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NYC Weekend

This is a real surprise.  I had wanted to see Aladdin for some time but they were always sold out when we were in NYC.

Our son got tickets for Aladdin for this weekend, in addition to The 39 Steps!  He had sent calendar invitations.  My DH had accepted and forgot we were going and I never got my invitation.  🙁

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Backing up to Friday.  This weekend was supposedly so that my son and I could practice for our next Steinway Hall event.  This time, we’re playing the duet Capriol by Peter Warlock.

The day that we do this, we’re also heading out for a cruise to Bermuda.  Busy day!

The train ride to NYC was uneventful, if late.  We have a timeshare in NYC but it’s always full so we can never go 🙁  We had a favorite alternative that we really liked but they converted into a long-term stay hotel.

So, we went to a new hotel for this weekend.  I kept it in the same neighborhood so I’d know my way around a bit and we could eat at our favorite restaurants 🙂

We got to our new place and Michael was waiting for us.  Hooray!  After checking in, the next order of business was getting something to eat.  We decided to Uber over to Union Square to be close to The 39 Steps show at the Union Square Theater.

Lots of places to eat but we decided on getting a snack at the Barnes and Noble and having a real meal later.

The show was wonderful!  Very clever with only 4 actors doing all the parts with just a few props.

Different actors but you’ll get the idea:

After the show, we walked around a bit and ended up at Paul & Jimmy’s for dinner.  It was a good Italian dinner.  We didn’t have a refrigerator at our hotel, so I sent my leftovers home with Michael.

Saturday

Up early the next morning to go to breakfast at our old favorite – Scotty’s Diner on Lexington.

Michael had been to a place called The Cloisters and thought we might like to go so we Ubered (spell check doesn’t think that’s a word) north of Manhattan up the Henry Hudson Parkway.

The Cloisters museum and gardens is so peaceful and beautiful.  You almost feel like you’re back in the middle ages.  We had headsets as a guide and they used period music to help get in the mood.  The Cloisters is a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art which is  devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe, was assembled from architectural elements, both domestic and religious, that largely date from the twelfth through the fifteenth century.

Tom got a ton of pictures.  I just got this one, in the garden:

cloisters

After the briefest stop at our hotel and a too-short nap, we went to Michael’s to actually practice some.  We had a snack at Ramen.co.  I had a bento box and the others had burgers.  The interesting thing about the burgers was that the bun was made of ramen noodles pressed together.

We then walked up past South Street Seaport, although there was a lot of construction going on so we couldn’t go in. We’d been there before, in January 2010 and took lots of pictures so it was ok that we couldn’t go again.  When we were there in 2010 it was way colder and I’d had to buy a new hat and mittens.

After that, we walked along the bike/pedestrian path for quite a ways and it was very nice, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, even though we were walking next to it, and under an overpass!  There was one poor guy out in a rubber canoe or kayak having trouble paddling in the current.

Back to the hotel to get ready for Aladdin!  That was playing at the New Amsterdam Theater.  Both the hotel and theater were on 42nd street so we walked – and made it on time!  What a beautiful old theater, built in 1903.

Aladdin was fantastic!  What can I say?

aladdin

 

 

 

 

 

After the show, we stopped at Cafe Metro for some take-home food, then we hiked back to our hotel to eat that and for much needed sleep.

Sunday!

We made a change in our traditions and stopped at the Pershing Square Café for breakfast.  We’d seen it while we were walking by the night before.  Quite $$ for breakfast. Pershing Square is also on 42nd Street, directly across from New York’s famous Grand Central Terminal’s main entrance and underneath the Park Avenue Viaduct.

Our next stop was Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises for a partial sightseeing trip since we were short of time.  We were 1 pier over from the one where our cruise ship for June 7, the Norwegian Breakaway, was docked.

breakaway2

The Statue of Liberty:

statue-liberty

And, most importantly, Michael’s office next to the Staten Island Ferry

office

A bit of lunch (we eat a lot!) at Mr. Biggs in Hell’s Kitchen then over to Michael’s for more practice – the reason for this trip.

We took the subway back to Grand Central, then our hotel to pick up our bags.  We took a cab back to Penn Station to catch the Acela and head home.

I think that’s it – we did about as much as anyone could do in 48 hours.

9/11 – We Remember

I originally wrote this on 9/11/01…

I, too, was stunned to hear the news this morning and continuing throughout the day.

It was just something unbelievable.  My husband and I were on a Land Rover 4X4 tour of the off-road areas of Barbados when we first got the news.

At first, when we got the very first news, around 9:30 am, I thought that it was some tale that the driver was weaving…and that there would be a punchline.  As the day wore on, more interest was on the radio than on the tour.  Some of the people in our Land Rover were from New York City and they were terrified for friends and family.

What an awful day in history this is, one of those that we’ll always remember where we were when we got the news.

Like the rest of you, I am stunned, absolutely shocked that this could happen, using our own planes, no less.  I cannot imagine the terror of the people on those planes, or in the World Trade Center…or the Pentagon.

The rest of the story:
The year of 911 my mom and my son had been with us for the first week. My son had to be back at college so on Sunday he shepherded my mom through the airport, customs and all and got her back home before he headed back to UMass/Amherst on Monday. Thank goodness they got back before the mayhem started!

On Tuesday we were out on a 4X4 from Island Safari with our favorite guide, Zario. Zario is a fun guy and and very knowledgeable about Barbados and world events. We were very happy to have him again because it was the “luck of the draw” which driver/guide we got.

I remember that morning being kind of stressed already – I was having trouble with one of my contacts and I was just grumpy.

Zario picked us up first, one of the benefits of staying at The Crane – everyone picks us first for everything and drops us off last. Then he picked up another couple from New York City who were staying at Bougainvillea.

The tour started off through the fields, down cliffs as usual. Zario had the radio on in the background. When we got to the first stop he told us that there was a “problem” in New York. That it seemed that a plane had hit a building. We thought that there was going to be a punch line somewhere. There wasn’t.

As the tour went on, the news got worse. The couple from NYC was very worried about relatives.

By the time we got to lunch and met up with the other 4x4s everyone had heard. We were in a little chattal house restaurant, the TV was on CNN and everyone was just watching in silence and horror. Usually this lunch is very festive and fun. Not a care in the world. Not today.

We left the New York people off at their hotel and went “home”. The TV was full of New York news, then Pentagon news. We know people who work at the Pentagon. The news just got worse as we went along.

We were basically stuck in Barbados.  Phones to the US didn’t work well, email was slow to non-existent, all we knew was what we got on CNN, incessantly.  My mother and son had been with us the week before and had just flown back the Saturday before.  I was so glad that they had gotten back home ok, then my son off to college.

We were supposed to fly home on the next Saturday, but if was iffy if that would happen since the airports were closed for the longest time.  We were flying into the DC area. The phone lines to the Barbados airport and to American Airlines were always busy.

Finally, we decided to give it a shot, packed up and went to the airport to see if we could fly out or not.  They could only guarantee the flight as far as Puerto Rico.

The San Juan airport was crowded with Americans trying to get home, flights being canceled due to closed airports, people sleeping all around the airport, using backpacks for pillows.  It was a very difficult time.

We did finally leave for home later that night.  This is what I wrote the next day…

I flew on American Airlines last night (9/14/2001).  We left Barbados on time but the connecting flight, originating out of Aruba was very late, and we waited for a long time in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

After that flight had arrived though, we were all sitting around, hoping they’d board the plane soon.  All of a sudden, there was cheering in the hallway.  We turned to look – our pilot and crew were marching up the hallway with a huge American flag.  He stopped and talked to us.  He explained that the copilot would hang that flag outside his window as we taxied out of Puerto Rico and into Dulles.  The flag was making the rounds of American flights all over the country and that the yellow streamers hanging down were being signed by all the American crew members.  He posed for lots of pictures (I have some I’ll post later, when my eyes are less bleary!), then, as they were going to get the plane ready, he asked us in a loud voice if we were ready to fly to Washington and everyone cheered.

Along the way, he thanked us so much for having faith and flying (like we had any choice!).  The headphones for the movie and the drinks were all free on this flight!  He also told us that there were a lot of fighter planes in the Washington to NY corridor and not to be surprised if we were intercepted by one, who would just be making sure that we were “who we said we were”.  I thought that would be kind of neat to see, but I didn’t see them.  We arrived in Dulles (Washington, DC) with a jet fighter escort.  At the time, that sounded so comforting, but it turned out that they had been there to shoot us down, if we’d made any funny moves.

Then, when we arrived at the terminal, the captain said that we were back in “the land of the free, and the home of the brave” and got some more cheers.

It was a memorable flight for someone like me, who is terrified of flying under the best of circumstances.

 

Us, on 9/10. Who knew?

9/14, San Juan Puerto Rico:
After the crew marched down the hallway.

 

The captain, letting others have a chance to fly the flag.

This young woman lead us onto the plane.

MaryOUSAheart

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