Thursday, 5 October 2017

A trip of extremes 2

At last an opportunity to browse the stalls at Union Square Greenmarket,
 often described by Frances  on her blog.

Hadn't bargained for the wasp sting but
luckily no lasting reaction.

Chihuly at the New York Botanical Gardens.
I had only ever seen his Rotunda Chandelier at the V&A in London before this.

A regular stop off for coffee was either Bluestone Lane Cafe,
or Jack's Wife Freda near our Airbnb apartment in West Village.
It was a very convenient, if pricey location.

Last year we stayed in Brooklyn and had a lengthy commute
for Manhattan sight-seeing. 
I was grateful to be able to avoid the subway in the great heat.
We were alternately roasted or frozen on the journeys
that made walking too arduous.
Ten miles was an average daily hike,
not always intentionally!

I was pretty struck by the contrast in fortunes of NY residents
we observed on the streets and in the subway,
especially when we saw women begging (panhandling) with children.
A complex issue.

Manhattan was full of the loud, exuberant, tattoed, opinionated, striving young.
I wondered where all the people my age were.
People who didn't litter their reportage with 'like' and 'literally'.
One very elderly woman in a restroom in the Strand Bookstore
eyed me exhaustedly in the washbasin mirror and said,

'Isn't it horrible out there?
The subway is just dreadful.'

 I smiled sympathetically, nodded my agreement,
 and we went our separate ways.
We had a rendezvous at a ramen cocktail bar in Harlem to make.
A young person suggested it and took us there.
We would never have dreamt of going down into the dingy
subterranean bar of our own accord,
but it was really good fun and watching the barman constructing the cocktails
in front of us was like a cabaret act.


  1. Oh, ouch for the wasp sting. Poor you. That sounds like quite a tiring, if interesting, trip. Did you see your granddaughter?

    1. Grand daughter has been back home for a while now and I will see her later today. We are lucky to be so near. Son Two lives in New York now. We were visiting him.

  2. Looks like you're having a great trip to NYC, we're going later this year. We usually stay in Manhattan, pricey yes, but convenient.

    1. We had a two night stay near Times Square last year and found that overwhelming. West Village felt more like London with its maze of streets. Surprisingly quiet too. The sirens were far less bothersome at night.

  3. Not sure I'd have the stamina for New York. Thank you for the opportunity to have a peep in the tranquillity of my home!

  4. So envious you got to see some of Chihuly's work! The market looks fun too. Like Rachel, I'm not sure if I could handle New York but I'm enjoying it through your eyes, thank you.