The drive from Northern Virginia to Long Island (east of New York City) should be five to six hours. My younger daughter and I got onto the highway (495) at 4:22, after stopping at the store for essentials (aka junk food, but we did each get an apple, too), getting gas and returning a book to the library. The easy, breezy longish trip that should have gotten us into my brother’s house at around nine ended up becoming a trip to see how long we could be delayed in traffic in Maryland and Delaware. Delaware may be one of the smallest states in the Union but it sure didn’t feel that way as the hours ticked by. But we were both in good moods the entire time. This proved that, indeed, the journey is the key part of a trip. Or, if you’re going to get stuck in traffic don’t go with your extremely impatient child. We didn’t rouse my brother from his slumber on his LaZBoy until 1:30.
On Saturday I took my daughter to her camp friend’s Bat Mitzvah, and then I was independent until Sunday morning since the invite ended up including much hang-out time, including a sleepover at a hotel after the big party at a country club.
I was off to Manhattan to meet a friend. The rain cleared for what would be a glorious spring day. I was in the mood to walk (as I always am when I am in Manhattan). So I walked from Penn Station at 34th Street and 7th Avenue to 54th and Fifth Avenue where we were to meet, in front of Tiffany’s. While I waited for her I watched as countless tourists took pictures in front of the Trump building or the Tiffany’s sign, while others came out of Tiffany’s with their little TIffany blue bags. Me, I leaned against a planter and watched the river of people walk by.
As usual, I’m thinking that all or a part of my wardrobe is lacking. So while I’m thinking that I should have waited to buy more attractive walking shoes my friend comes up and greets me, telling me how great I look and how my red jacket looks so nice. Her, I haven’t seen her for at least six months and I was surprised and saddened by how drawn and drained she looked. She’s been trying to find a job in New York for a while but has only managed to land temporary things here and there, and it seems that even temp jobs have completely dried up in New York.
We walked up Fifth Avenue on the Central Park side to the Metropolitan Museum. Instead of going in and looking at the artwork (which we did last time), she used the restroom and then we walked and talked our way across a very crowded Central Park. We were on the search for Thai or Chinese food, but we could find neither. We walked from the park to Amsterdam Avenue to Columbus Avenue and then down from 84th Street to 72nd Street to find a Chinese restaurant. Not only was I surprised by the lack of expected diversity of restaurants, I was surprised by how many closed stores there were; although, the pizza places seemed to still be intact.
After lunch I headed back to Penn Station. I should have taken the subway, but I was in push-yourself mode, so I walked back down to 34th Street. At one point I was glad that New York didn’t have the muggings it used to have, since I didn’t think that I would have the energy to fight someone off.