Saturday, October 24, 2015

"Taking Manhattan" A.M. of Day One

Saturday morning began just as Friday - rainy and cold. Even the pigeons were seeking shelter under the eaves of the St. Patrick's church across the street from our hotel.
I was awake early, looking out the window to see what the day was like when I observed several young men getting into a BMW below. One of them crossed the street to the driver's side of a parked car. He looked around surreptitiously and then began, what looked to me like, trying to break into the car. He kept glancing around to see if anyone was watching. I thought, "he's either jimmying the car door or chancing a $50 fine for a misdemeanor". When he walked away zipping up his jeans, I knew my second guess was right. Yep. I was in the Big City.

When we began talking about the possibility of visiting our son Mark and his partner, Juliet, I admitted to them that I was fearful of the idea.
Juliet said, "Don't worry, we'll take care of you" and what a wonderful job this native New Yorker and our former small town boy did. They came to our hotel to get us, arranged a car to pick us up and take us to our most desired tourist  destination - Central Park.

We entered the Park, I think, around 66th Street. I know the kids got us as close as they could to the things we wanted to see because I wasn't sure how much walking I would be able to do.
The first photo I took was of this rustic wood structure. Juliet said she used to sometimes do her homework here. Cop Cot, which is Scottish for 'little house on the crest of the hill' was constructed in 1985 - a reproduction of one of the early wooden structures found in the park in the 1860's.
The Balto Statue, an homage to the sled dogs which delivered life saving antitoxins to Nome during a diphtheria outbreak in the winter of 1925, was one of Bud's must sees. He and Mark took turns posing on the well-polished statue. This reminded me of our trip to Oregon last year where Bud also posed on a dog:
Bud astride 'Ribsy' at the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden in Grant Park, Portland, OR (27 Sept, 2014) Another theme?
Strolling the famous Central Park Mall. Scene of so many movie and TV shots.
My Central Park must see, Bethesda Fountain (Angel of the Waters) and Terrace. I blogged about it here on my birthday two years ago saying it 'almost' made me want to go to New York. Even then I did not believe I would ever actually be seeing this in person.
So many statues in Central Park's 843 acres - this one The Falconer by George Blackell Simonds.
I don't recall having ever seen pictures of this pretty bridge. I assumed because of its color that it was a newer structure. It isn't. The cast iron Bow Bridge was designed in the mid-19th Century. It was seen in one of my favorite movies, The Way We Were. If it hadn't been so many years since I watched the film, I might have recognized this beautiful bridge.
Even on a cold, rainy day there were so many tourists around the Imagine mosaic in Strawberry Fields, all waiting their turn for a photo op. I was surprised at how politely everyone took a turn, standing back until it was their turn and stepping aside once their photos were taken.
From here we headed out of the park, ready for warmth and sustenance. We exited via....
....Women's Gate one of the original twenty 'gates' leading into the park located at 72nd Street and Central Park West - across the street from The Dakota. (Which was draped and covered with scaffolding, thus no picture.)
Here we caught a taxi and headed for Mark's surprise lunch location....
....Tom's Restaurant aka Monk's Cafe in the Seinfeld sitcom series. The food was delish and it was good to get warm and dry.
A short walk from Tom's is The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine known among other things for its annual Blessing of the Animals.
Then another taxi or Uber ride to the P.M. of day one. (To be con't.)

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