Thursday, November 12, 2015

New York City Day 4

High Line
The main thing on our list of things to see on Saturday was the High Line. Located on an old railway trestle, this 1.45 mile vertical park opened its third phase in November of 2014. Jim and I had walked phases one and two last time we were in New York, so we were eager to see the latest section. As it was a chilly morning, the four of us decided to go to a nearby diner and eat breakfast while waiting for the temperature to warm up a bit. We were planning out our day when I looked up from my final cup of hot tea and saw a gal come in the front door who looked like our daughter-in-law Megan. There was a waiter in the way, so I didn't see who she was with until he moved. That is when I saw Andy. I could not believe my eyes! They had driven up from their home outside of Washington, D.C. on Friday, and spent the night with their friends in Queens. As we had met Marty and Daniella before at Andy and Megan's wedding, they joined us for the day. I am not going to lie, they made me cry - happy tears. What a surprise!

at the diner
Following breakfast we took the subways necessary to get to the High Line. This park gets nearly 5 million visitors annually, and I think most of them were there on Saturday - ha! It was quite crowded and congested as people were stopping to take selfies, other photos and to admire the views and plantings along the way. The folks that were in town for the New York marathon were easily identified by their running attire - Italy, Mexico, England and many other countries were well-represented. Regardless of the throngs of people, it was nice to stroll along the trail.

High Line
After that is was time for lunch (yes, we ate our way through New York!) After exiting the High Line, we found the Sugar Factory. Lunch, shakes and candy - what's not to love? The decor is adorable, and the staff dressed for Halloween. Unfortunately there was a table filled with 16 girls celebrating the 13th birthday of one. A group of 6 parents sat at the next table, along with the professional photographer. (And I should add that a stretch limo waited outside for the group. Sheesh - what will she get on her 16th birthday?) So what's NOT to love? Having this group place their order right before us. We sat in that restaurant for 2 hours! Poor service coupled with mediocre food put a damper on the whole experience. We had places to go and people to see, so taking that much time for lunch definitely messed with our schedule.

Once we finally escaped our time in the factory, we went to Mood Fabrics. A guilty pleasure of Jim and me is watching the television show "Project Runway", where clothing designers have all kinds of challenges thrown at them each week. They always go to Mood to purchase their fabrics, so we just want to have a quick look at the store. Unfortunately Swatch, the dog, was not in residence that day.

Mood Fabrics
From there we were off to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. This Episcopalian church was begun in 1892 and remains unfinished to this day. It is reported to be one of the largest cathedrals in the world. We arrived too late for an official tour, but we were able to still go inside and have a look around. They say it would take $100 million to complete the church. I am guessing that this will never happen. It is too bad as it is really a beautiful place.

Cathedral of St. John the Divine
It was getting dark, so back to the subway station we went to go to the hotel to change for dinner. Due to the fact that it was Halloween, the subways were unbelievably packed! We had to split up in order to squeeze into different cars. It was fun to see all the kids (both little and big) dressed up for trick or treating or partying though. The kids went store to store to receive their candy. How different from the way we do things in the Midwest!

Jim had made reservations for the 8 of us at Benjamin Steak House. Fortunately he had been able to push the time back a couple of hours since we had such a late lunch at the Sugar Factory. Benjamin's was great, and a wonderful way to end up an incredible and surprising day. The kids got back on the subway around 10:30 to return to Queens, and the old farts went to bed. After all, I had taken 18,579 steps for 8.22 miles, and climbed 20 flights of steps. I was pooped!

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