This can't be real. That's my first thought after arriving in New York City. Am I really here? I left my rural BC home at 9 am this morning and here I am sitting on glowing red stairs in Times Square. I flew into La Guardia, NJ from Vancouver today. It was the best flight I’ve been on, mostly because the plane was ½ empty and sadly because Sweetie wasn’t sitting beside me saying “do you think that engine sounds funny? ... I really think there’s something wrong”. Needless to say, he really hates to fly.
So I flew across the continent by myself, rather intrepid I must say! I feel like I have arrived in another world by the time I reach the baggage claim area. I have never heard so many different languages spoken in one small area. What I would later realize is very indicative of New York City.
I met a funny interesting woman named Sandy as we were waiting forever for our luggage. Turns out she was from the Island and had traveled alone but was meeting friends as was I. We decided to travel to our respective hotels together. Best idea of the day! Our cab driver and I use the term loosely was nothing if not NUTS. For some reason he was obsessed with bad 70’s TV shows and the entire trip from New Jersey into Manhattan he was paying more attention to his DVD player than the road. Hair raising... and oddly... entirely expected. I was very relieved to be deposited outside my hotel in one piece but felt guilty that Sandy had to travel on.
By the time I got checked in it was midnight but I was still shocked that Gladys was in bed. I must note that she is on day 7 of a whirlwind trip to New York via Pittsburgh. Needless to say I dragged her out of bed; we met up with Linda who had also just checked in.... and off we went to Times Square. I am so glad my first look was at night. It is truly spectacular, pictures just don’t do it justice. Thank goodness Gladys had the forsight to bring her camera because these two pictures are hers!
The first picture I have taken this trip is the view from our hotel room window. You might not think much of it, but to me it was beautiful. I have dreamed of this moment... my dream included a rooftop terrace complete with billowing curtains, landscaped gardens, wonderful wine and a stereo pumping out Barbra Streisand - that should give you some idea of what year my dream began. Not exactly the New York from my dreams, it's bigger and grittier and so much more alive than I could ever imagine....
Day one ended with Gladys, Linda and I across the street from our hotel at Smith's Bar laughing, drinking and plotting until almost 4am. Linda fed us pizza from a nearby vendor, and this set the tone for the entire trip. I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO WAKE UP TOMORROW MORNING!