I have spent most of my adult life thinking, “I’ll never go to New York City,” so back in March we hopped on a plane to Islip, and two days later we were on a train to the city. THE city. The one Sinatra sang about.
New York was not on my list of places to visit before I die…or before I turned 46, but when my dear friend and old college roommate moved to Islip with her hubby and six kids, I knew this destination would move up to the top 5. If you’ve read some of my other posts, you know I’m a big fan of having friends who live in cool places. Especially great friends.
Our first taste of the East Coast was landing at the itsy-bitsy Islip airport and hitting the beach the next day…in March…in winter coats and bare feet.
Do you remember the scene from Bedazzled…the Fire Island scene? Anyway, it’s hilarious, so we enjoyed quoting the movie as we drove over the bridge to FIRE ISLAND!
Strolling along the wooden walkway was lovely…especially with six angelic children…
…all the way to the Fire Island Lighthouse. If you plan to go up into the lighthouse, I suggest calling ahead to make sure there are no school groups hogging the place, so that instead you end up outside on the deck eating fruit snacks and looking up at it longingly.
The next day we took–and by “took” I mean heavily relied on my friend to know what the hell she was doing–a train to the city and then navigated–and by “navigated” I mean heavily relied on the grace of God–the subway system. (I need to say that people on the subway were incredibly NICE and HELPFUL. Definitely not the stereotypical “rude” New Yorkers. Thank you for helping us without even being asked!)
Highlights of our day in NYC included the 9-11 memorial, Trinity Church, and Katz’s Deli. Of course, you can’t visit NYC without hitting Times Square.
Oh, and this miniature version of the Statue of Liberty.
My husband desperately wanted to see Ground Zero and the new towers. I had no idea, being the Chicagoland country girl that I am, that we would have to go through security to reach the building site. Of course, it was sobering, solemn, hard to believe all over again. And truly astonishing, from the 9-11 memorial to the “survivor tree” with One World Trade Center in the background.
Trinity Church was our next stop. How unexpected to see this historic church surrounded by skyscrapers. Strangely, or maybe not, it seems to be a place of peace and respite for harried corporate types who appear to enjoy having lunch in the cemetery.
We hopped on the subway, got off somewhere, then walked a long time in search of Katz’s Deli, which Meg discovered on the Travel Channel. We always get pastrami at any respectable deli.
We had their beer and fresh pickles with it.
Meg enjoyed the classic “big as your fist” (which also means the size of a human heart) matzo ball soup.
Having grown up within miles of the hub of the universe, i.e. Chicago, I’ve been privileged to enjoy some of the best food in the world…no, I will not be dragged into the “who has the better pizza?” debate…and one of the best art scenes.
But I have to admit that New York has something that Chicago does not in the way of masterpieces. And that would be the Life of Jesus in Legos. I give you The Last Supper by Jack…
Speaking of a last supper, my friends wouldn’t let us leave without eating New York-style pizza. I am used to folding my napkin but not my pizza before I eat it, but, hey, when in New York…
Thanks for hitting the road with me…