For the most part, I lucked out on my short (3-day) trip to New York City. The weather was nice, but fall-like, even if most of the trees in Central Park still had their summer green. Once the sun went down every day, it was definitely sweater-weather and the clouds and sky reflected a change in the seasons. Fall has always been my favorite time of year, especially back east, and that's why I love to go back to NYC in October.
Over my 3 days there, I walked a total of just slightly over 30 miles. Walking in New York is always an adventure, not only through Central Park, where at times it seems you've been transported into another world altogether. Here's some photos I took while walking. BTW, all of these--and the San Francisco ones--were taken with an iPhone 5.
I love the history that Grand Central represents and the fact that it has become both indestructible and a time capsule of the city. They wanted to tear it down in the 1960s and put up something most likely ugly and charmless, like Penn Station, 9 blocks south of this beautiful landmark. One word of advice, though: don't go here at 5:30pm like I did. You'll get run over by herds of people. Like I did.
No matter how many times I visit NYC, I can't miss going to Central Park. Here's one of my favorite parts of the Park: The Mall, a long, tree-covered passageway that reminds me of Paris, for some reason (a strange reason, I guess, since I've never been to Paris). On any given day, this passageway deeper into the Park is filled with people. And dogs. In sweaters. (Not just the people, but the dogs, too.)
Here's part of Central Park that looks like it could be a river or lake anywhere in the world. These three French girls had a time rowing their boat, merrily, merrily...well, you know the rest. Actually, only one of them was rowing, but I could hear their French from the shore.
This one, though, is pure fall. I love this shot. Not just the colors of the tree, but the body language of the woman under it, alone in the Park, probably checking her cellphone for some urgent message that she can't live without, all the while lost in the glorious wilderness of New York City.
I went to see this play (Chaplin: The Musical). Kind of disappointing, actually, because it deals more with the psychological problems of Charlie Chaplin and less about his body of work. I would have loved to see star Rob McClure do the earth balloon dance from The Great Dictator, but it's not a part of the show. Still, seeing a show--even a mediocre one--on Broadway in NYC is unlike any other theatrical experience you'll ever have, and I always try and see one each time I visit, despite how pricey they are ($90 for nosebleed heaven). But, oh--that sky while waiting to get in.
The view from my hotel window on a cloudy night. I love the way the clouds lock in the light. After a two-year absence, I went back and stayed at my favorite hotel, The Belvedere, on 48th and 8th. The rooms there are bigger than most NYC hotel rooms, and extremely comfortable, not to mention it's a great central location to get anywhere in the city. I've stayed other places the past 2 visits and hated them both...so while pricey (there's that word again, but what do you expect for NYC?), I think I'll always call this hotel home when I visit.
Every year I tell myself this is the last year I'm coming back to New York City. I think part of it is that killer red-eye flight I seem to always convince myself is going to be fine. It never is, and this year's was the worst I've ever taken. In the row of seats in front of me was the cast of The Young Sopranos, a murderers' row of stereotypical New Yawkers who were returning from a trip to Vegas, with a stopover for the San Francisco Giants playoff game, complete with one scrawny guy who you just know they called Ratzo. Behind me was the cast of Dazed and Confused, a bunch of neo-hippies who looked like they just escaped the commune. Luckily they all slept through the extremely bumpy ride. I didn't.
New York always calls me back. It's the season (although I'd love to visit at Christmas), it's my dear friend Laurel, who I almost always get to spend a day with, it's the bookstores and the Park, and the plays, and Nathan's hot dogs (which I can buy at Ralphs grocery store here in San Diego, but it's not the same). If I only go to NYC for those simple things--and blow a ton of money doing so--it's worth it, because I love them all equally. Well, maybe some more than others: