This past week was a busy one. Work last week was high in visitor counts (averaging between 15,000-20,000 per day!). The days go by like a blur and before I know it my 5 day week has ended. I met new rangers this week and got better acquainted with those I had met the week before. With so many visitors your allotted time at each station is busy so there isn’t a lot of time to visit. However, my lunch time changes each day and my lunch mates do as well. I really want to commend this National Park on their teamwork and service to not just visitors but their work team as well. It’s not perfect but they all work hard to do a great job of communicating and being respectful of each other.
On Saturday this week, I left work a little early so I could make it back to change and head out to the theatre. I was able to get a lottery ticket to see TINA, the musical about Tina Turner. Lottery ticket was $45 (greatly reduced from the $200+ ticket prices).
The show started at 8pm but you were to be in line by 7:20 at the latest. I rode the bus from 34th to 48th and then walked a few blocks to the theatre. On the bus I met a lady returning from “the beach” who works for Covenant House. (for those of you who may not be familiar with them, Covenant House provides shelter, food, immediate crisis care, and other services to homeless and runaway youth). She gave me lots of input on the bus system and how best to utilize it. Wish I had gotten her name.
Once I got off the bus I even had time to grab a hot dog with sauerkraut from a street vendor in Times Square which was a mere $5.00. (The following day they were $3.00 in Union Square . . . hmmmmm. . . )
My seat for the musical was front row center . . . really! I was so close it was hard to see anything well (except for their underwear!).
The lead was played by an understudy at the last minute. Not sure if I was just tired, the understudy wasn’t great, or I was in shock over my drink price of $20 (ha!) but I left at intermission, quite happy for the experience. Thought I would catch the bus home, but the darn thing drove right past me at the bus stop and didn’t look back! Ended up walking home but it only took me about 20 minutes.
I attended St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Chelsea on Sunday. This is a historic congregation that was planted by the neighborhood residents, faculty and students who gathered at the General Theological Seminary for Sunday worship in the early 1800s. The land on which St. Peter’s stands was given by Clement Clarke Moore from his family estate. The church was consecrated in 1838 and has stood as a resilient presence in the neighborhood, welcoming and serving the community ever since. I love these old churches. The beauty in the woodworking astounds me. The pew doors were absolutely fabulous.
St. Peter’s is also known as “The Christmas Church” because Clement Clarke Moore was the author of A Visit From St. Nicholas (the world’s most famous Christmas poem, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. The poem was the first portrayal of Santa as the modern world knows him today.
I took time on Sunday after church to visit a couple bookstores. The first was 192 Books in Chelsea. This bookstore, while small, had a great Children’s book section and I noticed a series I’d never heard of . . . The Vanderbeekers by Karina Yan Glaser. If you know of children between 8-12 years, I think they would love this series. Thank you, 192 books!
I also went to The Strand in Union Square. They advertise they have 18 miles of books and I believe it. They have everything from rare books to the newest releases. I know I could spend a week in this store and never see it all. They have three very full floors of books.
Billy’s Bakery in Chelsea was another stop. Cupcakes to die for! I had a confetti cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. I’m still dreaming of it. So so good . . . and only $4.95.
My dining (evening) exploration was Tavola Italian on Sunday evening. It was very good, reasonably priced, and a quality evening. Single patrons of one must set at the bar to save table space for couples and families. I enjoyed a glass of Pinot Grigio and an entrée of Spaghetti Pomodoro. The food was superb! And I didn’t eat alone . . . I had the added company of Bethany who came in a few minutes after me and a simple ‘hello’ got the conversation going. She is in advertising, here from Iowa, was just married on New Year’s Eve 2021 and has two wonderful stepchildren. Loved hearing about her story. People really are so friendly if you just get them started! I should have taken a picture of us! Next time . . .
Today was my final day off and I managed to take care of laundry and do a little shopping at Target. I’m looking forward to the coming week and learning even more about the people and works of this great city.
Talk to you next week!