in honor of my latest birthday, cathy got us tickets on the "luxury" bus to gotham city on saturday. up and back in one day, etc. thanks so much, kiddo.
they call it the luxury bus cuz a) it's express, b) they show movies ("ocean's thirteen"), and c) they give you a free bottle of water when you board (after making the online disclaimer that if there isn't any water for a particular trip, they're sorry). for the first two hours or so, either they had the AC on, or the heater wasn't working. i covered my legs with newspapers, which helped, but it was still damn cold.
but they did have a brief rest stop somewhere in delaware or new jersey, which made cathy mighty happy. she says i am part camel because i don't have to go to the restroom every two hours or so.
and of course, the trip took lots longer than i thought it would. i told sally we'd arrive at 12:45, and it was 1:45. what was i thinking? i should have known that my rotten eyesight was wrongwrongwrong--that no bus or car can go from d.c. to 34th street across from macy's in 3 hours. the ride from the exit of the lincoln tunnel to 34th st takes about half an hour all by itself!
we met sally at starbucks on 34th, and in her urban-dwelling style, she grabbed a taxi by just marching--in the street!!--down the block to a cab that was letting someone off. that's my kid! sally took us to ariana, the afghan kabob restaurant on 9th ave between 51st and 52nd st, and had a fabulous minor feast (no grand gorging...we still had another restaurant stop at 5 pm). many thanks, sal. thanks for the elegant french scarf, too.
after lunch, sally caught the bus back to glen ridge, and cathy and i went to the morgan library on mad ave and 36th. we saw the exhibit of 20 actual letters between vincent van gogh and emile bernard. van gogh used to draw sketches of his paintings on these letters, and who ever mounted the exhibit included a miniature of the completed painting in full color. i loved seeing van gogh's handwriting and his inimitable signature. made me want to go find some new cartridges for my fountain pen so i can write real letters!!
then we found a taxi that took us to the wonderful bistro les amis on thompson and spring in soho. my dear friend mary lou lives just a few doors away down thompson street, so we collected her and went to the restaurant for supper. i love the place. and thanks to cathy for that dinner, too! it's quiet and cozy, has delicious food, and the owner's brother always remembers me. and of course, they all love mary lou, who has lived in the same apartment for the past 25 years. (rent control? do the math, baby....)
it wasn't paris-on-my-birthday, but it was lots of fun. we eschewed the luxury bus for the trip back and hopped amtrak, arriving home sometime after 11 pm.
i told cathy that every time we do this one-day round trip gig, i swear i'll never do it again. it's a long trip when you do it twice in one day. even though you snooze off and on, the trip back seems interminable. still, it was lots of fun to be back in gotham city. there were lots of shoppers on the sidewalks...one of the reasons why i never went near manhattan on the weekend when i lived up there.