Monday, October 10th, 2011 Columbus Day Parade
I woke up at 5 am this morning so that I could get our boarding passes for our 6 am flight tomorrow morning...success...we're at the top of the B group for those that understand Southwest Airlines. We had another leisurely morning and left about 11 am to walk to 5th Avenue for the Columbus Day Parade that started about 11:30 am. We arrived to solid lines along the entire parade route that runs about three miles. We later learned that there were an estimated twenty-five thousand people lining the route.
We stood for about half an hour before the parade started....elbow to elbow...with hundreds of New York's finest doing a great job on crowd control. Just before the parade started a cute little camera girl in shorts talked her way into the street in front of our corner...blocked our view! I'd watched them deny the same request from two fellows! Lots of politicians in the parade surrounded by crews of journalists interviewing them as they walked.
We tired of the crowds and soon left to walk to a restaurant for lunch that our friends had recommended. Along the way we noticed that we were passing Christie's Auction House at Rockefeller Center. We walked in and it was like visiting a museum. The walls were lined with valuable paintings; we kept expecting to be asked to leave or identification or something. But, they were very nice to us, allowed me to take photographs and everything. Each card identified the artist, the subject, when it was being auctioned, value range, etc. There were some famous ones from the French Impressionist era that we recognized. One room was devoted to musical instruments, mostly violins and there were people testing them while we watched.
As we were walking south on 9th Avenue we found a street full of floats waiting for their turn to join the parade...it was headed from 42nd street north on 5th Avenue. Took a few photos and then we continued on down 9th Avenue; passed through Time Square and stopped for a few photos before continuing. After crossing Time Square we were soon in a "brownstone" neighborhood typical of what you think of as New York. Finally arrived at 45th Street where we found Five Napkin Burger Restaurant that our friend Bonnie recommended. She's found the cast members from Glee there last spring...but we didn't recognize any celebrities. The food was pricey but oh so good....we each had a hamburger and shared an order of onion rings done in cornmeal. Everything was really good...it was a $45.00 lunch for two!
We walked east on 45th Street after lunch; heading for a Staples Store that we'd looked up on the Internet; we need to also purchase color toner for the printer we've discovered in order to print our boarding passes....also makes a nice hostess gift for our generous friends who had invited us to stay in their apartment. On the way we found Mickey & Minnie Mouse along with Poo Bear standing on a corner! They must have been there for the parade.
Found Staples, purchased our toner....that was another long story that I'm leaving out of the journal....and when we arrived home at the apartment we discovered that we were locked out!!!!
Locksmiths are very expensive in NYC....so the deskman and the super worked for a long time on getting the door open for us. We determined that an old deadbolt that was never used had somehow engaged....we'd about given up when the Super said, "I have a draw full of old keys, let me check to see if any of them has this apartment number on them." WOW....in about five minutes he was back with a set of keys that worked! We were very happy campers.
It was a very long night as I stayed up all night. The Super Shuttle arrived at 2:30 am and we were off to LaGuardia Airport for our 6 am flight to Orange County Airport. We had a three hour layover in Chicago. I slept an hour before getting to Chicago and then probably another two hours on the second portion of the flight. Our daughter Jenn was waiting for us at the airport when we arrived at noon.
I managed to stay awake until 10 pm that night and got so much done. I leave in a week on a trip with my sister-in-law to England for three weeks. Lots to do...I hope that you'll join me in a week as I blog that journey as often as I can find wifi! See you next week....