Escape To New York

For everyone just catching up on my life, a few weeks ago I married my long time partner in crime, Katherine.  So in any future posts here on my website I will, at one time or another, refer to Katherine, Kat (though not Kathy, she hates that–I think it has something to do with the cartoon strip), my wife, my baby mama (more on that as it develops, but the short version is: yes, yes, December 15, 2009), and finally the one person in the house who knows where things are located.

In our consistent approach of reaching our relationship milestones in the complete wrong order, we decided to go on our honeymoon a few weeks before the actual wedding.  We decided, for no exact reason, to spend a week in New York City.  Our flight from Denver to LaGuardia was uneventful.  Katherine gave me the Dan Brown’s novel “Angels and Demons” to read during the flight.  I quickly started thinking the book would make a great season of “24” if Tom Hanks hadn’t starred in the big screen version that came out last week.  And, let’s be honest here, the script just doesn’t have enough gratuitous torture sequences to show off the talents of Kiefer Sutherland.

After a relatively short cab ride to our hotel, we got our luggage put away and started randomly walking around the city.  Central Park to the north, and Times Square to the south– we had plenty of areas to explore.  My first impression of Times Square:  this is not the bisexual prostitute cowboy part of town I saw in that John Voight film.  (Who, coincidentally, was also in the most recent season of “24”, but I digress.)  I didn’t even see that naked cowboy.  No, Times Square is a busy mix of automobile traffic and pedestrians who stop in the middle of the sidewalk because they need to get a half dozen pictures of the 37 foot neon “Mr Peanut” on the corner of 45th and Broadway.

As we visited different parts of Manhattan, we noticed everyone has formed an alliance. Times Square, Chinatown, Midtown, and of course the magicians have all resorted to aligning themselves– presumably against one another, or at least against the magicians, who always seem to have some kind of trick up their sleeve.  Keeping a fragile peace over the island is the Ray’s Pizza Alliance with has locations literally on every block of the city.

Whenever I would see a scene from a movie or television show involving Central Park I always thought it looked like a back lot somewhere in southern California.  But I can now personally attest that, yes, that is what Central Park looks like.  The rest of the island has been stripped of all natural vegetation, but one rectangular area in the middle was spared.  I think of it as an island with a mowhawk.  A pamphlet about the park when on and on about the beauty of Central Park.  Maybe the island would look better if they just built the city where Central Park is and left everything else how it was when they got there.  Somehow I think it is a bit too late for that.

For no particular reason, I wanted to go see Coney Island.  We took the N train all the way south and walked a block to the boardwalk.  The weather was warm, the sun was shining, and Coney Island was closing up for the night.  We arrived at 6:05 PM five days before the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day, and the place was a ghost town.  We got there just in time for the restrooms “convenience hours” to have expired.  Nothing promotes tourism more than locking the bathrooms when people might be interested in using them.  We headed back to the subway, and we saw an ad on the side of a bus for Coney Island that read, “Coney Island: Really Fun, Really Open.”  And no, I’m not making that up.  We stopped in the bathroom at the subway station before getting back on the train.  Not the best facilities I’ve been in, but I wouldn’t call it a shithole.  Katherine, however, did use that exact description for the ladies room.

So that wraps up the highlights of our trip.  I finished the book on the flight home and we made our way back home to Loveland.  Now I’ll be busy getting everything ready for my wedding in a few weeks.