Another New York Day Trip

Faith
Standing outside B&H Photo, getting the camera ready for action.

About 20 years ago, our daughter announced at the dinner table that she loved New York and wanted to live there.

She had never been.

I’m not sure what caused the fascination. It probably wasn’t stories I had told about when I lived there. I moved to Queens in 1977, when they were still looking for David Berkowitz, a.k.a Son of Sam. New York in 1977 was a fun place to live, but you had to know where you could and should not be. Depending on the time of day, places like Central Park switched categories.

I figured the best way to cure someone of NYCFS (fascination syndrome, ‘cuz what’s a thing without an acronym) would be to take that person to New York. Since Faith had been sick and had missed her class field trip to the Statue of Liberty, I decided to take her there. We drove into the city. As we approached lower Manhattan, off and now under East River Drive, a fork lift carrying a huge crate of freshly iced fish pulled across the road in front of us. New York drivers, just like I remembered.

We parked, walked to Battery Park and joined the endless line for the Ferry to Liberty Island. While waiting in 90-something degree heat, a freelance acrobatic group entertained us for five minutes at a clip and then walked the line prodding for money. A dollar here, a dollar there, by the time we boarded the ferry, I could have bought a Cirque du Soleil ticket.

Liberty Island was mobbed. The line to the Statue was long. So long that the estimated time to arrival at the entrance would have required us to get a hotel room for the night. We walked around and we had lunch.

While carrying our trays along the cafeteria line, one of the servers noticed me when I picked up one of Faith’s fries and held it up so she could eat it. He was Jamaican (so apply that accent as you read this) he smiled and said “you good father.” Ever since, I have bragged to Faith that “an official agent of the US Government has proclaimed me to be a good father.”

Back on the ferry, we returned to Battery Park. We didn’t have time to stop at Ellis Island because, judging from the line, we would have never made it in. I’m sure the line was shorter when my grandmother arrived from Syria about 90 years earlier. Back on land, we walked around lower Manhattan, found our car and made our escape (my words).

Faith had thoroughly enjoyed the day and couldn’t wait to go back.

We’ve been back many times. I took her on day trips targeting one sight after another. Empire State, World Trade Center, Yankees World Series Parade, Christmas decorations, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Television and Radio and many other wonderful places. Faith once said: “I want to experience the city in every weather condition” – seriously, she said that. She can cross that goal off her list.

We visited New York on a day that was so cold that we went into almost every shop on Fifth Avenue just to get warm. We visited on such a windy-rainy day that we bought multiple $2 umbrellas from the guys who show up when it rains with a huge box of umbrellas for sale. We’ve baked in the August sun, buying a pretzel just to get a pile of napkins to wipe away the sweat and we’ve walked through Central Park in the snow. I took her with me on week-long business trips where she was allowed to explore museums on her own – “do not leave the museum unless it is on fire and you can see the flames.”

We have enjoyed every minute of every trip.

Earlier this week, Faith took me to New York. She was shopping for camera equipment and then we did what we do best in the city – we walked. This time, we walked The High Line, a little bit of the West Side Walkway and back up 8th Avenue to The Molly Wee Pub. Below are some of the photos I took along the way.

I am glad that Faith remains fascinated with New York, and I’m so happy we can still experience the city together.

Since it’s the 4th of July, I thought I’d add these photos too.

69 thoughts on “Another New York Day Trip

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  1. Not counting the New York Yankees, our family also has many fond memories of New York City. Before we had children Mae and I would drive down just for a day trip to shop, see a play, have dinner and drive home. When our girls were old enough to appreciate all the NYC has to offer, we would frequently spend weekends enjoying all the city has to offer – whether it’s a reminder of how our grandparents entered into America to chase their dreams and make a better life for their families, or to introduce the kids to the incredible array of culture and entertainment that awaits visitors. I believe our daughters grew up being exposed to New York City and are appreciative of all this country has to offer them because of the times we spent there. NYC is a view of the world in just a few square miles . . . you see it all, experience it all, and come out a better person when you cross over the bridge to come back home. As we celebrate the birthday of this great country, it is great to reflect on the many memories we have had with our family in New York City also. This includes memories of our oldest daughter (Lynne) who did move to NYC to pursue a career in the theater. Although that did not work out as she had hoped, she stayed and went to law school, passed the bar in NY and MA, and moved back to Boston to work and start her own family. Little Bobby has already been to NYC four times in his first two years! The experience continues!

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    1. Little Bobby has been born into a wonderful family Bob! Thanks for sharing some of your memories of New York. No surprise on the Yankee thing but it was in the middle of the Pirates 20 losing season string so I didn’t think I’d be driving Faith to Pittsburgh for a parade any time soon. It’s a great city. You live in another great city, but the train schedules favor New York for us. I hope you and your family have a wonderful 4th of July weekend.

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    1. Thanks Judy. These photos are mine. I will post a link to Faith’s once she has them up on her Flickr site. She’s marching through a bunch of hikes (in order) so it might be a while. She has a Bee picture that is amazing (I saw it in her camera). It was a fun day for sure.

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    1. I have a post in the works about our many adventures. I was telling Faith about the time you bought the flash for your Olympus DSLR (I think that was at J&R who are, sadly gone) and you left all the packaging on the counter next to the clerk with the stunned look on his face.

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        1. We’ve made the mistake of starting our trip at the Strand instead of finishing it there several times. It would have been okay if I was drawn to mass market paperbacks, but most of those mistakes involved large, heavy hardcover books. Always finish at the bookstore.

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  2. I agreed with the server at the Statue of Liberty at the time, and I still agree – you’re a great Dad and I’m happy you introduced me to the joys of walking around the city. I’m even happier that we still get to do these things.

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  3. Dan, you know how I cherish a well-written, subtle humorous post and this one fits the bill. Well done, Maestro 👏. Not least because it inevitably evokes a “you can’t go home again” draft in my mind 💥

    I chuckled about your official status as a good Dad, having a few similar episodes our family members use to their advantage.

    I lost it when your crane-mania photo came into view. Almost beats The pub on your ‘nirvana scale’, huh?

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    1. Thanks Sammy – yeah, I think Faith was worried that we weren’t going to get on the High Line, since the entrance was a few hundred feet beyond those reflections. I love cranes and reflections and blue skies. – “you can’t go home again” sounds interesting.

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  4. Dan, loved the NYC story & photos. In May, I was in NYC for a weekend for granddaughter’s last performance at the Joffrey Ballet. We stayed near Washington Square Park. Yes, we took subways, walked miles, saw the sites, and toured the WTC museum. Temps in the 80s, sunny & windy. Memorable time, but could not live there. Like Faith, granddaughter loved living in the city! Christine

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    1. Thanks Christine. I tried living there but found it too much to deal with. There were wonderful times, but I like being able to find a little quiet from time to time. The WTC Museum is on our short list for a return trip. Seeing your granddaughter perform, sharing that with her, must have made you feel wonderful.

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  5. The Amtrak station was right across from where I worked in NJ so it was very convenient to hop on the train into NY. I loved all the hustle and bustle of the big city. Being down here in the south, we have a few cities that have that big city feel, and I get that thrill all over again. There is nothing quite like New York.
    Hey, congrats on the official ‘good father’ status. It’s documented so of course it’s real!

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  6. Just love this post with the memories of you and Faith.
    Great tribute to a great city and great photos as always.
    New York City is such a unique American city. The first time there leaves its marks. It certainly did for me in 1986 when I visited for the first time. I will be there in a few days actually. We are taking with us someone who has never been. I’m looking forward to seeing his impressions.
    Happy Fourth to you and your family! And cheers to New York City!

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  7. I was through there one night in the 1970s and didn’t stop . I wnet there for a weekend once in the 1990s , and that was it . Weekend visit was a no-sleep deal . A friend of mine was having a “goodbye apartment ” party . He was moving out after 25 years .

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  8. What a JOY you are still experiencing trips with your daughter to the Big Apple. I enjoyed your subtle sense of humor, Dan, and chuckled a few times as I read. The variety in your pictures I really liked. The clarity of these photos are wonderful and when I saw the butterfly on the Echenacia, I turned green. (smile) OH to capture a butterfly that clearly!!! Great post, my friend. I really enjoyed how you wrote it, and your presentation of your images. Thank you! I’ve been to NYC once and I have no desire to return. Yet, perhaps, if I knew where I was going I would want to return. :) <3

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    1. Thank you Amy. To have you admire a photo is a true compliment. Faith actually has a photo of that butterfly and a bee in her set from that walk – https://flic.kr/p/uCRvHJ – Thanks for adding that the flower is Echenacia – I never would have known. NY is fairly easy to get around. As long as you can get oriented as to east-west, you won’t go too far in the wrong direction (the blocks going N-S are much shorter).

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      1. Total amazement as I saw the butterfly and bee, Dan! What a shot!!! My bees this year that come for my lavender are not great in number, and I hope it is just because of all the rain we have had. Keeping my fingers crossed “as I call the bees” that they come!! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful images!! <3

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  9. Beautiful photos! My favorite is the butterfly on the flower. I’m hoping to snap a photo like that one some time. I’ve only been able to photograph lizards on the fence or on my thyme plant:)
    You have so many warm and lovely memories of trips with Faith. Keep making them!

    Your going into each store to warm up on a cold day reminds me of a hot summer day my niece and I were in NY – we walked into every store to cool off! I’ve been to the Statue of Liberty twice and we passed the time in line by telling jokes:)

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    1. Thank you. Those stores probably appreciate the business the weather brings them. I have tried during sever visits to Florida to get a picture of a lizard. All I have is places where a lizard used to be. One that would have been great was ruined by the fact that I had just left my air conditioned hotel room and the lens was covered with condensation.

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  10. Awesome photos! I love reflections, too. Part of the happiness of last night was watching the fireworks reflect off the Chase building — mirror-like — neat stuff!
    Sassy also says she wants to live in NYC. I dunno if she will, but she says she wants to. We’re planning to take her for a day in the city next summer.

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  11. I love that you were hoping to kill Faith’s fascination with NYC, Dan but she is your tour guide now. :)
    My parents took us to all sorts of cool sights in New York, Dan. My favorites were random ones like the Automat where we would buy processed foods and sandwiches. Juxtaposed riding the subway and wearing our Sunday best clothes to a fancy restaurant where we had one waiter who stood silently while we ate, watching anticipating our every need. My Mom’s parents met on a street corner in NYC, so we had to go find it. :)

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    1. Finding that corner sounds like a great adventure Robin, a must see for sure. My desire to avoid New York grew from the memories I carried from living there 15 years earlier. I probably lived in NYC at one of the worst points in its history. I was surprised and very happy to see that they had turned things around. We enjoyed many trips, many firsts and we formed many good memories.

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      1. Well, I have a dream of visiting US probably in this lifetime. I have so many friends there whom I want to meet personally. You in Connecticut, Cheryl in Louisiana, I have one friend in Boston (Bar Harbor), another in Georgia, one in Denver. It will be a helluva trip, expensive as well. However, if you come down to India, I bet it won’t be expensive for you, (USD to INR conversion) plus we can have a beer across the table. What say? Paul Ruddock might fly in someday too, he’s passionate about India and wants to visit after his retirement.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I wouldn’t rule a trip to India our Sharukh but it isn’t likely either. On the other hand, your travel blog posts have me seeing your counry in a whole new light. By the way, your trip here gets a little longer, Bar Harbor is in northern Maine. connecting those dots will be a fantastic journey.

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            1. If you flew into Boston, I could meet you there and you could skip Windsor Locks. You could take a side trip to Bar Harbor then maybe get to Baton Rouge by train. that would be a very long ride, but if you spaced it out, you could stop in New York, Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA (see your other friend). You could continue by train to Denver from New Orleans, LA but flying would be cheaper.

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  12. That’s so nice that you and Faith can still go together and enjoy it so much. That’s how I am with my dad too, so I really, really liked this post. So many children can’t wait to be rid of their parents (and vice versa!) today, that it’s really a testament when a father/daughter CHOOSE to keep spending time together. So you must be a pretty good dad, Dan! :)

    You know, one place that I’ve never really wanted to go was New York. I’m not big on travelling anyway, but a big city like that has just never been much of a draw for me. I know there are tons of things there that I would enjoy, but I think the bustling atmosphere (and all the people!) would leave me with grey hairs and the desire to murder everyone within 50 feet of me!

    I’ve never been in downtown New York, but I have been to Jamestown to visit the Lucy Desi Museum. That was much more my speed!

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    1. Thanks for the comment Wendy. You might enjoy the Museum of Television and Radio (now the Paley Center). The have the Kinescope copies (probably digitized by now) of early live TV shows and they have some that are complete with commercials. The first time there, Faith and I watched “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” complete with the Chesterfield commercial. Faith had never seen a cigarette commercial and she asked “were you guys really dumb enough to believe that Menthol was going to help?” They also have periodic special events. My best friend John and I went in for a screening of the actual pilot (the one set in Hawaii) of the Twilight Zone. We got to see it in a theater setting and attended a cocktail party afterwards. That was fun! The Luci Desi Museum sounds like fun too – I didn’t know it existed.

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