Archive for the ‘Upper West Side’ Tag

From the Mouths of Non-New Yorkers   1 comment

I was in the city Saturday to have lunch with my oldest friend J.J.  Let me explain – She’s not my most elderly friend, but the one I’ve had the longest. We met when I was in 3rd grade and she in 2nd, in the school lunch room  Being a busy body, I noticed she was having trouble getting the noodles out of the chicken noodle soup her mom had poured into a thermos bottle.  I moved over, and helped her. Having met at lunch, we still keep our friendship going, meeting from time to time to share this meal. And Saturday we were meeting at a restaurant on the Upper West Side.

Although we were both born and raised on Manhattan, neither one of us still lives there.  I was taking the train into the city and she was driving from NJ.  Since I arrived at Grand Central Station  with lots of time to spare, and it was a 3 S days (superb, summer,  & sunny) I considered walking over to the West Side instead  of taking  the subway. The decision was made when my cell phone rang. It was J.J. She was stuck in traffic on the Jersey Turnpike. I had plenty of time to dilly dally.

I walked up to Fifth avenue and ay yi yi.

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Oh yes, it’s tourist season.

But I plunged in, and went with the flow. Until I heard  two gems that brought me to a halt – both from the mouths of visitors from overseas.

Gem #1

Location –  5th Avenue and 50th Street across the street from St Patrick’s  Cathedral.

Speaker – a woman (perhaps German) speaking to a tour operator: “Ah St. Peter’s Cathedral? Yes.”

It was all I could do to suppress the urge to say NO. St Patrick’s!!!!!!!!

I mean even if she was expecting to see the postcard perfect St Patrick’s,

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And thrown off by its present appearance as  it undergoes restoration

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Give me a break. How much bigger could the letters be?

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Gem #2

Location  – Still on Fifth Avenue – a few blocks north, at 56th Street.

Speaker – another woman – possibly from a Mid-Eastern country, speaking in an excited tone to her husband . Tramp Tower! Tramp Tower. In her defense, this was most likely just a matter of her accent,  but still I had to smile.  For you non-New Yorkers? Ever watch Celebrity Apprentice ? Recognize the building?

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DSCN0788No? Then in the words of  The Donald  – “You’re fired!”

These were all, as the young folks would text,  LOL moments, at the expense of tourists. But as I headed west on 57th St. I recalled J.J’s words when she’d call to tell me she’d be late.  I was dismayed to realize her years in New Jersey were weighing heavy on her.

Jersey people always supplement their location with their exit on the NJ Turnpike

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Or the Garden State Parkway

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My cousin lives in  Hazlet, but just in case you’re not sure, he’ll supplement it with Exit 117. When I used to summer  at the Jersey Shore,  if  you asked me where our group rental was, I’d say Manasquan (period). But if you’d asked one of my Jersey house-mates, they’d have said Manasquan, exit 98.

And so when Jackie explained “I’m still at Exit 11” I had not a clue and had to ask . Where  is that”

Just on case you’’re on the Turnpike  and looking for Woodbridge NJ.   It’s Exit 11.

Martian Summers/Manhattan Winters   6 comments

My bucket list dream is to move back to the isle of Manhattan. I don’t keep it a secret. I figure if the universe hears, the universe will provide.

Where would I choose Upper West Side? West Village? East Side? Yes! Only one minor obstacle stands in my way. Money.

And oh, there’s another problem. And it happens every year just around now, when winter has moved on for good. I go outside and, look who’s back.

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Would I miss all this? Probably. I feel like a child of divorce torn between two warring parents, each of whom tries to lure me with promises of a dream home.

I’m going to meet a friend in Manhattan on Sunday so I’ll probably be humming New York Frame of Mind next time you hear from me.

But maybe there is a solution. Or is it  a delusion. I could have my cake and eat it too. I don’t have to leave The House of Mars. It can be The Country House of Mars. When winter is busy doing its thing, I’ll be in The City Apartment of Mars, looking down from my terrace at the streets below and singing “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow,” or maybe “Winter Wonderland”

What’s that you say, what about the money I didn’t have a few paragraphs ago. Oh yeah. Hmm. Owning two homes can be pretty expensive. Two mortgages.

You know if 7 of you could come up a loan of $100,000 each, you could consider The Manhattan Apartment of Mars your weekend pied a terre. I could stay at The Country House of Mars and you’d have the whole urban palace to yourself. Go on, check your pockets for any spare big bills.  Look under the couch cushions. Try under the car sear.  That’s a place I’m always finding money.

No one? OK, if 14 of you come up with $50,000 each, I can offer you unlimited visiting rights. You don’t even have to call ahead.

How’s about 28 of you coming up with $25,000? I’ll pay you back. I promise!

Take your time, think about it. No rush. I’ll be here – hanging out with my friends!

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