When in NY we decided to explore some new places (to me, anyways): Williamsburg, in Brooklyn NY and Harlem. What an interesting experience!
Harlem was wonderful, with the old brownstones being beautifully gentrified. We met a wonderful guy who was very proud of his neighborhood and the continued improvement work. We saw inspirational messages and gorgeous buildings.
We then went to Brooklyn Heights to wander around a bit and walk along the water to enjoy the lovely views of the Manhattan skyline. We then went to Williamsbugh which was interesting. The main road is under the elevated train for a ways, and it provides a sub-terranian feel. The streets are overflowing with litter. The shops are a mix of ethnic Jewish shops like hat shops and matzoh shops, and tourist stores. A number of Hasidic Jewish men walked the street in their black suits, hats, white shirts and tallit. It was a really interesting place. We walked around for a while then headed back to the city.
We planned to walk the lower east side, but overshot it on the subway and went to Greenwich Village. We walked around one of my favorite parks, Washington Square Park, enjoying the live music and entertainment and the arch. There was a man covered in pigeons while feeding them. We got some macarons to feed my addiction-- oh, how I love this incredible French delicacy! yum!
We planned to do a sunset 'cruise' on the Staten Island Ferry but the weather didn't cooperate so instead we wandered.
We enjoyed three slices of pizza in two days-- oh, my favorite! I'm not supposed to eat gluten though thankfully I'm not allergic. Yum.. I thought I'd pay for it but thankfully, didn't. :) We enjoyed the last slice on the rooftop deck of our hotel after wandering around the area of Madison Ave and Central Park. Heavenly!
We got up and enjoyed our last diner experience before heading for the train. I love NYC diners. The brusque waiters and cranky old man at the register. So much fun! We took the train back- my friend to Boston and I to Hartford to meet my manager and team. So much fun to meet them in person and to get to know them better. I met everyone then my boss and I walked the waterfront then grabbed a drink. We talked for a while then went out to dinner with my team to a fun place called Black-Eyed Sallys. My friend from my early 20's joined us and then we headed back to her house in Enfield where I got to meet her lovely family.
She lives in a beautiful Cape Cod house so reminiscent of New England in an area of lush green. I worked in Enfield after college for a few years and lived one town over. My manager actually lives right next to where I did so who knows if we might have crossed paths 20 years ago?! Her husband is wonderful and she has two gorgeous boys. I had such a fun time meeting them and catching up with her. I took the moment to run around barefoot in her lush grass, of which there is little in Phoenix. I raced around in the dewy cool grass, skidded on a hill and wiped out. Hilarious!
We drove up to Central Mass to meet a college friend, and I stayed with her for a night. It was wonderful catching up with her and her husband, and getting to spend some time with her son. We went to his baseball game and then enjoyed a night out at a really great seafood restaurant in Worcester, the Sole Proprieter. Yum! We then went to a great little wine bar for a chocolate sampler and wine. I woke full the next morning so it was a wonderful evening!
The next morning I took the train to Boston to meet my best friend during my high school years and 20's. We kicked around Boston a bit and walked along the waterfront which was really beautiful. I'm sad to leave my town, as always. Let the homesickness begin..