New York Day One

Wow!
What a day! We started early this morning and waited in a light, misty rain for our bus. We bought Metro passes that are good for a week and with the passes we can literally get anywhere we want to go, be it by bus, train or subway.  A short bus ride over the Pulaski Bridge and we descended into the Vernon St. subway station. The smell was the first thing I noticed. A combination of oil and tracks and decaying old wood, but it wasn’t an unpleasant smell. It smelled of trains and people and subterranean dampness. The train arrived within a minute and I was shocked at how fast it blew into the station. We boarded and I really felt like I was finally in New York.

We rode to the 42nd St and Bryant Park station disembarking in front of the tallest buildings I’ve ever seen. We walked a short couple of blocks and found ourselves at Rockefeller Center where we had tickets to go to the Top of the Rock and view the city from that vantage point. However, once inside we were informed that the viewing platform was closed because of the inclement weather. We rescheduled our tour for Saturday morning and according to the Weather Channel, it is supposed to be sunny and beautiful that day. Just wait for the pictures!

Since our tour had been cancelled we decided to make it a museum day and found our way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As we turned the corner onto Fifth Avenue, the museum came into view and I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Huge doesn’t begin to describe the building and I truly wish I knew more about different architectural styles, but it’s the first building of that size I’ve ever seen that I would call beautiful. The rain finally relented and Susan and I grabbed some street vendor food and after chowing down, headed into the museum. I honestly think I could spend days inside those walls walking through the exhibits and marveling at what wonders we are capable of producing. There were rooms that made me stand in awe and there were rooms that the tears flowed down my face. You know my favorites because I post them often here, but to see Pissaro, Renoir and Monet hanging on those walls filled my heart with a deep satisfaction and appreciation. I actually stood in front of canvases that the greatest artists of all times had put their brushes to. The actual canvas!

We tried to see as much as possible but there’s so much to see that I can’t allow myself to get mesmerized and spend all of one day at one particular sight, so reluctantly we left to go explore another museum. The Museum of Natural History is directly across Central Park from the Met and we entered the lush, green refuge of what is probably the most famous park in all the world. It did not disappoint. There are natural rock formations throughout the park that I had never noticed when seeing it on television or in the movies. There are different sections and dozens of walking paths. The views at any given time are breath stealing as we strolled through this beautiful and serene hide-a-way in the midst of this busy city.

We exited on the West side of the park and crossed over to see the dinosaurs and fossils. We even got to rub the the skull cap of a creature that walked our earth millions of years ago. For me, history is the only proof I need that we have a creator and I when I get to touch and feel and see something so tangible as these dinosaur bones, I feel a sacred connection that of course had me feeling so small and so a part of everything that has ever happened.

We took a short break so that I could download the pictures from today and clear my camera for tonight. We are headed out shortly for dinner with Susan’s son and his girlfriend’s family. We are dining in a Polish neighborhood and eating at Karczma. We’ve already started on the Polish vodka and I think there’s going to be lots of laughs and memories made tonight.

Thank you all for sharing my vacation with me. As I see the sights and hear the sounds, my mind is always racing with the words I want to use to describe it all for all of you.

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