I flew back to the US on September 21, and of course, by preference, to NYC so I could visit friends and enjoy the city a bit before returning to St. Louis on the 28th. Now I have to figure out when in December, and for how long, I can be there again. I’ve loved all my travels this year (oh, every year, any time, all times) but to be with a few of my most-loved friends in the city that is/was/forever will be my favorite place to live, is hard to beat – and hard to have enough of – except, of course, for the cost of all the too-tempting-to-miss cultural events.
I was first with Florence and Peter a few blocks from Lincoln Center. What’s been done with the riverfront, from Riverside Drive all the way downtown, was wonderful to see, for the great improvement in city quality of life made in the last couple of decades. The river views always thrill me, the park space is beautiful, the bike and pedestrian paths fill a desperate need, and seating and cafes crop up often enough to make the whole long strip a delight.
Florence and I walked down the west side, along the river, to Chelsea where we stopped in at a few galleries, and then she showed me the High Line. We finished our afternoon out with a Thai meal at Chelsea Market before going our separate ways for different shows that evening.
Florence is always up on cultural events in the city, and also always shows me new sources for tickets. This time, she introduced me to Club Free Time, which I join her in recommending. It’s free to sign up for, and then you get news of free or nearly-free events. We used it for theater one night.
On my second Sunday morning in town, I did get back to the Village, first to stop in at the Church of the Ascension to get a hug from Maestro Dennis Keene, whose Voices of Ascension brought me much joy, especially in the years when I put the group online and renewed the website each season. A long and happy association! Next visit, I’ll want to attend a service at Ascension to hear Dennis and the Manton organ. But with just one chance to hear a service, I went to my old First (Presbyterian) Church just a block up Fifth Avenue, and got a minute to introduce myself to the current music director, Michael Shake, the son of my elementary school friend Lois Floryanski! Not even six degrees of separation there.
After service at First Church, Margaret came to pick me up and I spent the next days and nights in Long Island City. Of course, I made a quiche – and we got to eat out on their beautiful deck. How could you not love living in NYC from one of these settings? Lucky me to have these chances to visit.