Tag: central park

Autumn in New York

In over four years since moving back to the east coast, I have never had weather as perfect as the weather today in New York City. The sky was a deep blue all day long and the temperature rose into the 70s. It was cool in the morning and the evening and incredibly, not a cloud in the sky all day long.

Our morning started out with a walk into and across the Park on our way to meet Jon and a very pregnant Hollie for brunch. Their place on 81st and Columbus was being renovated, so we met them at Hollie’s parent’s place on 78th and Columbus. Hollie is due any day now and is looking very pregnant. We all chipped in the “cooking” of brunch. For my part, I dipped the challah in the egg mixture in preparing the French Toast; I also cut up the fruit. We ate brunch in the sunroom in the back of the brownstone, listening to an old jazz station. It was a very When Harry Met Sally kind of atmosphere.

After brunch, we headed out into the beautiful day. First, we stopped by a local open-air market so that Jon could pick up some vegetables. Then we headed to their place on 81st so we could see the rennovations. We also went up to the rooftop deck tht they have which has spectacular views of the Museum of Natural History and mid-town. If I lived there, I’d take a stack of books up on the roof and never come down. Finally, we made our way to the Park.

Jon, Jason and I tossed a ball around for a while, and then spend the rest of our time people-watching. And there were plenty of people to watch! We took a break for some ice cream, and finally made our way back to Jon and Hollie’s. By then it was almost 6 PM.

Jen, Jason and I headed back across the park and went directly to Mustang for dinner. I was craving a burger and both Jason and I had the burgers, loaded with guacamole. We also had margaritas and I had one of the better ones I’ve ever had: the 3 silver snake margarita, which has three types of tequilla and lime juice. Afterward, Jason and I waited in line at Coldstone for the second night in a row in order get some shakes.

We wound down the evening watching episodes of Scrubs. What a great day, though. It’s one of those rare autumn in New York days that you wish would last all week long, but in which you suspect won’t return until next fall.

A walk in the park

After the disappointing Oktoberfest, Jason headed off to a photoshoot and Jen and I headed over to Central Park. We entered the park at 84th and Park Avenue and made our way around in almost random fashion until we reached the North Meadow. On the north end of the north meadow, we climbed a rock and sat down to watch little kids and their adult counterparts play soccor and a variety of other activities. It was very pleasant.

From there, we made our way out of the park, ending up on 100th and Park, just a block shy of the Museum of the City of New York, where we visited earlier this year. It was at this point that I realized that we were not far away from where Grandpa had been born and I suggested we make our way over there. At first I thought it was 102nd and 2nd Avenue, but it turned out to be 105th and 2nd Avenue.

The Pinske hardware store that used to occupy the bottom floor of the building had been bought out about a year ago, we discovered, by Garcia & Garcia hardware. The letter and color of the sign had changed, but the hardware store that has been in the building for at least the last 86 years has remained.

I couldn’t remember on which floor Grandpa was born but I took a picture of the front of the building so that I could post it here. Every now and then your mind plays tricks on your. As I said to Jen as we were walking to the location, I had the irresistable urge, upon arriving, to call Grandpa and tell him where we were. Of course, nowadays, dialing 914-352-1149 will not get you Grandpa. It’s strange to think that Grandpa has come and gone but that the building he was born in still stands, aloof as ever, to his passing.

Parks, parks and parks

Today was a day of parks: Central Parks, Amusement Parks and Ball Parks.

I woke up close to 10 AM with no headache but feeling somewhat queasy and unbalanced from the night before. I also had a very sore throat, which was damaged, I think, in the previous night’s regurgitation. Jen and Jason got up and headed over to the old place in Astoria to do one last round of cleanup. My head felt extremely heavy (albeit, pain-free) and I thought laying around wasn’t helping any. So I forced myself out of bed, dressed, headed down all 61 stairs and made my way, bleary-eyed to Central Park, four blocks away.

I wandered around the park for a while, eating a hot dog at the Bethesda fountain in order to get something in my stomach, and then headed over to the small pond over by 5th and 72nd and planting myself on a bench for a while. After Jen called me, I wandered back to their place to meet them. There was more resting, and showering (it was hot and muggy) and then the three of us headed out to the park again, this time for a late brunch at the Boathouse.

We called Jon and Hollie on the way there asked them to meet us for brunch and they agreed. I was extremely quiet all through brunch because I couldn’t shake the queasy feeling. I knew it was all in my head, but I just couldn’t quite shake it. However, after eating as much of my Boathouse salad as I could manage, I did feel better, probably because I had something other than water in my stomach.

We met Kevin outside the Boathouse just after 4 PM and wandered to the west side of the park. Eventually, we made our way to the D train out to Coney Island. The train ride out to the end of the line took about an hour. By this time, I was feeling much better.

Coney Island seemed packed. It was kind of like being at the Santa Monica pier. There was a hot dog eating contest going on. We wandered around the boardwalk, and made our way to the famous wooden roller coaster, the Cyclone. I stared at it lustily, but made what was perhaps the best decision of the weekend: I decided to forego the coaster ride until my next trip to Coney Island. My head still felt just unsettled enough to where sudden drops and turns might have led to extreme reactions. Instead I forced myself to turn away and we headed to the ballpark. (Note: it was not out of fear of roller coasters that I decided not to ride. I’ve ridden everything Magic Mountain has to offer; it was merely the unsettled feeling in my head that forced me away.)

Kevin had gotten us tickets to see the Brooklyn Cyclones, a short-season class-A farm team for the Mets, play against the Hudson Valley Renegades. The games was held at Keyspan Stadium just off the boardwalk in Coney Island. We were seated in section 21, down the left field line. It was a fun game to watch (the Cyclones won 4-2) and after the game, the crowd of 9,303 fan were treated to a fireworks display. It was a lot of fun.

On the long train ride back to Manhattan, I was feeling 100% better than when I woke up this morning, with the exception of a very sore throat. But even that was beginning to feel better too.