Jul. 5, 2006

Home again, via NYC

Read the first half of my trip here. With work and visit completed in Woodstock, we prepared to drive back to Toronto. But New York City was calling. My brother had the key to a friend's apartment in a "transitional" part of Brooklyn... Could we do it? Yes.

Tranquil IslandSunday morning we drove south instead of north, Google Earth instructions once again in hand, and were unpacked by 1:00PM. Straight back out and over the Brooklyn Bridge for a whirlwind tour though. The parking gods were smiling upon us, because we rarely had trouble finding convenient cheap parking as we hopped around town. First stop was on the Avenue of the Americas in the West Village, where we did a bit of window shopping and strolled past my brother's first apartment on West Tenth. A pint of Magic Hat beer each at Bar 6 restored us and it was up Broadway to the Upper East Side. We stopped at Henri Bendel where Sheryl had some important purchases to make and we chanced upon their beautiful Lalique windows. We also ran into a Toronto acquaintance of hers... Small world. Next was a pleasant stroll in Central Park, pretzels in hand, past the Boathouse and the Boat Pond. The usual assortment of NYC characters and wacky tourists were in place. For a dollar we could have had a telescope view of a nesting pair of falcons high above Fifth Avenue. Back in the car and down Fifth Avenue with a loop around Saks while Sheryl ran in to get a snow globe (don't ask...) and then further down to Soho, where we had another restful interlude dining at the Mercer Kitchen. We drove "home" through Battery Park so Sheryl could get a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.

That was our day, except for some distress over a "lost" Dean & Delucca shopping bag that contained our breakfast for the next day and my digital camera. The camera turned up in Sheryl's handbag and breakfast was in the trunk of our car! I guess you can't put that many miles and events in without some sort of brain slip.

East Hudson RiverMonday morning we packed up early and headed out to buy breakfast in another neighbourhood my brother had lived in that I had fond memories of - Brooklyn Heights. The weather was nice, so we lingered for a few minutes more on the Promenade where we got a great view of the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline. Minus the Twin Towers this trip...

Then it was back north to Woodstock to drop off the keys at my brother's place and head directly home. We arrived in Toronto twelve hours after departing Brooklyn having listened to five hours of The Measure of All Things on audio CD and passed a traffic fatality on the I-90.

This afternoon I took Chris to a matinee of Cars, which I have to say was a pleasant way to pass the time. The usual Pixar technical skill and humour were in place, as was a straight-forward sentimental plot, and as usual the credits contained the best stuff (drive-in theatre clips of Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc. as enacted by... cars). Given my interest in Formula One racing we both got a kick out of Michael Schumacher's voice cameo. Having just traversed a serious stretch of Interstate highway and also seen life on the side roads, Cars also felt like a thoughtful essay on the small town life that 'progress' has passed by.

Listening to: Route 66 by John Mayer from Cars Original Soundtrack.

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