I should be used to a big city. For most of the last 33 years I’ve lived in Toronto (excluding two brief flings to points west) – all of that in the core of the city. Toronto is the fifth largest municipality in North America. Not a small city by any comparison. (Read Darryl Dash’s post on the Strategic Importance of Toronto which includes reference to Richard Florida’s planned move to T Dot.)
But there’s just something different about the Big Apple. And some of that difference is noise. New York is loud. Vehicular horns sound at all hours. (We fell asleep at 1am last night to the sounds of honking trucks and cars fourteen floors below us.) I’m convinced New York cabbies believe that the sound of their horns actually moves the vehicles in front of them. They must believe that horns are some kind of particle accellerator that has the power to blast the vehicles in front of them out of their way. Horn use is nowhere near as popular in the city by the Lake.
We wandered New York from a little after 8am yesterday ’til 1am this morning. My feet are not amused. We were typical tourists – cramming more in than sane people would consider – including visiting Parsons School of Design to see our beautiful daughter’s Fashion Display. Kaili is our main reason for being here as she’s just finished a month at school in NYC – and fallen in love with the city at the same time. She loves us but would like to stay in the city that’s stolen her heart. (In fairness, it did that in the winter when she was hear singing at Carnegie Hall with Oratorio Terezin.)
Our friends from Connecticut, Carol and Fred, joined us last evening – picking us up from in front of Ground Zero. We rested our feet over drinks and appetizers @ the Water Club on the East River. (Our feet weren’t actually OVER the drinks and appetizers.) We then headed up to Park Avenue for a great meal at a Tappas bar – right beside where we had wanted to eat.
Kaili had one last night in residence and I stuck here in a cab around 10:30 so she would be back before her curfew. Liam, Imbi, Carol, Fred and I then walked up 5th to the Empire State Building around 11pm. We thought the Observatory was closed as we wandered into the building – only to be told we still had a two hour window to enjoy the views provided. We spent 90 minutes staring out at the late night vistas of this incredible city – Carol pointing out the landmarks.
Liam commented that a plane had hit the Empire State Building while flying in fog over the city, during the Second World War. This morning, on Brother Maynard’s blog, we discovered that happened 62 years ago today.
We parted company shortly before 1am as Liam, Imbi and I hobbled back to our relatively inexpensive hotel at Park and East 40th.
We are only sorry that Rylan couldn’t join us on this trip. The joys of being a university student who needs to work.
Here’s a shot taken with my cameraphone from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building last night. That’s Times Square glowing in the mid right of the picture.