, his mannerisms and interpretation more than made up for it in my opinion. Rosie O'Donnell just took over the roll of Golde on September 20 (a fact which irritated my sister to no end - she being not one of our favorite people) and while singing is not her strong suit, she did okay. The dancing and music overall was fantastic, though, and while I knew the dialogue and show by heart (my first little theatre experience 20+ years ago) I enjoyed it thoroughly.

All too soon, our trip was over and we headed home. We had a singing cabbie who sang Italian to us with his Leadsinger microphone and played "Who wants to be a Zillionaire" with us to determine where he was originally from (Ukraine) so my one NY cab experience was atypical - fun and entertaining.

Flying home was the loveliest flight I've ever had - the weather was beautiful, sky clear - I got to watch the coast all the way down into Georgia I'd guess when the clouds rolled in. Here's the last photo of NYC that I snapped (thank you, AA for having nice clean windows) heading away from the city:



So, now I'm back home, getting back into the swing of things and a bit of normalcy before the next holidays. My sister is a treasure, our "birthday adventure" was a tremendous success, and in my book, she's the "Sister of the Year"!

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