First of all I must say thank you to everyone that sent me happy birthday wishes on my 35th birthday. It was heart warming to get so many well wishes and notes of encouragement while I'm on this trip so far from home.
Today Kristen needed to run into the city today for a screening of a new film. As long as she was going to be driving all the way to the train station, I tagged along and rode into the city with her so I could celebrate my 35th birthday in New York. The two days I spent in town last week barely scratched the surface of all there is to see in the city so I figured one more day would be fun. It turns out that Jen’s cousin Patrick is in town until at least July while he performs on the piano (and even says a few lines) in a play called “Nun Sense”. He had just found out I was in the area and gave me a call last night to see if he could catch up with me while I was in town. After a bit of phone tag we got ourselves sorted out and plans were made to meet up at the Cherry Lane Theatre where the show is to be held.
It turns out that the theatre is in the heart of Greenwich Village and is a bit hard to find so after navigating the subway system to get close, Patrick met me at the subway entrance and escorted me the last couple of blocks. Last week I had only skirted the edges of “The Village” and only knew so by the highlighted area on my map so delving further into the area was interesting. Although I’ve heard mention of the area in countless movies and TV shows I never really knew what made the area so noteworthy. All I can say is that after walking with Patrick along three blocks of beautiful tree lined streets… I now know. A curious mind can’t help but wonder where the sex shops purchase the ridiculously well endowed female mannequins that grace their storefronts now wearing a little less than perhaps even a mannequin should.
After getting a quick look at the theatre which was in a bit of a state of disarray as set carpenters put together the backdrop for the play (as Patrick described as the “underbelly” of the theatre world) we headed back uptown to get a look at Grand Central Station. Grand Central was busy, go figure, with people as the rush hour neared. In a day of transit type buildings being allowed little architectural creativity, it is a wonder that such a beautiful and interesting building could be built to house what amounts to an overgrown train station. Yet, in a sense, it is THE train station of all train stations so the grandeur definitely fits.
Steering an umbrella through the rainy and crowded Manhattan streets Patrick and I continued on from Grand Central station in search of a place to find lunch. Along the way we passed the Ed Sullivan Theatre where David Letterman now does his show. Then on up to Columbus Circle at the southern tip of Central Park. As far as food went, I would have been happy with another street vendor hot dog, but seems how it was my birthday, Patrick set about finding me a decent diner at which to dine. After what was a great lunch I was already running late for my train ride back to Long Island (lord knows where the time goes when you’re in the city) so Patrick guided me through the subway once again all the way back to Penn Station. There Kristen met us at the entrance to our train gate and we paused to take a couple of quick snap shots before hurrying onto our standing room only train which was full of people returning home after a day of work.