Back in New York July 2021

Good morning. This story might be a bit haphazard. I’ve written about my days in in New York many times, but it seems intimidating this morning for some reason.
Left Bridgeport at 7:25 bound for my favorite place that’s not a cruise ship. It’s indescribable how good it feels to be able to simply go again.
Much like the last trip, we made plenty of stops and took our time. In fact, Sidling Hill was the third stop of the day! In years past, the fact that its exactly two hours east made it the perfect first stop. Not anymore apparently. Anyway, I was able to introduce Steph and Colton to the less than desirable BFS at Bruceton Mills, a normal stop for me on work outings to Preston County. Next was the still new feeling Loves at Cumberland because Colton was hungry. At Sidling Hill we crossed the bridge and tried to recreate a picture Colton always liked from early 2019 on our return from the Grandeur of the Seas.
From there Colton drove all the way to Harrisburg and Steph slept. We listened to the MCR classic Black Parade album and had a tremendous time driving through what I once called boring Pennsylvania farmland. Eventually we made it to what has always been a favorite stop at Hamburg. Typically only a return trip thing, we raided the back room clearance stuff at the Russell Stover outlet. One final stop, for me this time, at Philipsburg, NJ for White Castle.
I took over driving to get us into the City of course, but would you believe that turned out to be completely unnecessary? Without a doubt the easiest drive in I’ve experienced. No traffic, practically empty express lanes through Newark, stopped less than half a minute at the signals outside the Holland Tunnel, it was amazing. Once to Hudson Street in Manhattan, it was busy, but just nice New York busy, not the typically stressful game of dodging cabs and pedestrians. Windows down, temperature in the 60’s, a really nice leisurely drive that either one of them could have handled easily.
The hotel this time is the Hampton Inn on 8th just above 51st st. A little rough around the edges, but for the dirt cheap price we’re paying due to booking before things really opened back up, its just fine. Wondering of course why I didn’t book about 6 New York weekends at those prices really.
Why didn’t I bring my scooter!?! You can’t pick up a Lime on any corner, but I could have brought mine. What an idiot. This morning is a Sunday and I could so easily have buzzed all over midtown by now. Oh well. I’m nothing if not out of practice at the New York thing after a break this long.
Anyway, back to yesterday. We hit the streets after getting settled at the hotel and immediately went to Times Square where a rush hit me similar to the one experienced at the music festival last month. It felt so good. Crowded again too. Moreso than it has looked on earthcam recently. From there over to Bryant Park. I think I could do a visit to town and do nothing but hang out there. Just beautiful as always. Of course we hit Wafels and Dinges. It’s literally the one thing in this city Steph actually likes, other than seeing the joy of her boys when turned loose here. Over to Fifth Ave. and Muji where I bought notebooks and Colton bought clothes. I’ve sung the praises of Muji before, and I still don’t know exactly why we love it so much. I know it has something to do with simplicity and minimalism, but beyond that its probably just the fact that its here. We hit a handful of stores on Fifth and Sixth when we realized it was going on 7:30 and Colton and I needed to be down to Hudson Yards by 9 or so.
We managed about 30min of rest time at the hotel and put Steph to bed before we went back out. The subway line that runs up 8th Ave. is going to be handy this trip. Two stops and twenty blocks south in couple minutes we found ourselves at Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. A few blocks walk east and we were at Hudson Yards. We went to the mall here a couple years ago and thought it pretty impressive. So why are malls dying in the real world but they can build one here where it isn’t needed and it thrives? There’s no explaining this country. The entrance to the Edge and the elevator to the top are on the fourth floor. The wait wasn’t terrible but it was going on 9:15 probably by the time we got up in the sky. Those things are always a gamble when you reserve your day ahead of time and much like it was when we visited One World Trade Center a few years back, we were screwed by the weather. It was awesome, don’t get me wrong, but it was night and rainy. The anti-suicide glass dampened the experience quite a bit too. I don’t remember glass at Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building either. Anyway, we wandered around and enjoyed the buzz and the scenery. A gift shop inside of course along with a couple of bars. Yes, I bought a $5 Diet Coke because I was parched, would you expect anything else? We made another lap around outside and left eventually. It was a very enjoyable time, as any of my outings with Colton is. We toyed with getting pizza on the way back but I think we were both too exhausted to bother. Only out in the city from 4 to 10:30 and already more tired than I have been in the last year. Man I missed being here.
So this morning I was up and out by 5:30 enjoying the empty streets. Central Park today rather than Bryant Park for writing this up due to the hotel location. Central Park is big, and beautiful in places, I get that. But tomorrow morning I’m heading back to the New York Public Library’s back yard. 😉