HH and I took a little trip. We went with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law to the Big Apple for four wonderful days. It was my second time to visit, and HH’s first. I loved what he said about it. “It’s like they took the Oklahoma State Fair and dropped it right in the middle of town.” I was afraid he wouldn’t like the hustle and bustle, but he’s ready to go back. Today.
We saw two Broadway shows, Wicked and Young Frankenstein. The actors were true professionals and the stagecraft, from the sets to sound effects, was mesmerizing.
It was exciting to travel the Brooklyn Bridge, and to ride the elevators to the top of the Empire State Building and 30 Rock. We also went to Ground Zero. For me, it was emotional, like Oklahoma City’s own bombing, but on a super-devastation scale. The other time I visited was 1980, and the Twin Towers were new, pristine, shiny. When we flew in on Thursday, I prepared myself, but I was still shocked not to see them in the skyline, anchoring Lower Manhattan. We saw the plaques and read the stories of brave police officers and firefighters who gave their lives to save others. I was especially touched by the firefighters of Ladder 10 and Station 10 who were right next to the buildings and lost so many men.
My favorite part of the trip was eating at Tavern on the Green and taking a carriage ride through Central Park. It was the quintessential tourist activity, but that’s because it was so much fun. Stephen, our carriage driver, was a great source of information about the park and its adjoining landmarks. The weather was cold and kind of snowy, but there was still a lot of green in the park from grassy areas like the sheep meadow (which truly was once used to graze sheep,) the spreading yews and the rhododendrons lining pathways. Because there was little foliage, I could see the bones of the park; the ridges, rocks and valleys, and the winding paths, all part of Frederick Law Olmsted’s design. Oh, I can’t forget the bridges, wearing their moss green cloaks, and the lovely old white Sycamores. I enjoyed every moment walking and then riding through. The park is an emerald oasis in the neon, steel and mortar city.
So many television shows and movies are filmed in New York that every corner looks like part of a giant movie set. When we walked by Tiffany’s, I could see Audrey Hepburn strolling in her hat and gloves for “breakfast.” Inside, I remembered the scene in Sweet Home Alabama where the hapless boyfriend, played by Patrick Dempsey, asked Reese Witherspoon to marry him. The people walking the streets seemed familiar in their black heeled boots, trench coats and colorful scarves. From the bus, we did see something being filmed that featured 20 police cars careening down a blocked off street lights flashing, but no sirens blaring. For my husband, it may seem like the fair, but for me, it’s Disney World, only grittier.