Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Quiet Life friends.

This is Ryan.  She is joyous and full of fun.
I mean...who can pull off this pose!  
Now that I think of it....Katie used to do this all the time!
Ryan has been visiting the blog for a super long time. 
She has lived in Soho for quite a few years.  We stayed in her neighborhood.
Emma and I had brunch with Ryan at Jane on Sunday.
She was so fun to meet in person.  
We couldn't stop talking....the waitress was so patient with us :o)
She has had a hard year medically....really, really hard.  But she is not bitter.
She is a real fighter.
A true inspiration.

I have some more hilarious pictures of Ryan....
you will have to wait for those...

Love this girl.

(Will and Grace building in the background.)

We went to Grand Central Station.
It's a beautiful place.
The light was not very interesting.
So I made it more interesting.

After our visit to Grand Central Station we met up with Monica at Central Park.
We took the subway to Columbus Circle.  I wanted to see this place for a few reasons.  I've seen it on TV and it is the fountain that Carrie and Aidan break up in front of.  Can you imagine it?
She was wearing white. It was night.

I digress.
As Emma and I climbed up the stairs we could see Monica standing at the top...waiting for us.
It was the sweetest thing!  Imagine, you have never met a person...and they are waiting for you with open's a precious thing.
A quick aside, Monica wrote me when she read that I was coming to New York.  I didn't recognize here name from the comments...but something clicked...
I had remembered a New York woman sending me a picture from a J. Jill store in New York last winter....when the trees were up in the stores.  
I went back to look through my mail.  
And there it was, an email from Monica.

She wondered if I ever met up with people from the blog.
I said, yes I do!
And she offered to be our Central Park guide.
It all worked out so perfectly.
Monica is kind and encouraging.
She is a little unsure of living in this big city....but she LOVES the parks.
She loves the trees.

(We could not go near Columbus Circle due to security is right next to a Trump building and people were protesting.)

Get a load of this man.
Not moving for anything.


Emma and Monica had a chance to talk and talk as I was determined to take pretty pictures.
It worked out great.  I kind of get in the photo taking zone...and I don't think Monica felt like I was ignoring her....Emma picked up the conversation slack...while I stood behind my camera.

There is that man.  

Beautiful Bethesda Fountain.

This is the building and bridge shown in the titles of An Affair to Remember.
See all those people.  


I wanted to see the Plaza.  "The Way We Were" filmed the final scenes in front of the Plaza.

"Your girl is lovely Hubble."

Instagram of the pond. I'm so glad I thought of a reflection shot.
I never think of a reflection shot.    It worked.

Monica wanted to show us a few statues in the park.
This is Hans Christian Anderson.
It was set in a quiet little spot....
I noticed the placque....

And I teared up for the first time....

Thank you Monica for the most wonderful tour. 
I just know we would enjoy finding the quiet little parks of Manhattan together,
wandering, meandering, talking, and laughing.

Can you believe the lovely weather we had and how pretty the trees were?
Fast friends.
The best of times.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

A little bit of France on Spring St.

Saturday morning we headed out to walk the Brooklyn Bridge and ride the Staten Island Ferry.
We needed to go to a different Subway stop.
This one was in the opposite direction than the one we had walked to and from each time we left the apartment.  We walked toward Spring St.  
When we got our corner we looked around to try to find a place for breakfast.
I asked a woman at the stop light if she knew of anything nearby.
She was just walking a friend's dog...and had to think a little bit about it....but then she said, "the cronut bakery is just down the street."  


Yes.  Of course I want to go there!!!

We found it easily.  Just two blocks down.
Right there. 
A perfect french bakery.

I got a cronut.  I didn't know it would come in a special box.
How about this packaging?
What words to use for this packaging?

c'est magnifique

We waited in line.
A little while.  Nothing terrible.

Emma chose a ham and cheese croissant.

The cronut of the month was maple pecan salted sugar.
It was absolutely delicious.  
It was remarkable.
It was fantastic.

We were lucky to find a little spot to sit.

Sitting is important to me.

I also ordered an almond croissant.
Flakey. Almondy. Perfection.
I have not had such a perfect croissant since we were in Paris.

Go here.
It was my favorite place to eat in New York.
This and the bagels.

But I think Dominique Ansel's bakery was exquisite....
my favorite.

189 Spring St.
New York, New York

Then we subwayed our way to the Brooklyn Bridge.
It was a beautiful day as you can see.
There is a walkway down the middle and the cars travel below the walkers on the right and left.

We took a picture of a stranger and he offered to take our picture too.
Guess he didn't notice the cable shadow going across my face.
Oh dear.  
What cha gonna do?  I am sure he was transfixed by my amazing style.
He did however make it look like we were the only people on the bridge.
That's magic!

Next up.
Staten Island Ferry.
The free way to see the Statue of Liberty.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hello old friends.

After eating our wonderful Bagels at Bagel Bob's, Emma and I decided to try a double-decker bus to give us a nice look around the city.  The subways are all underground...not like the L in Chicago.
(We have taken buses like this before in Rome and Chicago.  We have also gone on numerous architectural tours in Chicago.  All had been worth the fee. This one was NOT.)
Our tour guide was a fool.
He basically just listed the stores as we passed them.
He told three or four inappropriate jokes about women.
He did not inform us on ANYTHING.

As we drove by the Empire State building, I asked how many stories it was...
he did not know.

We could not wait to get off that bus.

Our last stop with the bus was Ground Zero/Freedom tower.

The newest building at Ground Zero is the train terminal.  It is designed by a Spaniard named Calatrava.  You may recognize this is very much like the Art Museum in Milwaukee.

Isn't it beautiful?

Well.  I just looked up an article to link here on the Winged Dove/terminal and the New Yorker and most other articles have nothing nice to say about it.  Too expensive. Boondoggle. 
Oh well.  I think it is spectacular and I don't care.  I like it.

It was extremely windy on Friday afternoon so the water was turned off.
Although I thought I would feel sad and reflective I was overwhelmed by the sights and wind and crowds.  This is a recurring theme of this trip. 

It is a very beautiful place and I am glad to have seen it.
I just think I needed a bench....for reflection.
They 9/11 Museum had a very long line and we would not have been able to get in for hours.
If you go to New York, purchase tickets in advance for this museum. 

I had never seen the entrance to One World Trade Center.  I liked the green and white.

With the Freedom Tower behind me I took this picture.  That's the museum on the far left.

By four o'clock Emma and I found a place to eat.   
We went to Katz's Deli.  It is in the East Village and is very well know.
When Harry met Sally has a very famous scene at this deli.
"I'll have what she's having."
When you walk in you are handed a ticket that they say they will need back when you leave.
There is a huge counter with about ten 'stations'.  People were lined up 8 people deep at each station.
You order your sandwich and then go stand in another line to order your drink.
We waited for about five minutes and we were packed in like pickles and I didn't like it.
I noticed that a few people were being seated and waited on. 
Now that's for me.
I walked over and talked to the young man...asked if that was an option....and it was.
We were seated immediately.  Another couple was seated at the same table with us.
Much better.

We were given pickles and menus.
I was happy.

A pastrami sandwich is $18.00 at Katz's.  
Both Emma and I thought half a sandwich and soup would be nice.
Emma got the Matzo ball soup and half a Ruben sandwich.
I had chicken noodle soup and half a pastrami.

Emma's soup was much better than mine,
My pastrami was LOTS better than her corn beef.  (We both thought her corn beef was tasteless.)
She had a better one in Chicago.  
Now that's not right ;o)

The couple next to us left quickly and didn't eat much.  I wanted Emma to take the man's pastrami...and I wanted to take the woman's matzo ball soup.  They had eaten very little.
But even tho they were nice folks....Emma wouldn't go for it.

I am drawing a blank on what we did next. 
I don't think we went back to the apartment.
Perhaps we just figured out how to get to the MOMA.
The subway logistics were not difficult just took time to figure out.
Were are we? Were do we want to go?  
Is the phone dead yet?

Friday night is free night at the MOMA.
And everyone in New York knows it.

Seeing Starry Night by Van Gogh was a big thrill...and surprise.
The hoards adored it.
Emma got a little teary.
We love seeing our favorites in person.

Another of Emma's favorites.  Picasso.
She had this painting as a backdrop on her phone.
Old friend.

Hello Andy Warhol Soup Cans.

Hello colorful lady.  
Not too surprising that I like a portrait best.

After a few hours at the MOMA we found La Bonne Soupe.
My notes said it was a hidden gem.
It was charming and French and quiet.
We would have liked to had a seat downstairs but we had to sit upstairs.
But honestly...we were happy to get in and sit down and drink lots of water by this point.
We had bread with nice salty butter.
Emma had a glass of wine and a crepe lasagna bolognese.
I had salad nicoise.  I wanted the French onion soup but the lady next to us sent hers back saying it was too salty...just before I ordered.  I do like salty...but thought it was not a good idea.
My salad was average....
But I didn't really care.  The atmosphere was very nice.

I ordered chocolate mousse and hoped it would be not too chocolatey.
I am not a dark chocolate person.
Well guess what?  The mousse was so delicious.  It was perfect.
The waitress said that the chef like to use milk chocolate in his mousse.
yay :o)

We headed back to the apartment and fell into bed.

bonne nuit les rĂªves doux 


p.s.  we would return to La Bonne Soupe, but we would not return to Katz's

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Bronx is up and the Battery's down....

New York, New York.
It's a wonderful town.

On Sunday, Ryan, reminded me of the On The Town song quoted in the title today....
It would have helped Emma and I on our first few trips on the NYC Subway if I had remembered it sooner.  The whole Uptown, Downtown was tricky for us.

In Chicago Downtown is where the action is.
On Manhattan Downtown is at the bottom of the island.
Uptown is Up. on the map.

So as we tried to figure it all became clear....eventually.

Our travels were a huge success. 
American Airlines was wonderful.  Not a complaint. 
When was the last time you could say that about a flight?
We knew we were lucky travelers...but we didn't dare say it.

I can say it now tho.  
Everything went perfectly.

Our Airbnb was near Houston and 4th.
The room was nice and clean and in a perfect location for us.
It was, however a fourth floor walkup and this was killer for me at the end of the day...climbing those stairs was HARD.  It was not so hard for Emma.
We felt very safe walking around and riding in the Subways.
We bought a week, unlimited Metra card for about $30 and we used it over and over and over.

Our first meal was Joe's Pizza.  Right there by our place.
Emma LOVED it.  I liked it too.

We ate our pizza sitting in this very little park.
New Yorkers love to sit in their parks.
I loved their little parks too.

And speaking of New Yorkers.

Washington Square Park.  

Gorgeous park.
Packed with people.

Now.  I don't know why I was so surprised by the hoards of people.
But I was overwhelmed by the hoards of people.

Have you been to a huge sporting event?
And at the end you all go out at the same time?
And it's a great mass of people?

It was like that.

Freaked me out a little.

And it was hard to take pictures with people walking in front of you like a parade.

So I started to take pictures out of focus on purpose.

The first night we were there we went to see The Seth Meyers Show.
It was wonderful, fantastic, funny, interesting, and cool!
Emma and I both loved 30 Rock.

The flags were flapping and the lights were twinkling.


Ever day looked like this.  
New York was sunny and the trees were pretty.  We walked thru Washington Square Park the second day to find Bagel Bob's.

Bagel Bob's near NYU.
My salt bagel was really, really great!
I wish we had been a little closer to Bagel Bob's.
I would have had one every day...
for as long as we both shall live.

It was crisp on the outside and softish on the inside.


Seriously.  When I go back to New York.  I'm staying by Bagel Bobs.

That's all for now.
I'll edit more pictures tomorrow after school and post them asap.

Encourage one another,