A Big Apple Day

Is New York City the apple of my eye? Well, once it was. I spent who knows how many hundreds (thousands?) of hours in one or another of its five boroughs while growing up on Long Island. And after moving to Philadelphia in the mid 1970s, to start what became a 34-year career in government work, I made pretty frequent trips to NYC, 10 or 15 each year. I was pulled there magnetically by its museums, architecture, music clubs, gracious and spacious parks, and streets just made for strolling and girl-watching. Nobody needs me to tell them that the Big Apple is one of the coolest kids on the planet. It has been for, what . . . at least 100 years?

But, for one reason or another, those Philly-to-NYC visits became less and less common when the early 1990s rolled around, petering out to a mere one every few years. Incredibly, New York City, with which I’d had the cuddliest of relationships, faded gently from my mind. “New York, wait for me! You’ve meant the world to me! I’ll be back semi-regularly, I promise. Hell, you’re only 100 miles away,” is what I should have felt and said. But I didn’t. Man, if you’d have told me before then that such ever would become the case, I’d have had you committed.

This, then, is where Dave, one of my greatest pals, enters the story that you’re reading. He, like me, used to be a Long Islander. We became friends there in high school, during the Middle Ages. And he used to love NYC. These days, though, the city’s hustle and bustle does a superb job of frazzling Dave’s nerves. He ain’t in love with NYC anymore.

Still, Dave, who took up residence on the West Coast 40 years ago, visits New York now and then, despite the jittery situation with his nerves. I guess he’s a masochist. And one of those now-and-then occasions occurred recently. “Yeah, I’ll see you there,” I told Dave when he informed me of his impending eastward trip. Thus, two Saturdays ago I headed north from my home in the Philly burbs to hang out with Dave for half a day in the greatest of the famed metropolis’ five boroughs. Manhattan.

We met where 42nd Street and Broadway colorfully come together. In other words, at the bottom end of Times Square. And for the next four hours we graced various neighborhoods, and Central Park, with our dynamic presences. Though on the cusp of age 70, we strode the streets like the titans we vaguely once were. And vaguely still are. Gorgeous girls couldn’t keep their eyes off of us the other day. Isn’t that right, Dave?

“Damn straight, Neil,” Dave just told me. “Damn f**king straight! Even though it could be that our 20/80 visual acuity distorted our view of things just a little bit.”

Speak for yourself, Dave. I know what I know.

Here’s how we spent our time together: We shot the breeze vigorously, catching up on each other’s doings. And we walked and walked and walked while shooting that breeze. And when we got tired of walking we sat on boulders in Central Park, and a little after that on chairs in a snazzy restaurant near the park’s southwestern corner.

What’s more, we didn’t have any interest in taking in any famous sights, though we saw some anyway (such as Carnegie Hall, Columbus Circle and horse-drawn carriages in Central Park). You can’t not see them in this history lesson of a city. To repeat, then, what’s already been said: Yapping, wandering, eating and girl-watching proved to be the items on our agenda.

The time flew by, as sometimes it does, and around 3:30 PM Dave and I said our goodbyes. He needed to go back to his hotel and start getting ready for the wedding that had brought him to NYC in the first place. One of his friend’s daughters was about to get hitched.

But my bus wouldn’t be leaving for an hour and a half. I had time to kill. And what better way to do that than to stroll along some of the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, the Garment District and Times Square. Those nifty sections of the city run into each other, and would keep me close to the Port Authority bus terminal, from which my Philadelphia-bound ride was scheduled to depart.

Which brings us to the final topic I want to talk about. To wit, photos. I didn’t take any while with Dave, except for a couple of selfies of him and me. Why? Man, if there’s one thing I’ve learned since starting this blog, it’s that obsessive photograph-snapping can interfere one whole lot with enjoying the time you’re spending with people you like. Besides, who the hell would want to see a picture of the roast beef sandwich that Dave tore into at the snazzy restaurant, or of the boulder we sat upon in Central Park? Oh, you would, would you? It figures.

All I can say is that it seems that you’ve come to the right place anyway. Because after Dave and I went our separate ways my picture-taking mode kicked into high gear. And the pix that I shot over the subsequent hour are the ones you’ve been looking at on this page. New York City is a lot of things. One of which is photogenic. So, even a clod like me can’t help but come away with some nice shots.

Thanks for reading and viewing. Till next time . . .

(If you enjoyed this article, then don’t be shy about sharing it or about adding your comments)

(If you click on any photo, a larger imager will open in a separate window)

63 thoughts on “A Big Apple Day

  1. The Artist's Child August 24, 2017 / 3:52 am

    Wonderful photos. New York is so picturesque. I love the contrast between the streets full of neon and the vegetable stand. It’s all so colourful and alive. What a great place to spend the day. You a lucky it is only a bus ride away.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sheree August 24, 2017 / 6:59 am

    Sounds as if you had a great time with your friend but maybe you shouldn’t leave it so long before your next visit. Love the photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 24, 2017 / 7:53 am

      Yes, I definitely have it in mind to start going to New York much more often than I have been.


  3. S. A. Young August 24, 2017 / 8:05 am

    I ❤ NY and despite being a mere four hour train ride away, I don’t get there nearly as much as I’d like either. Glad you enjoyed your day trip and reunion with both old friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 24, 2017 / 10:09 am

      It was fun being there. Maybe my wife and I will go to NYC in September.


  4. joyce hamilton August 24, 2017 / 8:08 am

    I loved your article because l love New York !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Still the Lucky Few August 24, 2017 / 9:33 am

    Walking, talking and seeing New York with a friend. What could be better? New York stole my heart on my one and only visit. I vowed to be back, but haven’t accomplished that yet!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alyson August 24, 2017 / 10:27 am

    Well, if you read the post I’m about to publish in a couple of days you’ll think it was my turn to copy the idea – Another bit of syncronicity going on!

    Great post though and you are right don’t waste time on pictures when you’re with friends as that eats into the precious time to have with them. After you part company hoewever is another story and these pics bear that out.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Almost Iowa August 24, 2017 / 10:37 am

    I have never been in the city, the airport yes, but the city, no. One of these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. tanjabrittonwriter August 24, 2017 / 11:13 am

    Living faaaar away from my original home, I have realized that the sense of nostalgia grows, the longer I am away from it. I think we were imprinted, and even though time changes places, our impressions of them don’t seem to change as much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 24, 2017 / 1:46 pm

      Hello Tanja. Thanks for stopping by. I wonder what percentage of people end up living in the general area they grew up in, and what percentage moved away. I’m guessing it’s about a 50/50 split.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tanjabrittonwriter August 24, 2017 / 9:40 pm

        An interesting question. I doubt anybody is keeping statistics. Maybe it should be included in the census?!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. C C Cedras August 24, 2017 / 12:01 pm

    GREAT photos! Sounds like you and Dave had a terrific day!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Debra August 24, 2017 / 12:24 pm

    NYC still has the best bagels and knishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. greenpete58 August 24, 2017 / 12:40 pm

    I love New York, it’s my favorite city. I tried getting work there after college, but couldn’t swing it. These days I love to visit, but it’s very hard on the nerves of an old Midwesterner. Too much corn has taken root in my ears, unfortunately. And you’re absolutely right about photos interfering with the experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 24, 2017 / 1:49 pm

      Hello Pete. For sure, NYC can be tough on the nerves. Just ask Dave!


  12. circumstance227 August 24, 2017 / 3:53 pm

    It is lovely the way you reverted to experiencing NY as you had in the past – I mean with a friend and memories, walking and talking with no thoughts of a cell phone. I totally understand your reactions. New York is uniquely intense and for someone who has lived elsewhere for a while – at some point you are almost as glad to leave it again as you were to be there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 24, 2017 / 7:07 pm

      Hi. Thanks for stopping by. New York used to be a really big part of my life. I have the feeling that I’ll start going there again on a somewhat regular basis. It’s a great place.


  13. Carmel Bendon August 24, 2017 / 6:46 pm

    I really enjoyed reading of your latest NYC experience, and the images are great. I’ve been to NYC four times, and each time I’ve loved it a little more: first, in the 70s, as a twenty-year old, travelling the US alone from Australia; it was quite an eye-opening and scary city then. Most recently (in May), I spent five weeks there with my daughter who has lived and worked there for the past two years. I stayed with her on the Lower East Side and had a wonderful time. Thanks New York, and thanks “Yeah, Another Blogger”!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 24, 2017 / 7:08 pm

      Wow, five weeks in New York. You probably know the city better than I do at this point.

      Thanks for adding your thoughts, Carmel. Appreciated.


  14. sniderjerry August 24, 2017 / 7:49 pm

    Hi Neil, better get some good shoes. After reading your essay, I took the liberty of signing you up to run in The New York Marathon. A really fun way to see the city. Good Luck.


    Liked by 1 person

  15. vprofy August 25, 2017 / 10:34 am

    Love exploring NYC. Have thought I need to make it regular. Thanks for motivation.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. cincinnatibabyhead August 26, 2017 / 12:33 pm

    You’re my style Neil. Slap on the good walking footwear and away we go. Best way to see and feel any place. Enjoyed the piece. Love your walking tours.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. andrewcferguson August 26, 2017 / 3:41 pm

    Great stuff Neil. We’ve only touched down at Newark before heading to Nashville, but NYC is iconic wherever you come from, so we’ll be back one day!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Anabel Marsh August 28, 2017 / 9:48 am

    Kind of like my relationship with Edinburgh at Festival time – I just don’t want to go there anymore. Thanks for visiting The Glasgow Gallivanter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 28, 2017 / 10:52 am

      To tell you the truth, NYC is still kind of in my blood. I think I’ll probably start going there at least 2 or 3 times each year.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Aunt Beulah August 28, 2017 / 5:12 pm

    I lived until age 72 without seeing NYC and then I wondered how and why I had waited so long. It is magnificent. It helped that the tour guide for my husband and me was our grandson who left a small town in Illinois to attend Seton Hall and, after a couple of months in the area, informed us he was thinking of changing his major to New York City. Of course, I’m also partial to San Francisco which I visited many times.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Christy B August 28, 2017 / 6:58 pm

    Sounds like a great trip with your friend! Nothing wrong with passing time waiting for a bus by strolling through Times Square 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 28, 2017 / 7:58 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Christy.
      Yep, it was a fun day. I hope to get back to NYC soon. It’s incredible how much there is to see and do there.


  21. lexklein August 29, 2017 / 4:03 pm

    I used to get to NYC so often for work and friend visits, but alas, I also have been gone too long. I still have a dear friend on the Upper Wes Side, so I got there a few falls ago. Time to go back (after my airport reopens, I guess …. 😦 )

    Liked by 1 person

  22. viewfromoverthehill September 4, 2017 / 6:47 pm

    Enjoyed this. I hung out in that area (Time Square and 42nd) during a couple of Fashion Weeks. What I noticed most is the streets of Manhattan seem well-lit even at night — by all the bright shop windows. I loved that. My neighborhood in Vancouver gets really dark. I’ll have to go back. Cheers, Muriel

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 4, 2017 / 8:22 pm

      Hi Muriel. As we know, NYC is the city that never sleeps. It’s a gas!


  23. Holistic Wayfarer September 5, 2017 / 2:42 am

    I grew up in Queens (went to Stuyvesant High), then Bryn Mawr College and Univ of PA. I had college friends who, dazzled by the glitz of the Big Apple, started their careers in NYC but who soon grew disillusioned. I think the older you get there, the more clearly you see it can be a lonely place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 5, 2017 / 7:21 am

      Hello there. Thanks for adding your thoughts.
      Living in NYC isn’t for everybody. But millions of people enjoy living there. It’s a matter of temperament, I think.


  24. Silver Screenings September 6, 2017 / 10:20 am

    It’s been many years since I’ve been to New York, but your photos and descriptions brought back a lot of great memories. Thanks for that – I feel like I’ve been on a mini vacation. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 20, 2017 / 7:23 am

      Hi. To some extent I agree. But many places have a unique look.

      Thanks for stopping by. Take care.


      • America On Coffee September 20, 2017 / 7:37 am

        I guess i’m referring to the urban commercial pandemic not the historical. Great post and photos!

        Liked by 1 person

  25. JC September 25, 2017 / 6:40 pm

    Thanks for visiting my site, it’s appreciated… jc

    Liked by 1 person

  26. dawnwairimu September 25, 2017 / 9:31 pm

    I used to work right there in 42nd and Broadway! 😁 thanks for the walk down memory lane!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. johnlmalone August 5, 2020 / 8:26 pm

    a great post, Neil; I love your self-deprecating humour and the photos. We’ve been to New York once and like you ‘strode it like titans’ . We have never forgotten it. Now I’m content with more little home town, Adelaide from which all my humble photos emanate. Stay well, Neil 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger August 5, 2020 / 11:17 pm

      Thanks for unearthing another of my stories. My friend and I had a terrific time in New York that day.

      Liked by 1 person

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