by Bob Sparrow
We’re leavin’ today . . .
Actually, we left a week ago last Thursday for New York, New York, on our way to jump on a cruise that goes to . . . well, you’ll see. But first, about our time in the Big Apple. I have to be honest and say I really wasn’t looking forward to our day and a half there before our departure. I had been there several times on business several years ago and a couple of times to see my daughter, Stephanie, when she was enrolled in the American Musical & Dramatic Academy (AMDA), aspiring to get on Broadway. The city is big, impersonal, messy, crowded, crime-infested – generally, not where I wanted to spend any time. I was soooo wrong! This city is electric and we found the people to be most friendly!! A cab ride, with a friendly cab driver, brought us from JFK to our hotel, the Edition, which was ideally situated on Times Square – we were in the heart of the ‘city that never sleeps’. After getting to our room on the 27th floor, which gave us an excellent view of what was going on below in Times Square, we cleaned up and headed out to nice Italian dinner at La Masseria – walking distance. Great dinner, friendly server!
Friday morning found us on a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus that started in Times Square and had stops at the Empire State Building, the Flatiron District, SoHo, Chinatown, Little Italy, Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, Battery Park, and the World Trade Center. We sat in the seats on the exposed upper deck of the bus, and while we did get a little rain, it offered us a great view of all the aforementioned sights. We ended up spending 3-4 hours at the 911 Memorial Museum – what an emotional experience!
After hopping off the bus for good in Times Square, on our way back to our room to freshen up before finding a place for dinner, we stopped at one of my favorite places in any city, an Irish Pub. This one was named the Playwright Tavern on 49th Street. Our thought was to have a quick beer before we go back to the room, clean up and find a place for dinner. With an engaging bar tender, who was actually from Ireland, one Guinness led to another and before we knew it, we decided to stay there for dinner. “Fish & Chips please!” After dinner, I asked the bartender where the stairs at the end of the room led; he said it was more of the restaurant and another bar. It’s an Irish Pub, of course there’s another bar! So, I went upstairs and found a quaint restaurant setting and the other bar, where there was a guy singing Sinatra tunes, and he was really good. I ask a server, who is standing next to me, if this was a patron who just got up to sing or the regular entertainment. It was the regular entertainment, but he was anything but regular, he had an amazing voice. I went down and got Linda and we spent the next couple of hours listening to this guy, his name is Kurt Decker, belt out Frank Sinatra and Billy Joel tunes. He ended up not only singing to us, but talking to us during his break and explaining his love of Sinatra music. An incredible evening!!!
The next morning, we Ubered over to Brooklyn and got on the Emerald Princess. I have to say that Princess is not our favorite cruise line, the ships are nice, but the food is average at best – says the guy who dined on Guinness and fish and chips the night before!
On Saturday we board and just before sunset we set sail, or whatever it is those big ships do when they leave port, and got a stunning view of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline as we head out on our adventure.
An item from ‘It’s a Small World’ Once out to sea, the casino opens and while Linda is playing the slots, I sat down at the bar to watch the Utah-USC game. I notice the guy next to me is also rooting for Utah and I ask him if he’s from there. He said he was not from there but went to school and played football at a small school there that I’d probably never heard of, Westminster College. I told him I that I also went there and played football. We had a great time talking about familiar people and places and watching Utah kick a final-play field goal to beat USC.
As we head North, I’m really looking forward to having a nice lobster dinner!!!
On Thursday: Newport, RI and Boston