Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


What a delightful read about a wonderful trip!!! I'm so glad you got to go and had such a fun time!

By Blogger Amie, at 8:38 AM  

What a wonderful trip! Reminds me very much of my trip there almost a year ago, at Thanksgiving, when I first fell in love with the city. I really need to upload those photos, at least to Flickr, to remind myself of what a wonderful time I had, and share that with others. Isn't it an amazing place? I came home from that trip determined to find some work up there so I had a good excuse to go back many more times!

Thanks for sharing! :-)

By Blogger Mary, at 9:37 AM  

Oh, what fun, and it looks like you had mostly perfect weather, too! Those glimpses of sky are so blue!

By Blogger Catherine, at 5:24 PM  

You had the perfect birthday trip! Thanks for taking us with you.

By Anonymous Charlotte, at 5:28 PM  

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009  

TheQueen goes to TheCity

TheConsort: For your birthday let's go to see B&M in New York City

TheQueen: Oh I would love to! I've been wanting to go to NYC for ever!!

2 days before we leave

TheConsort: I've talked to B. We'll meet them on Long Island at 5 o'clock on Tuesday

TheQueen, looking puzzled: I thought B&M were going to show us around the city for my birthday......

And beneath the hot breath of words that include sailboats and hate-the-city and other things that mean nothing and represent only I wanna do what I wanna do, TheQueen thinks to herself "What is the answer that love would give?" and the answer was "don't pick up that bone, just let it lie", which she did and thus began a delightful trip nawth that included a sailboat ride she didn't have to take and lots of sky scraper forests for her to walk through.

And so here we are, saying goodbye to VA on the 301 bridge

Hello MD - and Morgantown Power Plant

There were lots and lots of bridges. What many people don't know, though, is that TheQueen has a morbid and irrational fear of bridges - the higher, the more superstructure, the more afraid she is. When she is riding, she just keeps her eyes on the knitting in her lap. When she is driving she glues it to the driver-side rear wheel of the car in front of her. But she was mighty glad to see the last of the big bridges, going into New York.

And landing in a pretty little yankee town.

We took the Goethals Verrazano bridges across Staten Island ... where we encountered our only traffic jam as well as a misty hazy grey glimpse of the Manhattan skyline. We then drove (and drove and drove) around the Brooklyn along the Lee Erickson Dr. Of course, that part of Brooklyn looks nothing like the only Brooklyn in my mind - Francie Nolan's crowded red brick tenements from Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Instead, it was all parks and green signs telling you how to get to Coney Island or Rockaway. In my head, Barbara Streisand was singing "I'm Private Schwartz from Rockaway". Sometimes the imagination is stronger than reality.

We were headed to Cutchough, durn near all the way out to the tip of Long Island, where our friends B&M were waiting with fresh tomato tarts and more good wines than I've ever tried in a single sitting. In fact, delicious food and delectable wines punctuated every evening, threaded through with laughing conversation and all round pleasure.

Wednesday dawned grey and still and was obviously no day anyone except Himself would want to go sailing. Instead our hosts drove us around the whole tip end of LI - from Nassau Point to Riverhead, through the Hamptons to Montauk (yes I brought home some Montauk daises).

Here is BD with hosts at Nassau Point.

and here is TheQueen with LD at the ocean! We really did have that much fun, all the time.

After the most perfect lunch of lobster bisque we took the ferries from Shelter Island

Still having fun!

To Greenport

And back home again to Cutchough

Where a man can dream about sailing - and even go sailing on Thursday when the girls parted company with the sailors and drove (over another bridge) to TheCity.

Well, first we went up to the outer suburbs to B&M's house. We had the afternoon free do a little fancy shopping in the city. Now, I really only know one city - Richmond, VA - and a smattering of Washington DC. I suppose one could call Fredericksburg VA a city but really it's a mass of suburbs squeezing a small southern town into obscurity. Living such a provincial and deeply rural lifestyle any cluster of buildings hugging a sidewalk feels exotic to me. But M took me first to Arthur Avenue - which is the Italian market street somewhere "in the city" and my goodness - what a shopping adventure that was!

The magic word is cheese - my favorite food, in fact, my chocolate. Just look in the left hand corner.

But the butcher shops! Oh My!

The choices!

Even the cigars. This fellow was rolling them up and wrapping them with dark and light leaves in chevron patterns. Made me want to buy one just to use as a decoration!

M told me this market was bought and built in response to Mayor La Guardia ordering the vegetable carts off the streets. Probably a good idea anyway, since now they're out of the weather.
I wonder if this kitty is for sale too?

There was a sausage shop, not much bigger than a large closet, that had sausages in front of you and sausages behind you and to the left and to the right and when I happened to glance up at the ceiling ... it too was completely filled with sausages hanging over your head.
Sadly, few of these shops of delectables took credit cards and I had not come to the city with a lot of cash ... or perhaps I should say happily, because otherwise I would have been paying off the VISA bill for the next 3 months! I did buy one small sausage, though, because that is something we really can't get down here.
The evening was well on to darkness before the guys came in from Long Island, but they'd had a grand sail and were full of plans to go look at More Sailboats the next day .. on City Island? I'm not sure. But with a native guide, BD was sure to find whatever he was looking for.
M and I went to the city. I am sure she had as much fun as I, since she was showing a complete novice, ready to be pleased, her city. M is a first generation Irish girl from Queens. This is truly her city and she knew exactly where to go and when to be there in order to catch the next train or see the next sight. It was a glorious blue sky day with puffy clouds and breezes, and there was so much to see, and I was so longing for the "city experience" that we elected to skip going inside. This was an outdoor tour of city landmarks and with 2 brief exceptions, we stayed outside.
Of course, we took the train in to .... Penn Station? Yes. I think that is the one with the beautiful blue ceilings painted with constellations.

And then we were In TheCity - with its hustle and bigness and all these people I don't know!!! You can't imagine the excitement generated by hundreds of faces you've never seen before, when you live in a place where, not only do you know everybody, you're kin to them!

Of course, no librarian would go to NYC and skip this important landmark.

A nice fellow from Canada took our photo in return for us doing the same. I never did ask him if he was a librarian, but I wonder now. I bet he was.

This was one of the few places we went inside. I had to have at least a peek. And who should I meet but the most famous ... the original Pooh family!

Did you ever wonder why Disney made Piglet look so strange in the cartoon? That little tiny butt always puzzled me because, well, pig hips are where the hams come from - they tend to be pretty good sized. But here you see the original Piglet and it all becomes clear. I wonder which grandma made this little toy?

I suppose Tigger was a snow tiger.

Pooh looks just like the bear my older sister had when she was a girl - and she called him PoohBear too.

Eyeore is the most moth eaten - as befits his personality.

Of course, no trip to NYC is complete without views of my own personal favorite ski tower ... the Chrysler Building

but I would surely have loved to have had time to dine here at this restaurant in Bryant Park all covered in vines. I read the menu outside the door and the prices were very reasonable... especially since I assumed everything in NYC would be at least 3 times what it was down home.

The park was full of greenery and chairs and loveliness but the neatest thing of all was the gilded merry go round.

The energy you feel in Times Square is throbbingly delicious. I couldn't live in such a high speed place but it filled me with exactly the pumped up feeling I was hoping for. I haven't even any idea what is inside any of these buildings, because the outsides are so riveting.

Here is Parson's School of Design - famous to any of us who love fashion and clothing.

I fell in love with this sculpture and photographed it several times. There is another statue of a man at a treadle sewing machine and imbeded in the sidewalks are round plaques honoring famous New York fashion designers.

No gorilla's here today.

We only walked through Macy's to get from one street to another, and to get the feel of the real Macy's. But if I wanted to shop at Macy's I'd just go to Richmond.

But from Macy's we took the subway down to Battery Park to take in the Famous Lady herself, Ms. Statue of Liberty ... and to enjoy the lively park life. There were dozens of these charicture artists drawing people and if we'd had more time I would have loved have sat for one of them.

And lots of opportunities to have your photo take with the cooler version of the SoL.

and walk along the espeland

We headed back into Manhattan from the park where this lovely wroght iron cross-walk caught my eye.

It takes people from this side of the street

across to Trinity Church, the only other place where we went inside.

It's nestled like a little green and brown jewel, among the grey steel towers

and most of the graves are from the 18th century.
No trip to the city for me would have been complete if we hadn't gone by Ground Zero. Even though it was really just a walled off construction site, I had to weep some and hold the memory of those innocent people and that terrible day close in my heart. I can't help but imagine the neighboring sky scrapers looking down like mourners at a funeral.

We didn't go into the museum that is across the street - though lots of folk were filing in. So many, in fact, that there was a line outside. But what I did photograph ... being the girl from Essex County ... was this.

Not a land mark, but enough of a coincidence to tickle me out of my sadness.
Lawsee - a week ago I remembered what this pretty little church was called, but I've forgotten now.

But here are More Beautiful Tall Buildings against Brilliant Blue Skies -

and here is the crowd around Union Square where there were more vegetable carts than Mayor La Guardia could ever have ordered off the streets. I wonder if he's turning in his grave.

But by the time we got here it was late in the afternoon and our feet were tired. I'd had pleanty of Big City Rush and M suggested we head home. We had time to pick up a drink and snack in the station and take it to the train where we got the last spot where we could sit together.
It was a glorious Day In The City. It was everything I'd hoped for and I am sure that my own enthusiasm made the city sparkle for the home girl in a new way.
Friday night is Pizza Night at B&M's, served up with copius glasses of Chianti. I was really pooped and headed to bead about 10 o'clock, leaving the guys looking at sail boat ads on the computer. And early the next morning we loaded up and headed back to Paradise ... er ... home.
It was a perfect trip. A perfect introduction to TheCity. A perfect time with congenial friends. I feel sooo cosmopolitin now - so sophisticated - so ready to go back for another visit. Happily, they will be visiting us later this month so the friendship, the best part of the whole trip, will get another boost, and we will have our opportunity to return, if only for a little while, the hospitality that showered onto us for nigh on to a week.
I'm so glad I got to go to the city and I am so glad I am home - because, east or west, home is best.

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posted by Bess | 7:05 AM