We got back from New York yesterday afternoon and are getting back into the home routine. I downloaded lots of pictures and will post them soon. New York City was kind of a nostalgia trip for me: when I was a Paulist novice in 1990 I lived an hour west and went into the city fairly regularly. I also spent the summer of 1991 living there while I worked at the Paulist Press. Nostalgia trips are always dangerous because the place inevitably can’t live up to the selective memories, but with that caveat I have to say it was a fun trip.
The one thing we wouldn’t do again is the Empire State Building. The line to get to the 86th floor didn’t look too bad when we got in. We found out very quickly that the employ Disneyland’s “hide the line” trick. Once you purchase your (nonrefundable) ticket there are a series of lines and guards before you get into the elevator to the 80th floor. There you have your picture taken (available for purchase of course) and are told you can rent headphones. Finally after that series of lines you take an elevator up the final 6 stories to the observation desk. All told we were in line for nearly an hour.
We also had some “classic New York” experiences. When we visited Strawberry Fields in Central Park there were two guys on benches nearby. They spent the better part of our 15 minutes there yelling at each other to shut up. They both wanted the same thing but neither would let the other have the last word. During our stay we took the famous New York subway several times. One of those times was using the 1 train uptown in morning rush hour. It seemed that we were waiting on the platform for longer than usual and when the train arrived it was already crowded. Like everyone else we crowded out way in and I was wedged between so many people I couldn’t even reach a pole to grab onto. Fortunately we were only on for a few stops.
The weather in New York was what you would expect in late July and early August: HHH: hazy, hot, and humid. It was in the low 90s for most of our stay and we were grateful for New York’s legendary good drinking water. Fortunately we both prefer hot weather to cold and it didn’t stop us from doing what we had planned.
All told, it was a good trip and I hope to do it again soon.