"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday Salon---Spring Break report

Part of the NYC skyline
Weather: Overcast but not raining. There were a few moments of clearing today. The street trees are almost done blooming. Spring is here.

Part of the World Trade Center memorial. Roses are placed on the names of victims on their birthdays.
Spring Break in New York: last Sunday night we climbed aboard an airplane for a red-eye flight to New York. We flew through the night and I slept very little. We arrived at 7 AM, EDT. Our goal for the day was to make our way to Yonkers and Carly by 5 PM so we obviously were not in a hurry, which was good since our plans went awry almost immediately. As we rode a train leaving New Jersey we were detained because a train in front of us derailed. We had to jump over to the PATH train which travels to the World Trade Center. We decided to take the detour, even though we were dragging our bags behind us. This was our first visit to the site of the WTC since the completion of the memorial. We decided against going in the museum. (See note above about dragging our bags.) It was a touching experience. We also stopped in St. Paul's chapel across from the WTC and had a serendipitous moment since a Baroque ensemble was rehearsing with original instruments which included a lute and a oboe d'amore or a shawm (we couldn't tell which it was.) Next, we found a French Pastry shop and took our time over a ham and cheese croissant and a cafe latte. We caught the local #2 subway to get us close to Yonkers and finally Ubered our way for the last leg. We had enough time to take a short nap before our reunion with Carly. We closed out our first day in New York at Gianna's Restaurant in Yonkers, a wonderful spot we discovered  in August when we were in the state helping Carly move in.
Carly and Don contemplate a Renoir at the MET
Day two: Carly doesn't have classes on Tuesdays and every other Friday. So we all got up early and hightailed it into NYC to get in line for rush tickets at a Broadway theater. Carly is already good at navigating her way on the transit systems of New York. We took a train from Yonkers to Grand Central Station and then a subway shuttle to Times Square. We stood in line for about an hour but got rush tickets to see Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, starring Josh Groban. After purchasing tickets we had a lot of time to kill so we found our way to the Natural History Museum but couldn't believe how long the line was to get in so decided to march across Central Park and go to the Metropolitan Art Museum (MET) instead. After many hours and very sore feet we consulted the map and realized we had seen about 2% of what there was to see. We will have to go back some day, several times. After a quick dinner at Black Tap which specializes in Crazy Shakes we made our way back to the theater for a fabulous, mind-blowing theater experience. What a day!
Before the musical: Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
Day three: Don and I made our way into the city early again hoping for another set of rush tickets. Quickly, however, we missed Carly's skill at navigating the transit system. We marched off the train in the wrong direction, dumped out into a part of town we didn't recognize, got lost walking around trying to find our way back. Our mishaps with the train and subway system continued throughout the day. We did find our way to the theater in time to get rush tickets for a matinee of Beautiful: the Carole King Story. Between getting the tickets and the show we made our way downtown, with another subway flub, to the Strand Bookstore. Though I enjoyed it, I hate to tell you this New York, Powell's Bookstore in Portland is bigger and better. Ha! Back to the matinee, we had a big laugh because it looked like the average age of the attendees was 70 years. The show was fabulous. We both loved Carole King so much when we were in secondary school. She has had an incredible career. We made another train choice goof-up but finally got on the right train and found our way back to Yonkers.
Don riding the bomb from Dr. Stranglove at the Alamo Drafthouse cinema

Day four: Our feet were too sore to make another trip into the city so we stuck around Yonkers for the day. Carly gave us a tour of Sarah Lawrence College where she is attending graduate school. It was good to see the spots where she hangs out during the day. We can now picture her life in New York more fully. That evening we went to see the movie, Logan, at the Yonkers Alamo Drafthouse cinema. The cinema has a new and funky concept where you can order food from a menu and it is delivered to your seat. They also have a great selection of draft brews and ciders. Logan wasn't my style for a movie selection but the experience was lots of fun.
At Rockefeller Plaza
Day five: After a late start we made our way back to New York City for another shot at a Broadway show with Carly. This time we planned on buying our tickets from TKTS so we had no idea what show tickets would be available. Times Square was just crawling with people, the TKTS line was so long, and it was windy and cold. Through an incredibly lucky event we were allowed to skip and go to the head of the line and we got discounted tickets to Amelie, a new musical on Broadway.  Once again after getting the tickets we had to kill some time before the show. We started with an early dinner at Juniors, home of the world famous cheesecake and delicious Reuben sandwiches. Yum. After dinner we had to keep warm somehow so we took a self-guided walking tour of Times Square and Rockefeller Center, spending a bit of time thawing out in two different churches, including St. Patrick's Cathedral. We loved the show, Amelie, which just officially opened this week, even though we were sitting in the front row!
Inside St. Patrick's cathedral
Day six: After a morning of shopping and helping Carly decorate her apartment we made our way to New Jersey to visit our friends Carol and Ken. What a fun visit. I'm counting it as one of my 60 for my 60th events. We've known Ken forever and Carol since they got married 34 years ago. We love you guys! Their son, Kevin, joined us for dinner. It is so fun to see our children grow into adults.
Waiting for the musical Amelie to begin. Me in the spotlight.

Day seven: our flight left Newark Airport at 6:45 AM, with the time change we were home by 9:30 AM. We stopped off at a favorite breakfast restaurant on my way back from the airport, The Sunbreak Cafe. I napped for a few hours while Don watched golf on TV. Now tomorrow we head back to work.

It shouldn't surprise you that I didn't get much reading done, but I did finish Upstream by Mary Oliver. Check out the my review by clicking the hyperlink. I also made progress on my spin book, Tales from the South Pacific. I'm at 83%.

Speaking of Josh Groban: Have you heard his single from Beauty and the Beast? Check it out.

What a week!


  1. I love this post. I'm glad you had such a great time but I can also take another look at this post in coming weeks as I plan my NYC trip to BookExpo in late May.

  2. That looks like a lovely trip. Glad you had fun.

    It is a small world. One of the cast from the Josh Groban musical is from my alma mater high school: Lucas Steele, who played Anatole. My sister graduated with him. How was he and the musical? We'd love to hear.

    1. Anatole was fantastic. Really! The whole cast were just fabulous and I loved the show.

  3. Amelie is one of my all-time favorite French movies! I love NYC but could never have navigated the subway without Ashley (and Patt, when he was alive) He lived for a year in NYC and knew where everything was. :) Glad you had good times and adventures!

  4. What an amazing trip!! You must be so proud too, she looks to be taking the big apple by storm :) Shows in NYC are on my bucket list! Maybe someday when I'm there for about my manuscript! haha

  5. What a wonderful and full spring break! You and my daughter were at Sarah Lawrence on the same day (I think). It's so great that you saw a lot of theater and did so much while you were in NY. Whenever we go I find we walk, and walk, and walk!


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