27 June 2007

City Scenes

Our weekend trip to New York was fun, but much too brief. A couple of days isn't nearly enough time to do more than a few things, and the Mrs. is one of those people who always wants to get an early start back, so things have to get wrapped up even earlier than I'd like.

One thing about this trip: the traffic was miserable. We left Boston at noon on Friday and hit a couple of minor slowdowns along the Pike, and some moderately thick stuff where 91 runs into 95 in New Haven. Things slowed down considerably when we got into southern Connecticut, then opened up again, then after we crossed the state line, traffic got slower and slower until we were crawling, and at 6 PM we hadn't even made it past Co-Op City yet. We decided to get off the highway, and using our one map of the area (which only showed selected streets) and some luck, we made our way through the Bronx to Third Avenue, which we were able to take across the Hudson and all the way downtown.

We didn't make it to our hotel, a block above Wall Street, until 8 PM. The trip usually takes us about four and a half hours. That's insane. But I don't think we've ever tried to drive into Manhattan on a Friday evening in the summer; we tend to go at odd times, like leaving Boston at the end of evening rush hour, or on Saturday morning, so I think we now know when not to go in the future. But we did have a very pleasant late dinner at the downtown location of Les Halles, Anthony Bourdain's bistro, which we found totally by accident while heading toward another theoretical food destination.

But the main reason we went was because very good, very old friends who live a thousand or so miles away were in the city on vacation. We've done several of these meetups over the years when they're visiting New York, and it's really good to have that time together, however brief. They've visited us here as well, and we've been to visit them, but the New York visits feel a little more special, regardless of what we do during that time.

On this particular Saturday afternoon we visited the roof garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The weather was perfect, the park was stretched out all around us, and the buildings embraced the park in the distance. We took pictures, but as our friend said, a picture doesn't quite do it justice. You just have to experience it for yourself.

P.S. For those who might be wondering (and since I mentioned it before we left), the dog did very well in our absence, which was a relief.

No comments: