Endeavouring to Persevere

I got caught in a thunder-and-lightning storm getting off the bus a block away from my hotel, so I don’t know how long I can stay here–and I still need to upload photos onto my Facebook page.

Despite my feet being sore from popped blisters, I managed to photograph almost all of Central Park, as well as parts of Harlem, Morningside Heights–including Columbia University–and The Cloisters; while I was looking for The Cloisters, I learned it’s actually in Fort Tryon Park, in Washington Heights. Unfortunately, I could only photograph the outside–I’m sure I didn’t have enough money to pay the admission, and still have money for the rest of my stay here in New York, and for my trip home.

I had a hard time finding Columbia University, but only because I had royally confused myself whenever I looked at the map in one of my New York City guidebooks; as I once again consulted the map in said guidebook, a complete stranger offered me assistance (which looks like it could be a recurring theme here), and pointed out Columbia University was right across the street from where I was consulting my map!  It turns out Columbia University takes up four city blocks, if not more, in Morningside Heights.  Needless to say, thanks to that stranger who helped me, I got some great photos.

While strolling, as best as I could on aching feet and sore right knee, along Central Park North, a couple of streets along that stretch taught me Central Park North borders Central Park and Harlem; but I guess that should have registered with me this morning, when I should have noticed better than I did that, immediately after Central Park North, Central Park West turns into Frederick Douglass Boulevard, which stretches along Harlem. So it’s too bad I only noticed Central Park North borders Central Park and Harlem when I noticed Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Malcolm X Boulevards–which I saw in Harlem earlier today when I was looking for Marcus Garvey Park–went as far as Central Park North. Live and learn, I guess.

I had a Becky Bloomwood-esque moment getting on the bus at Fifth Avenue and 109th Street (I’m going by memory here, so please bear with me) so I could see, and get photos of, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Obelisk, and the fare receiver noted I had no money on my fare card, but the driver was nice enough to wave me on to the bus. After getting some fabulous (if I do say so myself) photos of the Met, and the best photo I could get of the Obelisk (which had scaffolding around it), I walked until I found the closest subway station, and attempted to refill my transit card via machine, which wouldn’t cooperate, so I went to the attendant, who informed me, because I had gotten unlimited time on my card (smart move on my part, now that I’m recalling this), and it won’t expire until Sunday, it doesn’t matter if I have no more money on my card. Bullet dodged. After that, though, my feet and right knee decided it was time for me to call it a day–but not before I grabbed a bite to eat.

So, here I am, nice and dry in my hotel room–though my shoes, socks, jeans, shirts, and jacket are thoroughly soaked–and I’m going to give my feet and knee some hours to rest before tomorrow’s sightseeing adventure.

Out and About, Day Two: Getting Lost, A Missed Opportunity, and Sick Feet

I decided to check out Central Park today. What an undertaking that turned out to be; I needed to refer to directories interspersed throughout the park several times, and I still missed some spots–Mineral Springs, Belvedere Castle, Cherry Hill. After losing my way a few times, I decided to throw in the towel, and just get a map from The Dairy Visitor Center and Gift Shop; with help from the map, I actually managed to locate the Central Park Zoo and the Tisch Children’s Zoo (which are both in the Central Park Wildlife Center)–but not before my feet decided to remind me they’re blister-prone, and how, necessitating in me purchasing a box of bandages and taking a rest before trying again to locate the zoos. (I view zoos as a moral grey area, by the way). I should add that I unknowingly got off the bus ten stops before I was supposed to, but, if I hadn’t, I would have missed a couple of gems, one of them being Carnegie Hall.

After seeing a third of Central Park, I went to an event suggested by a local humanist group (on their web site), different from the one who hosted last night’s meeting; I had to pay to get in, but I definitely didn’t get my money’s worth, as I was hoping to meet some people from this group, but instead had to endure speeches interrupted by the occasional musical act. It was a worthwhile event–commemorating the life and legacy of folk musician and progressive political activist Pete Seeger–but would a period of socializing before the event been too much to ask? I ended up leaving before the event was over–mostly because one of the performers of a musical act decided to give yet another speech before he and his band performed. I don’t mind speeches per se, but they shouldn’t be a preamble to musical acts or literary readings, nor should they be very long–five minutes, tops.

I’m going to give my feet several hours of rest, then I’m going to get up early tomorrow, and do some more sightseeing–and see if I can’t tackle the rest of Central Park, map in tow. I have only two days left here in New York City, after all, and I need to see everything I can before I begin my trip home.

P.S.:  My cell phone is now operating on New York City time–for now.  And I’m roaming, for now.