My cousin Ed sent a “joke email” that included what happens to you if you choose to retire in New York. One of the items was that you begin to refer to “the city” when going into Manhattan. I have always referred to it this way having grown up in Manhattan and Long Island and can tell you that no one within hundreds of miles has any question about what the reference is! So, after a week in Asheville, one day home, I drove into the city to meet Michael and Allison for lunch and then spend the afternoon shopping with Rachel.
I had a plan and it all seemed so logical and simple. First, I would park where I wanted to end up — somewhere near Macy’s in Herald Square. Then, I would take the D train to Columbus Circle to my dentist appointment, followed by the crosstown bus to meet Michael and Allison, then the M train back to Herald Square. It seemed so brilliant and frugal — only one parking garage to pay for and I already had my email coupon. What I didn’t know is that the traffic patterns anywhere close to 34th Street had changed and you can’t turn north or south. So, I ended up on 32nd looking for my parking garage and unable to turn when I missed it! I stopped at an intersection and asked the policewoman where the next possible turn was and she said “First Avenue!” Anyone who knows the city realizes that this is a long distance from the west side. I eventually turned south, then west, then north, and ended up at a parking garage on 36th and Seventh. By this time, I had to get a cab to make my dentist appointment! I did take the crosstown bus to the east side for lunch and then Allison and I walked together to the M train to Herald Square. The last time I was in the city I noticed all the beautiful tile work in certain subway stations.
This image is in Union Square and I took it from the subway car as the doors were closing. The larger tile is a country farmhouse and was just lovely. It reminded me of the many things we miss when hurrying from place to place particularly in big cities.
As Allison and I entered the subway station on Lexington Avenue, we hurried (you must hurry whether you are on a deadline or not) to the platform and Allison said that we should take the escalator because the staircase was very steep. That was an understatement!
I managed to get on the train, get out of the station at Herald Square at the wrong exit of course, walked to Macy’s to meet Rachel and, other than the parking fiasco, all went according to plan. While at Macy’s, we took an escalator to the fifth floor (textiles and restroom that tourists never find!) and remarked that we hoped the store would never take out the old wooden escalators. I remember riding these escalators as a small child with my mother and Aunt Betsy. They are a lovely reminder of a different era that’s for sure. The escalator gets more narrow as you go up and you certainly wouldn’t want to be wearing high heels! (While this looks like the escalator to heaven because of the light, it actually was only the fifth floor!)
I enjoy my time in the city for many reasons, most of which include seeing my children and their spouses, but I also am becoming more aware of things that I never had time to appreciate before and I am committed to capturing some of that to share and perhaps elicit some of your memories as well. Come to visit and we’ll go into the city!