“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Holiday in New York 2019

Had a fabulous time in New York this year with Jeanie. It was ridiculously cold but my new coat and shoes were awesome. The food tour at Chelsea Market was the best we’ve been on in a years with a fantastic guide. Unfortunately, the hotel we’ve stayed at for years has suddenly gone way downhill; we’ll stay somewhere else next year. And for the first time in the twenty-five years we’ve been doing this we got separated on the subway. Of course, we enjoyed our traditional pastimes of seeing the tree at Rockefeller Center and the holiday fair at Bryant Park, the holiday market at Union Square (for our annual gingersnap and hot cider) and the store displays of Midtown. The most memorable part of the experience for me this year was the people.

 

I’ll start with the tour guide and tour members at Chelsea Market. Our guide Jackie was a working actress (between parts just now) who was exuberant with a lively delivery and a stage-trained voice that made her comments easy to hear even in the hubbub of the market and the city streets. She made sure to spend a little individual time with every tour member. The group was comprised of a church group from Ogdensburg NY and two Irish couples, a newlywed couple, and Jeanie and me. Everyone was pleasant and happy, eager to try the foods and uncomplaining, even the lady with the sprained ankle. Just a fun and lovely bunch.

So, while I was making sure the waiting subway car was the one we wanted, Jeannie got aboard and, when I turned around, the doors were closed. We waved our goodbye and I sat on a bench to wait for the next car. A pair of slim, smiling, well-dressed women approached me and asked for my help. They were here from France and lost, could I tell them how to get to Times Square? I told them that’s where I was going and to just stick with me. We chatted while we waited for the next  train and I got them to Times Square, meeting Jeanie at 42nd Street.

We went to Becco for our splurge dinner, which was excellent and would have been memorable just for that. But, seated at adjoining tables, we met two lovely couples. One pair were in midtown to get a special ornament for their first married Christmas, but couldn’t find the shop they were looking for. We gave them a couple of suggestions. The young woman was so sweet that every time I commented on her food, she insisted that I try some. On the other side were two guys who have been together for nine years and married for three, a dentist and a psychologist. They are Becco regulars and got us a couple of Becco pins (which seems to be a thing) and we chatted about our lives through the end of the meal.

Then there was the art professor from Scottsdale we shared a bench with at Chelsea Market and the man from Manitoba who told me a lot about Ireland in the car to the airport.

As I say, the people made the visit this year.