Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Day in The City

     I don't know what The City refers to where you live; but anywhere around here, you're talking New York City --- Gotham, the Big Apple. The Capital of the World, according to essayist E. B. White. The Modern Gomorrah, according to the Rev. Thomas DeWitt Talmadge.

     For me it takes about an hour and a half to get into Manhattan, which is really The City to me and most others. The other four boroughs -- The Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, even Brooklyn -- all take second place to this center of everything. It takes me a while, but I can still go there for the day, as I did last weekend to meet some relatives who were visiting from the West Coast.

     I was a little early, so I took a walk downtown. You've probably all heard of SoHo, which means south of Houston St. Well, there's another neighborhood north of Houston as well.

     Then I swung around to Washington Square Park, where I found a group of NYU students doing an impromptu production of Shakespeare's "As You Like It" in front of a small but appreciative crowd.

     A couple of black guys were doing a more acrobatic show in a fountain that doesn't get put to its aquatic purpose until the weather warms up.

     Meanwhile, a few older guys were getting in on the action, singing some doo-wop songs from the 1950s. I caught them crooning "Gloria." *

     Here's a view of the Empire State Building through the arch of the monument to George Washington ...

     And of course, what would Greenwich Village be without a few artists plying their trade.

     You can see the Freedom Tower, which replaced the World Trade Center.

     And then I walked up Fifth Ave., where I found a sign of spring in the big city,

     then over to fashionable Union Square,

     which is guarded by a statue of George Washington. Remember, New York was the first capital of the country, so George Washington still looms large in the city.

     I headed farther north past the New York Public Library on Fifth Ave. at the corner of 42nd St.

     And finally I made it to the restaurant on W. 46th St. It was almost St. Patrick's Day -- and even though we have Irish in the family (don't we all?), we elected to go to a Scottish restaurant rather than an Irish pub. No worries. There was a scotch menu featuring well over a hundred different selections of scotch whiskey. We tried a few ... but not so many that we were tempted by the haggis.

     * And in case you've forgotten, while there have been several songs called "Gloria" sung through the years, this is the one you go to if you're a doo wop group ...


Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog, but take exception to NY as first Capitol . Remember PHILA. FIRST CAPITAL OF THE UNITED STATES

What was the first Capital of the United States?

If you're thinking Washington, D.C. then think again, Washington was the last, becoming the capital of the United States on November 17 1800.

Instead we'll let you take your pick from the following list:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was the first capital under the First Continental Congress from September 5, 1774 to October 24, 1774.

Baltimore, Maryland was the first capital under the Second Continental Congress from December 20, 1776 to February 27, 1777.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was the first capital under the Articles of Confederation from March 1, 1781 to June 21, 1783.

New York City was the first capital under the Constitution from March 4, 1789 to August 12, 1790.

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Stephen Hayes said...

Here on the west coast when someone refers to "The City" they're speaking of San Francisco. But it's been ages since I visited New York and I've got a hankering for a pastrami sandwich on rye from Carnegie Deli.

Wisewebwoman said...

Thanks for the marvellous travelogue and you don't like Haggis? What's wrong with you? :)


Meryl Baer said...

Putting my two cents into the conversation about national capitals, the Continental Congress met in York PA from Sept 30, 1777 to June 2, 1778. York is sometimes referred to as the fourth U.S. capital...Your pictures of NYC make me realize I have not been to the city in a long time and miss it. I always said NYC is a great place to visit, but would not want to live there.

MaryAnn said...

We stop and spend a few days in The City on our way back from Europe to California. We never run out of things to do, places to visit or places to eat. We have been there in the Fall, Winter And Spring.

DJan said...

I was in New York once, long ago, and I still remember walking ten abreast along the street, with hardly anything visible through the people, when you're short like me. :-)

Jono said...

I grew up a few hours south of NYC. Only went there a handful of times, but I was too young to appreciate much. I remember feeling crowded.

Tom Sightings said...

Anon. and Meryl, you are right, and I apologize for the confusion. New York was the first capital under the U. S. Constitution, and it was where Washington took the oath of office as first president of the United States. But before that the Continental Congress met at several capitals inclu. Philadelphia, Baltimore and a few others. I should have said something like: Remember, New York was the U. S. capital before Washington, D.C., so ...

And now I can't wait to visit Washington, D.C. again!

Olga Hebert said...

I cannot even remember the last time I was in New York City. I remember taking the train there to visit my aunt. I think I might feel lost there now.

Anonymous said...

I had folks from NYC visit me yesterday for lunch. Check out my blog. And I am surprised that you did not see Lincoln Center.

pia said...

I think the city, and there is only one city as far as I'm concerned is an incredible place to live; not so great to visit.

When you live in NY as I did most of my life you can go shopping for groceries when the stores are emptish (just made that up) and if it's Fairway on Bdwy and 75th, two blocks down from my old coop, run into many well known performers and some up and coming--all the nicest people.

You can pop into a movie because you're walking past it and have a sudden hankering to see one of the many films. Same with book stores---ah, the ones that are gone (and even 30somethings mourn them), great restaurants that don't cost an arm and a leg which is good because said movie is $15.

I left NY after I had been blogging for sometime and realized that kids in other parts of the countries had washer/dryers, dishwashers, space and outdoor space---and they paid half of my monthly maintenance--I had paid cash for my apartment. As I was self--employed I paid the same for health insurance as I did for maintenance, and NY was a no fault state so the costs were based strictly on me being a 50something woman who lived on the Upper West Side. It didn't seem fair that I paid the same in taxes (I am very liberal---I believe in taxes but when costs are so high....)

Then I moved.I have outdoor space, a fancy washer dryer, and the beach 4 blocks from here.

I miss NY much but I'm going for several weeks in May and dread spending the money on airnb or another program like that.

Of course I think the NY I knew was the best but I dread being out of touch with NY today. It is my compass, my past and 3 prior generations of my families home. Maybe my future as NY treats old people better than any place I know---and I have learned from this horrible election I took people who think like me for granted. As I said I find NY a better place to live in then to visit. Know that's the opposite of what most think but..

Anonymous said...

NYC is wonderful, or was. I traveled there often until I retired. One school chum had a penthouse flat in Midtown. I loved staying with her and falling out the front door for a meal. Also loved 59th and Bloomies. My former beau from the Bronx would disagree with you about the extant of the city.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

I love New York! Since my work has been centered there, I've had many occasions to visit, most recently last June. I love walking around the city, going to plays (though the prices have become increasingly prohibitive over the years) and just observing the sights and sounds! You never know what you'll find. When I was there in June -- walking to a speaking engagement at Sardi's -- Times Square was filled with people participating in a giant yoga class. Only in New York! It's my favorite city!