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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

24 States in 27 Days - Day 16:

Oct. 25th, 2012, Thursday: Brad had to do a bit of sign design work before we could go explore more of Manhattan, so it was almost 11:30 when we finally left, going west from Jerry’s condo to a bike / walking path along the Hudson River. 

The One World Trade Center in the background, under construction.

It was a more leisurely walk today, no bustling crowds to keep up with, just the occasional jogger, or dog walker passing by. We hiked all the way to the southern point of Manhattan - Battery Park where you could view the Statue of Liberty off in the distance. 

From there we went north, around the World Trade Center area, then down Greenwich St. hoping to catch some of the Greenwich Village scene. 

Instead we walked past lots of concrete warehouses, parking garages, nothing much to spark our interest. Our feet were killing us so we headed up to Jerry’s for a break and bite to eat around 3ish. We both did some computer work, then since Brad was antsy to go, we took off, this time to the High Line Elevated park - a walkway above the street level in west NYC. 

Our pick-up parked outside the condo.
On our way to the High Line Park.

It went for about 30 blocks, all above and overlooking Manhattan with great people spaces. 

It had wide pathways and narrow ones, bench seats, and areas with stadium seating looking down thru glass to the road below. 

There were a lot of plants and trees creating a fabulous park space for all the people up there exploring like we were. 

Looking down on a road from up on the High Line.
Fun murals.

We zoomed along, stopped for pics, then zoomed some more. At one point we were halted by a class of high school students, walking 3 across totally oblivious to anyone behind them. We walked all the way to the end, although Brad was ready to descend before we got there. I told him it’s like having to watch the credits when movies are over - I didn’t want to miss a possible surprise at the end! There wasn’t anything at this north end, aside from the potential to continue further some day, so we descended stairs into another construction zone - so many in NYC - walked to 10th and headed south. 

You can see the High Line park behind Jana.

Jana, next to the mural we saw from High Line Park (see above).
Stadium seating with glass windows seen from the street below the High Line.

We soon started seeing fun shops and places we’d spotted from up on the High Line. Brad got a text message from Jerry saying we’re going out tonight to meet some of their friends - aim for 6-6:30 to be home, so we hurried a bit, as much as our tired, sore feet could handle. We went into the Chelsea Mkt. an indoor market with ”pop-up” vendors selling used clothes, tables of jewelry, bags, etc. then walked through a block long market with cafes, bakeries, food and tons of Halloween decor - creepy things hanging everywhere! People really decorate for this holiday east of the Mississippi! From there we went down 8th and through the true Chelsea district. We were wishing we had more time to explore.

A rare bit of color and greenery in Chelsea in October. 
The Condo Elevator.
Back at the condo we uploaded and perused photos until Jerry, then Jason arrived, bringing their very well behaved labs, Jack and Diane. Downstairs past the doormen we four hopped into a taxi - our first NYC taxi experience. After directions were given to the driver we soon were lurching our way through Manhattan towards Brooklyn. The driver charged through green lights, squeezed past cars and finally crossed over the Williamsburg bridge into Williamsburg, a supposedly up and coming “hipster” area of Brooklyn. At the bar, we met two friends of theirs - one that was DJ-ing the music that evening. We were seated in the back and enjoyed a terrific meal of raw oysters, lamb tartar with pastry, amazing goat cheese with pickled anchovies and peppers with crostini, along with our main dishes - chicken medallions for Brad and stuffed squash with polenta and kale for me. Mmm! After dinner we moved into the bar and hung out ‘til late, returning to the condo in another taxi, tired and ready for bed after another very fun adventure! Thank you Jerry and Jason! 

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

24 States in 27 Days - Day 15:

Oct. 24th, 2012, Wednesday: Brad was up and saw Jerry before he left for work this morning, but I didn’t wake until after. We had a bite to eat then finally took off to walk Manhattan. We’d heard there were few public bathrooms in NYC, so of course, soon after we left, I was in need of a restroom. Going north on 7th Avenue we popped into a Pottery Barn - nope, no bathroom there. Whole Foods? It was quite the zigzag, nooks and crannies store, and again, no bathroom in sight. Back outside we came to a baby and toddler store - I knew they’d have a bathroom and sure enough we found one downstairs in the basement. Yay! Continuing north on 7th Ave. we stopped often for photos - quintessential tourists for sure! 

When we weren’t taking photos we walked fast, like the rest of the crowd, and the closer we got to Times Square the busier it became. The night before, while walking with Jerry, we learned it was ok to charge across streets whether the light said go or not - as long as there wasn’t any traffic of course! Considering that’s how we cross streets at home, it felt pretty natural. 

Today the weather was cloudy with the occasional light sprinkle and temps in the 60’s. We walked all the way to Central Park, then meandered our way through half of the park, taking photos and even taking turns shooting photos for people from other countries - tourists like us. 

Taking 5th Avenue back it felt like we were in a mall full of people. Everyone seemed to have a camera. 

The New York Public Library - above, and below, some of the murals inside.

After a late lunch at a deli, we kept wandering, at one point into a small park where a bunch of people stood under a tree looking up. We stopped and saw a hawk, fluffing and futzing high in the tree. A couple passed by with a Whole Foods bag, so we asked them where the nearest store was. It was the same one we’d stopped in that morning - a few blocks away. We wanted to cook Jerry dinner so bought veggies for a salad, a good loaf of bread and prawns. We were intrigued with the check-out system - 3 lines - yellow, blue and green. A number would show up on a screen with the corresponding color - then if you were first in that colored line, you’d go to that numbered checkout desk. Damian was a cheery young fellow - very friendly and full of information - he told us his favorite place to go in NYC. He even pronounced Oregon correctly :). 

It was pushing 6:00 and getting dark when we started off again, this time south on 8th Avenue, spotting the Chelsea Hotel on our way. My feet were aching, so we tried to slow our pace a bit. Upstairs at the condo, past the crew of doormen we finally arrived, opening the door to find Jerry already home. Yay! He was happy to see us and ready to mix martini’s. What a fun night - sipping martini’s in Manhattan, peeling shrimp and prepping dinner while Jerry watched and took pics with his camera.

After a delicious dinner, we sat around visiting until late, as I uploaded the days pics.