New York, New York

A great trip to NYC on Saturday to have lunch with my friend Betsy. The trip reminded me once again of why I love to visit but could not fathom living there. The parking lot at the New Haven train station was so jammed at 9:30 a.m. I had to park on the roof. Couldn’t figure out why there was such a crush on a weekend morning. The waiting room was moderately full with not too much of a line for D&D. But the platform was jammed. A couple holding hands explained the crowds. She was wearing a Yankees jersey with Jeter on the back. Her boyfriend sported a Mets jersey with Beltran on the back. About 75 percent of the Metro North passengers were headed for game two of the “subway series.” There’s a shuttle that meets the train at 125th Street and leaves them right at the stadium.

I managed to sit in the only train car without air conditioning but since it was barely 60 degrees outside, the heat didn’t bother me until we had gotten past Stamford. By that time there was a guy sitting next to me. He and his three buddies did nothing but talk about when they could get the first beer and how to get each other’s phone numbers into their cell phones. As we were getting off the train, he explained that he was a retired guitar player, a session musician. Backed up on mostly country, but also on things like “In the Still of the Night.” They were headed to a “grudge match” in Brooklyn, whatever that was. But I gathered they were stopping for beer first.

Betsy and I had decided to meet at Sardi’s because it was half way between Grand Central, where I arrived, and Penn Station where she was arriving. I embarrassed myself by walking up 46th Street instead of 44th – but finally managed to get there. The streets were mobbed with people. At one point there was a block long line several people deep, which left basically one lane for the rest of us to walk. Never did figure out why they were waiting. The line for half-price B’way tickets was tremendous, too. And there were the usual tourists in the middle of the sidewalk, stopping without warning to snap photos.

It was starting to rain so we decided to stay put. Lunch was delicious. Flounder with a seafood sauce over julienne vegetables and a wild rice, white rice combination, accompanied by a nice glass of pinot grigio. Our waitress was terrific, but the rest of the service was overly attentive. The men in the little red coats hovered and kept asking if everything was OK. It was also a bit disconcerting to have a caricature of Lucille Ball staring back at me from across the room. Otherwise it was a great dining experience.

We chatted for a couple of hours, about our respective writing projects, about publishing, about would-be writers who really don’t know what’s involved, about our families, about her trip to New Jersey and her upcoming trip to watch the interment of the ashes of two uncles at Arlington National Cemetery, about my trip to California in the fall, about the state of the economy, etc. etc. The time flew.

We walked to Times Square, wandered through a stationery store but resisted the temptation to buy. Did buy at a souvenir store so we had gifts to take home. By then it was starting to rain again, so we beat feet to Penn Station, with a brief detour through Macy’s. Once inside we stumbled around a bit before we figured out where the NJ Transit tickets were sold and she could catch the train. Of course these days there is no human being to ask for information.

By the time I left the station, it was pouring, so I caught a cab back to Grand Central. A train was leaving a few minutes later, so I ran down to the platform. Uneventful return trip in an air conditioned car. The New Haven station was less crowded than in the morning but still pretty busy. On the  way to my car, I ran into the woman who was responsible for getting the reading room at the library in Old Saybrook named after my mom. She will help me set up a book signing.

When I returned, I discovered that Deb and Sharon’s athletes had done a fabulous job at the New England regional track meet and that they had just rolled in from Burlington, Vermont.

All in all a satisfying trip.

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2 Responses to “New York, New York”

  1. Betsy Says:

    Here, here on all counts…except I was staring at Kirk Douglas, who was hanging directly over your head! 🙂

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