Harlem 2014

Donna's 60th

The train from DC to NY is less than 3 hours and rolls past some impressive cities. Baltimore and Philly. Through New Jersey. Lots of rough train track scenery. An interesting way to enter New York.

As soon as I alight from the midtown subway station into the bright afternoon sun and crushing crowds of people, I feel better. Safer. On more familiar ground. More people. I walk across Broadway to get the next train, heading south to Chinatown. I’ve found a brand new Best Western smack in the middle of the lower east side. It’s quieter down here. Mostly working locals. Lots of loading and unloading at the various shops and restaurants, green grocers, hardware stores, Chinese herbalists. Old & run down looking, except for our hotel, a large, shiny, black obelisk rising from a shantytown.

I have one night to myself to indulge in a walking/shopping tour of SoHo & Tribeca, the ‘hoods to the north and west. The next morning I walk to the closest Starbucks and around Chinatown, into Little Italy, finding a restaurant to take Craig to that night.

We literally bump into Don Ferris coming back to the hotel. He’s just arrived and is hungry so we go to a pub with him, eat some more, drink more. Fall into bed after midnight.

The next day we pack up and take the subway north, past Central Park, to Harlem. Our 6 story, 6,000 sq ft brownstone is a few blocks east of Frederick Douglass Boulevard, and south of Martin Luther King Boulevard, the main drags. Close to many of Harlem’s splendid churches, walking distance to the Apollo Theatre. We are joined by Brenda & Jan, from Ontario, Linda, Karen & Warren from Vernon, Donna & Ron.

We spend an evening at the Apollo (amateur night), see the play “All The Way” (about LBJ in the 60s and the fight for the civil rights bill), the musical “Jersey Boys”, go to the top of the Rock, walk the high line, take a harbour tour, see a Yankees game (Blue Jays lose 2 -1).

It’s a fun week. Too much food and drink, but that’s to be expected with a party crowd in NYC. I wake up in the middle of our last night there feeling unwell. Puke twice. Have to catch an early flight back to Vancouver. Not a good day, but I survive on Gravol and keeping my eyes closed as much as I can.


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