A New York visit -- 12/31/04

We made a quick trip into New York City yesterday to visit Adam and Leah and (of course!) Sammy.
At first it was just going to be me and Nancy but then we realized that Jill had Thursday off from work... and so did Jeremy... and then Jill thought about inviting Eli (her boyfriend) and Jeremy decided to invite Katie (his girlfriend) so that made six of us (remember that number, it comes to play shortly). This meant taking two cars (we got rid of our Dodge Caravan almost nine years ago) -- driving down to Milford, CT to take a MetroNorth commuter train into New York.

At the Milford train station I bought tickets to New York from a vending machine on the platform and we waited for the train. As the train was approaching the station I was passing out the tickets and realized that I only had five instead of six -- apparently with the sun glare on the vending machine display terminal I had thought I had touched the 6 but must have actually touched 5. So I tell everyone to get on the train while I dash over to the ticket machine to buy another one. There was somebody using it to purchase several tickets but as he is finishing his transaction I realize that there is a woman ahead of me waiting to use it.

Okay, I'll just buy my ticket on the train, it'll just cost a little more ($15 on the train, $11.25 from the machine) but as I turn to board the train, the doors on the car in front of me close... so I run a few steps along the platform to the next car, but its doors also close just before I can reach it and the train pulls out of the station. Okay, no problem, there will be another train along in just five or six minutes (although it makes more stops and will not arrive at Grand Central Station until fifteen or twenty minutes after the first train).

A woman is at the machine... she is trying some kind of complicated purchase... having a difficult time reading the screen with the sun glare on it... and is feeding dollar bills one at a time into the slot. There is another machine at the other end of the platform, but it has a line of people. The woman is still struggling with her transaction. The train is approaching. She is still hogging the machine. The train pulls into the station and I board it and purchase my ticket from the conductor.

(Of course we live in modern times and all six of us are carrying cell phones so there was no problem in communicating with each other -- and they got to have coffee and refreshments in Grand Central while waiting for me to arrive on the next train.)

We arranged to meet Adam and Leah and Sammy at the Children's Museum of the Arts, an interesting place for young children. It's in the SOHO area (on Lafayette, between Broome and Grand). That's where the first four pictures were taken. (The receptionist was amused by one child being accompanied by eight adults.)

After spending a couple of hours in the CMA, we headed out to wander around SOHO. Jeremy was interested in poking around in some of the stores in that area. The area is changing -- many of the unique local stores being replaced by chain stores. Jeremy bought three vintage t-shirts at Alice Underground, a funky store specializing in vintage clothing (but with signs saying they are going to be closing).

We then went to Tompkins Square Park (stopping to eat some pizza on the way) so Sam could play in the playground. That's where the final four pictures were taken. That's Eli, Jill, Katie, and Jeremy sitting on the bench. And that's Nancy with some gray-bearded geezer. And then you see Adam and Jill preparing Sam to go down a slide... and Jeremy there to catch him at the bottom.

And then, as the dark and cold of night descended on the city, we Rhode Islanders took the subway back to Grand Central Station to catch MetroNorth back to Milford and the drive back to Rhode Island.

I cooked the lasagna for tonight's New Year's Eve dinner on Wednesday night, so getting things set up for tonight will just mean fixing veggies and dip and making a salad and heating the lasagna. I went into town this morning and bought the remaining supermarket items needed so we are all set for tonight.

Happy New Year!

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