Take Me To New York City

The noise. It’s the first thing I notice when we arrive in New York City. It’s so relentless. In the year 2017 do you think they could invent delivery trucks that are quiet and don’t spew thick clouds of putrid smoke into the air? Speaking of which, I just heard that Elon Musk with Tesla has an electric semi-truck coming. An ambulance goes howling by, its sirens piercing high above all the other ruckus. It’s so noisy that my own thoughts get drowned out.

Maybe that’s a good thing. I need to slow down the old wheels that grind around and around in my head. 

We enter into the city during evening rush hour, but honestly, the traffic is really not even that bad. 

Our first stop is at Jasmine and Tristan’s friend’s apartment in Manhattan. You may remember that their friend is currently in Boston, and has graciously allowed us to stay in his downtown apartment for two nights! 

We pull up in front of the apartment where we unload all our gear and passengers onto the sidewalk.  David and I then proceed to zig zag this way and that to find a parking garage. That ends up being more of a challenge than I realized, but we finally locate a garage where our car will remain parked for 3 days. Once it’s parked we have to set a time for getting it back, since they stack the cars in like sardines. We set up a date and time to pick up the car, which is set in stone. It’s $50 per day to park. Oh well. Can’t complain when our accommodations are free!

In the meantime Jasmine and the minions had run all the gear up to the apartment. Smart New  Yorkers would know that apartments in the city have doormen, and you may well imagine the doorman’s surprise when our crew hauls into the lobby with backpacks and luggage and groceries and cooler in tow…… I am sure he was wondering if someone is running an Airbnb in his building. 

David and I slip by unnoticed a little while later. We are stunned by the gorgeous views from the apartment! 

Once we are settled we go out in search of food, after which we plan to hike up to Times Square. I marvel at the piles of garbage bags stacked on the curbside. Is there not a better way to handle trash? I dunno. 

David finds this awesome restaurant for us! David was just on a business trip to Xi’an, China where he got spoiled with awesome food. That’s how we come upon this restaurant called Xi’an Famous Foods. 

The noodle dishes are deliciously spicy! And the prices are very reasonable! Check it out if you’re in Manhattan. 

After dinner we walk towards Times Square. We are just a few blocks away from the world’s largest department store, Macy’s. 

I am not sure what happened here, but it seems to me like the drivers really don’t care if there are cones in the roadway. While we are standing here waiting for the lights to change several taxis drive right over the cones, their tires pressing down into the deep ruts on the road. I guess they have done this before! 

Before long we have walked to Times Square. The first thing that we notice is the heavy police presence. These guys have on the big guns. Several weeks prior someone had intentionally driven up on the sidewalk in Times Square in an attempt to kill pedestrians.  

Well, I guess we should be safe then! There’s plenty of police and looks like many barricades have been set up. What a sad world we live in that people would internationally try to run over innocent pedestrians. 

Well, if you have kids with you at Times Square you definitely should head to the M&M store, which is what we do. 

David and Kristoff figure if they are going to buy M&Ms they might as well get a huge shopping bag full. Luckily I stop them in time! There’s every color and every flavor known to mankind here! 

Next up is the Hershey store, but this one is a lot less exciting. It’s cramped. There’s a long line to get in. 

Well, Twizzlers are my favorite American candy, but I don’t buy any. In fact we don’t buy anything. We are planning to go to Hershey, PA to the Hershey factory store on this trip. 

We step back outside into Times Square and it starts to rain. Dang it! I had looked at the weather report and it did not promise rain. I had pulled my umbrella out of my bag just before we left the apartment, and now my camera is getting wet. 

Oh well, I cover my camera with a plastic bag, and as we walk along I try to seek cover under overhangs and doorways. I know where we are headed….. to Carlos…the Cake Boss bakery!

Maybe it’s a lot of hype. This bakery is okay, but honestly, I know it’s late, but the tables and floor are grungy, the baking is well…… just baking. They obviously don’t promote lingering because there are hardly any tables or chairs here. Like you can’t come here to relax and enjoy some coffee and treats. It’s just not set up for it. The one bonus is it is open late, and its kind of fun to show this famous bakery to the kids. 

Looks like Carlo is not in the kitchen tonight. 

It’s about a two mile walk home in the rain and it’s close to midnight. A cool mist fills the air and light rain falls upon us. I protect my camera as best as I can, and we head back to the apartment. 

I walk briskly, my head down to keep the rain from hitting my face. The traffic is subsiding the farther we get away from Times Square. Only an occasional car goes by, the tires splashing through the street. I look up in awe at the Empire State Building as we walk by. The top of the building is obscured in an otherworldly mist. 

We pass the famous Macy’s store once again, but it has long since closed. 

We are weary when we finally arrive back at our borrowed apartment. I look down at the traffic below. Even at this hour when the traffic is light there is a constant hubbub of noise reaching my ears. The noise brings me back a few years. I remember vividly when as newlyweds we rented an apartment in Toronto. Of course there was no airconditioning so the windows had to be open in the summer. We had a constant blaring of emergency vehicles and traffic through the night. After a while we got used to it. 

On our way back to the apartment, at about midnight, Kristoff found an iPhone on the ground. We tried to figure out the owner. Soon enough she calls the phone and we arrange a pickup place. I wonder if she thought we stole it? 

We are exhausted after our busy day. We pull out our sleeping pads and bags and soon are sound asleep. Tomorrow we have so much on our agenda that it makes my head spin. If we get 1/2 of it done I will be pleased. But hey, why can’t New York City be toured in a New York minute? 

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