Monday, Sept 15 Chicago con’t
Hello friends! Thanks for comments on the last post – miss you all!
Today I decided we should get on the subway and travel backwards, away from the centre of town and find somewhere else to explore. I did a ‘little’ research first. We hopped on the train and by the time we got to the stop I had pegged for a place to check out, we had passed some graffiti and the landscape had changed considerably so I changed my mind (chickened out) about getting off there. It didn’t improve after that stop so we quietly decided to ourselves to ride to the end of the line (only a few more stops) and then ride back to our own hood when the train ‘reversed’. WRONG. At the end of the line the announcement said ALL PASSENGERS MUST EXIT THE TRAIN. Say what?? Luckily for us there was another train, going the opposite direction, waiting on the other side of the tracks. You have never seen two white Canadians fly like we did at that moment. Now, keep in mind, it might have been all good, but it is that damn uncertainty that sends you from a relaxed, holiday mode to what the f’k was I thinking very quickly. Joe wasn’t exactly thrilled with my planning that afternoon; however, that evening he took me to….
Buddy Guys Legends Blues Bar! What a great business model these bars have; open at 5pm and offer cheap drinks and food and some good music (tonight was an acoustic player – fabulous!) and then around 9pm bring out the big players and cover charge for the second, much younger wave of customers. Bus loads of tourists are paraded in behind ropes at the back of the room to have a peak; large groups are taken upstairs to the reserved areas. All before about 8:30pm. It was great – I had a couple of Blues Margeritas and we really enjoyed ourselves. Don’t think Joe wanted any more train experiences today so we were otta there! Loved that place…
Tuesday, Sept 16
Walked the neighbourhood today, got organized for departure tomorrow and had dinner at the local wine bar.
Wednesday, Sept 17
Today we left Chicago; what a great week in a fantastic city! Our cab driver to O’Hare was an interesting fellow from Jordan. His parents are empty nesters there; different worlds yet so similar. He and Joe discussed the marvels of Petra. Cab drivers actually look out for you if you talk to them and show an interest in their story.
Quick two hour flight to New York. Amazing when we entered JFK; the departure area had table after table after table of people with their iPads back to back in stands; they all seemed to be working. Interesting….
Apartment is great – everything we need for 11 days in the Big Apple. Picked up some supplies and went out for a nice Indian dinner. Think we will be on EST for quite awhile now.
Thursday, Sept 18
Our first whole day in New York City! We were both excited to start exploring this morning. Started off with a walk through Central Park which is only about a 10 minutes from our apartment. The entrance to the park is near the Jackie Onansis Reservoir (so cool!!) and is also home to the Museum Mile. It was a beautiful morning and the park was a beehive of activity. The upper trail around the reservoir is one way for walkers and runners only (but not many saw that sign lol). The lower trail is for all including cyclists, carriages and dogs. How about these dog walkers!
LOTS of police presence, which is good. We are thrilled to be so close to Central Park and hope to explore many other parts of the park. We are happy with our decision to stay outside of the city centres; we can easily commute in whenever we wish but it allows us to stay in neighbourhoods where the locals live. Best of both worlds!
This afternoon we ventured down to Times Square. First we had to figure out the subway – and were very happy we had gained a little experience in Chicago. Pretty straightforward on one train all the way to Grand Central Station where we transferred to the shuttle. (We plan on exploring Grand Central more, once we are more familar with our surroundings (aka not afraid for our lives!).
As soon as you exit the station you come out on to 42nd Street and 7th Avenue. Then BOOM! Times Square – just like what Dick Clark showed us for all those years!! Big screens, horns beeping – we had arrived! The ticket/show floggers can spot the newbie tourists from a mile away at this site; we are all looking up and around and our mouths are hanging open in awe.
We walked around and around several blocks in the Square. It was about this point where Joe told me about an article in the paper he read this morning about heightened security here because of a possible threat of a terriost attack in Times Square…..wwwhhhaaatt? There were lots of NYPD’s, but more? We didn’t know. I read later it was because of the United Nations General Assembly and the coming Jewish High Holy Days. Regardless, we came, we conquered and we know there is lots more to Manhattan than Times Square.
The subway was a lot busier on the way home, SRO. Interestingly, since we arrived in NY, Joe’s sense of direction and my lack thereof, were transferred to each other. He had no idea where to go and I remembered every step of the way. Totally opposite from our norm. What could this mean? Probably I sensed I had better pay attention our we were going to end up in the bowels of Harlem, but very strange sensations to us both.
Dinner tonight was at Cooked at Home – Chef Joe feeds us well!
Over and out for now…..hope I am not getting too long winded ….