The adventure of day three started with taking the subway all by myself. I had a little anxiety walking to the subway station. I’d never taken it alone. The subway stations tend to look like the mouth of a dungeon at street level. They aren’t particularly clean and even when a lot of people are going in or out, it feels like that small piece of real estate is a void...a weird portal between the activity on above and below. I bought my metrocard and took the subway, yes, all by myself. Now I’m expert. Boom.
Using a highly rated app, My Transit NYC, I landed a couple of blocks from the 23rd Av. entrance to the High Line. I hadn’t walked the High Line last time here; I didn’t understand what it was exactly. This 1.25 mile path, where the elevated trains used to run through the meatpacking district, is the brainchild of a public/private partnership. The High Line has turned an area of desolation, after the industry there declined in the 80s, into a greenspace filled with art and gardens and people. There are several points of entry so I was able to descend and walk around different areas, locating Milk galleries (though nothing currently showing), Gansevoort Market and Chelsea Market where I had a grilled cheese. The fancy schmancy cheese was totally outdone however by the fig jam. Fig jam apparently is all I need.
From the far end of the High Line, I decided to walk to Bryant Park. This took me straight through the Garment District where I’d never been before. Racks of clothes being rolled out of trucks into shops, fabric shop after fabric shop after fabric shop...is there truly a demand for that much sequined fabric?
I love Bryant Park. The history goes back to the Revolutionary War and wikipedia can tell you all about it. Current day Bryant Park is all about a safe, comfortable, fun place for people to be. It’s owned by the city but managed by a nonprofit; Friends of Bryant Park. It occupies essentially a city block along with the main New York Public Library, which I wandered around later in the day. Bryant Park is cool; thoughtfully designed for its people. There’s ping pong and bocci ball and other games. I watched 6 men play bocci ball for a while. There’s a reading area with books and special book events for kids. There are food vendors and a restaurant. There are fountains and sculptures. There’s a humongous lawn. None of the chairs are secured to anything...and there’s a ton of them. The people can move the chairs to wherever they want to be. It’s a happy place.
After the library, I expertly took the subway back to Brooklyn, where I located a very nice small wine shop and purchased a chilled white to carry back and have a glass sitting on my little balcony.
Day four involved a few hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, some time spent at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Thomas Cathedral and Rockefeller Plaza. The MoMA is someplace I’ll go anytime I come to New York. Starry Night is there. I could look at it a million times and not feel less enamored. Hundreds of other gazeworthy pieces, but I will always have a special thing for Van Gogh.
As someone who typically would do anything to avoid a crowd, I love the sidewalks of New York. On its face that makes no sense. But the density and diversity of this city with people, vehicles and buildings make me feel ultimately connected and anonymous at the same time. The diversity is crazy. Skin color, languages, hats and headscarves, painfully thin to more generously built, stressed out, totally chill, obvious New Yorkers, obvious tourists and more, rule every block. There is a distinct rhythm I don’t feel anywhere else. It plays me and I love it.
Hi, I'm Donna. Long time artisan/creative. Full time work in nonprofit world. Mother of two adult sons. Currently, also mother of two cats.
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