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 ...