September 21, 2008
Todo, We're not in Amherst any more.
That was my first reaction when I stepped off the train at Penn Station. I'm here for a conference for a few days and have been looking forward to it. I have not been in NYC for probably 20 years or more.
I decided to walk from Penn Station to the hotel on 49th St -- about 1.5 miles. It has been a warmish, pleasant late summer afternoon, so it wasn't a bad hike, despite dragging suitcase and computer bag behind me. (The key is traveling LIGHT -- even lighter than you think is possible.)
The hotel was not allowing guests into their rooms until 3:00, and I got here around 12:30, so I left my bags and proceeded to explore. What a great day for it! 8th Avenue was closed from 42nd to 57th St. for an open air market and fair. All kinds of foods, music, trinkets, touristy things -- but a LOT of people out just having a good time. Very festive, and unexpected. On my walk, I stumbled into Schubert Alley, where the Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS flea market was underway. There were tables and tables of theater memorabilia -- old (very) Playbills, posters, autographed photos, records (as in vinyl), trinkets, and other souvenirs. I rested a few minutes and watched an auction going on -- all kinds of memorabilia. Some things went in excess of $1000. All for a good cause. Again, a very festive atmosphere with lots of good will.
For me, the most enjoyable aspects of traveling are the serendipitous happenings that you couldn't have planned in a million years. (See some of my older posts in the Travel category.) Two come to mind immediately: running into a live broadcast of Porgy and Bess on the Washington Mall while on the way to experience Carmina Burana ... and hearing a choir rehearse behind a closed door at Kings College Cambridge. Not being able to see the choirsters just reinforced the other-worldliness of it all.
BTW - this is my 250th post to this blog. I don't expect balloons or noisemakers, but it's probably worth marking the event in some understated way.
Posted by hgroteva at September 21, 2008 3:58 PM | Travel