Just a note - you can click on any photo an enlarge it if you want to see more detail.
It was a busy, full, intense, busy, crazy, speed-visiting, busy week in New York. We met up with cousins, nephews, a niece, friends and more friends, an uncle. We ate our way uptown, downtown, crosstown. We walked - 8 miles for two days in a row, then an "easy" day of 7 miles. (And yes, I track this on my pedometer, which is pretty accurate.)
We are hyped on caffeine, moving at the speed of Manhattan.
Highlights included time at Bryant Park, post-Fashion Week, where I rode a very small but very pretty carousel (and the horse didn't trip me up). Somehow, our social action past caught up with us as we found ourselves in the midst of a demonstration - placards about the bank bailouts, lack of housing, unfair labor and housing practices, and a chant about some politician (or banker?). The protestors included groups of students, with teachers, each group in matching T shirts for easy grouping - I suspect this was a social science lesson in political action or something. The group was leaving the park (which is so lovely!) as we were also leaving - so we marched along chanting "Hey hey, Ho ho, Tom de Marco [???] has got to go!" However, once we reached the street we saw a chocolate cafe and were immediately diverted. How could we skip a cafe that advertizes "chocolates with personality?"
We also walked downtown, to lower Manhattan, through the garment district and on to Tribeca (triangle below Canal Street), to continue the noshing and nostalgic eating - on to Yonah Shimmel's knish shop, and Veniero's Italian Bakery - chocolate cannoli, cream tarts with chocolate covered strawberries, on and on, SO difficult to make a decision when there are so many gorgeous and tempting choices! (I went with the chocolate cream tart with a strawberry, Richard had the chocolate cannolli - we sat outside on a planter and people-watched and enjoyed our treats.)
Of course, I always enjoy the architecture of New York, the Empire State building from below, craning our necks to look up, or the beauty of the Chrysler Building, which shines across the city and reflects in the modern glass buildings. One can see the progression of art styles in the buildings, moving from Classical Revival columns to ornamental flourishes of Art Nouveau to the spare geometry of Art Deco to the industrial and then modernist periods - I love this collection of buildings recording human history and style.
And then the city at night - the city takes on a totally different personality at night. The hard edges are subdued in the lights of Broadway and Times Square, making the streets brighter than the noon sun; the Chrysler shining in the distance; leaf shadows on the sidewalk; the benevolent and contemplative lions of the 42nd Street Public Library. Even the crowds change: young men play pickup basketball games in the parks, business people in suits race home after a long late day at the office, theatre goers head to and from whatever show, dressed in their almost-best, some street people wake up and move out, others bed down for the night (and there was a small group sleeping behind the fences at the library, watched over by a security guard, which was actually rather nice to see). The streets are still packed, the cafes and bistros and trattorias and restaurants in every language overflow onto the streets, and people still speed along, moving at the speed of Manhattan.