Shane and I took ourselves on an adventure to the Big Apple.
He missed out on our first foray into New York City so he let me know I owed him a trip.
I tried to put him off until the weather cooled down a bit--and maybe after tourist season when it's a little less jam-packed. But he is persistent and I ran out of excuses, so off we went. I managed to sneak the above picture of us in the train station--he ducked for all of the other attempts.
It was 10 degrees cooler than the last time I went and even a little breezy so I was enjoying the great weather. Since our Truthist had nothing to compare it to, he was sweltering loudly. I didn't have my in-house navigators with me so, left to my own devices, I may have become a little disoriented. It's a challenge to figure out where you are when you can't see past the big tall buildings and you are surrounded by a mass of humanity. But I think that is part of the charm of the adventure--wandering a little and seeing new sites you hadn't planned into the agenda. The Truthist doesn't see it that way. He kept demanding to know where we were.
My answer: "New York City."
We saw this in front of a fire station at some point in our wanderings.
We found Shake Shack and even found a seat to enjoy our food in the air conditioning (not an easy accomplishment--it requires assertive, even aggressive hovering to snatch a seat). Shane wasn't sure how he felt about eating elbow to elbow with strangers. Two of whom were discussing "The Dark Knight" in great detail and with some colorful language. We were all so cozy there I almost jumped in with my opinion.
We left there and wandered through Time Square. It was amazingly crowded--clinching our plan to stay as far away from there as possible come New Year's.
From there we found our way to Rockefeller Center--and the Lego store behind it.
Passing this "Fair and Balanced" icon on the way:
Shane was somewhat impressed to see the headquarters of several familiar news outlets.
We also saw the Chrysler Building. Just for the record, a newbie might mistake it for the Empire State Building and make a fool of oneself in front of one's son. Or maybe I was just trying to give him a chance to feel superior.
The craziest part of our adventure was finding our way back to Grand Central Station. We had a round-trip ticket for "off-peak" times. But the clock started ticking on our last return time and we got turned around. Shane was hot and tired and not willing to sprint about the city looking for the magical portal to all trains home. We jumped on the subway trying to get closer to our destination and asked several friendly security guards (not the one with the Uzi at Rockefeller Center--a little too intimidating) for directions. Due to some "lost in translation" moments--I don't speak or understand New York quite yet--we got to the Station just a few minutes late. Since we were now in "peak" time anyway, we took a restroom break and purchased a New York Times to enjoy on the ride home.
We found seats on the train to New Haven and settled in.
After a few stops, the acrid smell of burnt rubber began to fill our train car. Shane was zonked out and I was enjoying the editorial section of the Times when we got the announcement that the brakes had gone out on car 221. Our car. We were all to move forward or back and find new seats. Which would be great except for it being "peak" time or in other words "rush hour". We had to wander like refugees as dignified businessmen and women and the hardworking people along the New Haven line avoided eye contact with us and guarded their empty seat territory carefully.
We finally just pushed into seats and sat awkwardly knee-to-knee with strangers who were expert in the art of riding a crowded train and resigned themselves to losing the personal space lottery for this ride.
|The Union Station Clock--and beautiful American flag|
We got back to Union Station and found our car and headed home. I try to allow my Truthist his less-than-rosy outlook on life and listened as he recounted every misery of the trip all the way home (in heavy traffic--still in "peak" hours folks!) I restrained from pointing out the amazing things we had seen. I bit my tongue rather than exclaim what an adventure it had been.
Then he came home and posted on Facebook:
"Went to the big apple yesterday!! Saw time square, Rockefeller plaza, and the Chrysler building. But we got lost several times and it was super hot... Still fun, though!"
I think I'm winning him over to the bright side.