i avoid The City during Christmas week
when the streets and sidewalks are
packed even tighter with vehicles and people.
But since my dear friend, Beverly was in town
and i had not seen her for more than a year
my sister and i bundled into our coats
climbed aboard the bus
and began our journey into The City
a good two days before The Big Night.
Beverly was staying uptown
with her holiday traveling friend's city cats
We had tea and homemade chocolate cake
and chatted away
while playing with and stroking Mars, an affectionate black tabby
Apollo, a tall, lean ginger tabby who clearly has Abyssinian in his genes
and Moon, a pure white furball impossible to resist.
Two hours flew by and then
it was time for her to dress for her night out
as she sent us off to the Jewish Museum
to view the exhibit dedicated to her friend
Ezra Jack Keats
and celebrating the 50th birthday of his groundbreaking classic
The Snowy Day
(images borrowed from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation)
Beverly's portrait of Ezra:
Seeing his originals
reading his notebooks and journals
studying his sketchbooks and story boards
being in his presence:
Another Christmas gift from our friend.
Refreshed and fed in another way
it was time
to wend our way back to Port Authority
via 5th Avenue and The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center.
In other words
we girded our loins
took a deep breath
and said, "We can do this."
the bus crept at a snail's pace down the avenue
and we were glad to get off when it finally reached the Plaza.
We zipped coats quickly
and pulled on hats
feeling revived in the cold air
beneath a tiny, cool blue quarter moon
above a glowing city
The sidewalks were teaming with (mostly) smiling multitudes
(except for a few true inhabitants trying to simply get home)
or down at their phones
or into the enormous
staggeringly ornate and elaborate
sometimes breathtakingly beautiful
window displays at Bergdorf Goodman*
(more on them a bit later).
We walked under the snowflake at 57th
were charmed by the fantasy worlds
created in Jewlery Stores of Great Repute
to gaze and smile, too
we reached The Tree
where we were promptly swallowed up by the mobs
all but running toward 6th Avenue
the crowds where even worse (??)
It suddenly stopped being fun
and felt as if
we might be swept away
in a neverending, crushing river of humans
almost none of which
were speaking English.
i'd never experienced anything like this
and i didn't like it.
E.T. phone home!
Then, a swarm of these appeared
i looked at my sister
who was already standing in the street
away from the flooding sidewalk
we both smiled
and her arm shot into the air.
We negotiated with the cyclist-driver
who (thank our lucky stars)
was clearly an American English speaking person
and climbed into the carriage/cab.
The next thing we know
we are moving into the stream of cars, buses and taxis
and between cars, buses and taxis
(bus and taxi drivers showing him/us every courtesy.
Who knew such a comraderie reigned on these streets?)
i am so astonished
i do not notice, until
he turns left into the center lane on Broadway that
he has taken us into the very heart
of Times Square!
click to view a larger version, if you like
Giant double decker buses pulling away from the curb next to us
letting us go first
taxis beep in a friendly way
and their passengers smile at us grinning and laughing
even (i confess) hooting once or twice.
i've never been one for roller coasters or amusement park rides
this was fantastic
Truly. the stuff of fantasy.
At least for me.
i would do this again
in a heartbeat!
We miss the 6:45 bus
and so wait, and wait on sore feet
to snag a seat in a deli for a bite to eat
and are the first in line for the 7:50
that takes us away from The City
and, two hours later
back to our home in the country
where we are greeted by our own four paws friends
and hang our coats in the alcove
by the window
*i never realized that Bergdorf Goodman was dog friendly.
have you seen their store?
Anyway...do be sure to watch their charming and touching little film
and yes...just look at those outrageous windows!