A pandemic, something I would never have imagined, and yes, we have spent a long time anchored at home, in my case, on an island. My last destination outside the continent was New York and today November 8, 2021 the US opens its borders again, and here I am, I have landed in one of my favorite places.
After leaving my suitcase in the hotel I head for the streets, I am so excited. I record videos for Instagram, yes, today I throw myself to tell stories without filters and with a tired face.
On my first walk I pass the Bowery Savings Bank Building a very cool subway station that used to be a bank, opposite is Grand Central Terminal.
Next to it is the One Vanderbilt, the new boy in town, I saw it being built and in these months they have finished it, crowning it with one of the coolest viewpoints, the Summit with its glass floor defies the vertigo of any nomad and its spectacular views take us to the four cardinal points of the Big Apple.
I walk on 5th Av., pass by the Library, I take a stroll through Bryant Park, where the Christmas market and the skating rink are already set. Everything is close to my “home”, but I am tired, so after the first contact I head for my bed.
In the morning I get up early, I know thanks to @a_nuevayork that the autumn colors are at their peak, so I leave in the direction of Central Park, on the way I take many photos, they are the quiet hours of the city, in front of the Rockefeller there is no one.
It is 7am and in front of the entrance of the park I find the statue of Diana Arbus (1923-1971) a famous New York photographer, created by the English artist Gillian Wearing. With it she wants to highlight the fact that there are few women who are represented in this way.
I arrive at a lake, a bridge, the light, the trees, the skyscrapers peeking out between them, their reflections, I am ecstatic.
The area to play chess and checkers.
The Mall, my favorite area, with statues of poets, writers and bards like Shakespeare.
The statue dedicated to the Pioneers of Women’s Rights, which I dedicate to my fellow readers of @lecturasenlatribu
I come across runners and dog walkers, everyone is very friendly, they greet me, I smile at every living creature. Me, happy. I sit down to read for a while, I want to immerse myself in the time and place.
The empty Bethesda fountain, and the beautiful mosaics hidden under the stairs.
And the lake, its reflections, those colors… I’m still soaking up.
The Bow Bridge, the protagonist of novels and films, poses for me.
It is such a wonderful day with such a good temperature that I venture to the Shakespeare Garden with its great variety of plants emulating the British countryside and some quotes from the bard. I also greet the Belvedere Castle, which is located at the highest point of the park since 1869.
I stay on the Upper West Side to look for movie locations. I’m finding some fantastic autumn decorations on the steps of the houses called “brownstones” because of the brown colour of their bricks.
Barney Greengrass is a delicatessen that opened in 1908 and in 1929 moved to Amsterdam Av., Barney is known as the “King of Sturgeon”. Now it is also a restaurant, frequented by celebrities.
Cafe Lalo, meeting place of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in “You’ve got email”, closed for refurbishment (the city is not fully active yet)
Cafe Luxembourg another scenario of “When Harry met Sally”.
I didn’t miss the New York branches of the famous Parisian bookstore “Shakespeare & Co”, one is in the west and the other in the east of the upper side of the park.
I’m going to be a “lady from the Upper East Side” today. I arrive at 169, E 71 Street where Holly Golightly’s apartment is, the setting for one of my favourite classic movies, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
A practical surprise is waiting for me in the subway, we don’t need to buy a travelcard anymore. I use my credit, tap on the reader, and I stop at the Flatiron, which is under construction. Next to it, you might remember Fish Eddie, a very cool mug store, yes, Bianca’s favourite @solaennuevayork and Sol’s @lasclavesdesol. I, very supportive, enter for them, and end up leaving with a new mug, surprise surprise.
Right there is the oldest independent bookstore in NY, the “Strand” if they put all their books together in a row it’d be 18 miles long. I end up buying a tote and a book. Mugs and tote bags make the best souvenirs, I use them a lot and they remind me of my visits.
This building that looks like a church is the Jefferson Market library. Today it is also closed for renovation, so I will have to leave the visit for another time.
I’m close to the Village and hungry, Tue Thai has survived. Menu for $12, ideal (3, Greenwich Av.)
Right there, in the West Village, is one of the prettiest tea shops I’ve ever seen, “Paquita” a very Spanish name, in honour of the owner’s Filipino-Spanish grandmother.
Today I have a fun plan with Isabel, we’re going to the “Ghostbusters” fire station! yes, that same one, haha. 14 N Moore St.
And as we are relatively close to Ground 0 we will also see the “engine 10 firehouse” the closest to the Twin Towers, the one that first responded to the emergency and has a bronze mural honouring the 343 firefighters who perished that day.
The joy of returning to NY deserves to tell you about the discovery of Douglas Kennedy and his book “In the Pursuit of Happiness”, a love story masterfully narrated in a New York that goes from the end of World War II to the present day. A marvel of prose with some unexpected twists that had me seduced until the end.