It was a twelve-minute walk according to Kirsten's GPS to the courtyard outside the NBC studios across from Rockefeller Center. We didn't go the most direct route (not sure if that was the fault of the GPS or not) and ended up coming back a couple blocks and then going around the building to be on the correct side for the line. We had registered ahead of time on-line, and Kirsten went ahead and made arrangements for wheelchair access.
There was a food truck out front giving away free coffee, tea, chocolate and warm crumb cake with a suggested donation for cancer. Nan clearly has a thing about her morning coffee. She had commented on every Starbucks on our way and considered darting out of line to go in the Starbucks across the street, so she was very happy for the free coffee without risking losing her place in line.
|Bob chats with the page who took us around the security line.|
|I look like I need some of that coffee Nan was after.|
|A friend in St. Louis texted Kirsten this screen shot.|
We lunched at Lombardi's in Greenwich Village. The website says it was founded in 1905 because that is as far back as they have documentation. Word of mouth history says 1897, but restaurants weren't licensed until 1905. After the building of the subway (whose vibrations damaged the original oven), the location moved a couple blocks up the street to a former bakery with an oven that was the twin of the original. Great pizza; cool atmosphere. They had a temporary ramp they could put down in a secondary entrance to let Mom easily into the quaint restaurant in her wheelchair.
As we sat around the table, Kirsten suggested that we share "superlatives": the best outing (other than our purpose of coming to the Carnegie Hall concert), best meal, and best transportation experience. Since I know I will not remember everyone's, I'll share mine and ask family members to add theirs in the comments. Although I loved the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, I had been there before, and our 9/11 experience was totally unique, so that is my best outing. My best meal was unquestionably last night's veal Parmesean, and my best transportation experience would be walking back to the hotel at night through Times Square.
Jack and Kirsten were off to see some friends, so the six of us remaining tried to get an Uber that could carry all. The car that came could carry six, but not six plus a wheelchair. At least he wasn't willing for Bob to try to fit it in for fear of scratching his car. In the end, we used two cars again. Our driver's name was Sekou. Since I used to live on Avenida Amad Sekou Torre in Maputo, I asked where he was from. Guinea. And he was named after the independence fighter who became the Communist dictator that my street was named after. Almost all our drivers have been immigrants and they have been fascinating to talk to. Very enthusiastic about America.
Mom and I decided that the one thing missing from our NYC experience was shopping on Fifth Avenue! So when the others left for the airport, we went window shopping. What is the most famous store on Fifth Avenue? Saks! So that's where we headed. We looked at evening wear on the 9th floor (way too fussy), designer wear on the 3rd floor (not the least tempting), and hats on the first floor (all too large for Mom's tiny head), so we spent zero money on our outing.
Sak's is right next to St. Patrick's Cathedral and Friday while we watched the parade from across the street, we all wondered what it looked like inside.
And look what is over those doors we were looking at!
We walked around the block so we could say we were on Madison Avenue just because it was famous.
On the way home I had to take a picture of the ice rink at Rockefeller Center even though I didn't bring my skates. It was way smaller than I had pictured it--regular NFL size. I thought of my niece Kelsey whose husband proposed to her there with friends and family looking on from the rail holding signs saying, "Say yes!"
The one thing I didn't do in New York was meet with any big-time publishers. Sigh. Next time.
After all our fabulous meals, Mom and I did the NYC food truck experience for supper. She had a hot dog, and I had a kebab from the truck on the corner near the hotel. We carried them back to Times Square to eat sitting on a bench.
Tonight we will not be staying up until midnight. Tomorrow we are off home. I think we both need a rest!