It was "Just like New York City" :)

My wish list has always included hopping across the pond and going to France, Italy and Greece to see castles,  temples and cathedrals. While it is not in my budget at the moment, this does not mean that I have to put my dreams on hold.


I signed myself and my daughter, Jesse, up to go on a bus trip to NYC along with friends, Debbi and Christine. My ultimate mission was to see St. Patrick's Cathedral and possibly St. John the Devine Cathedral there. Oh, yes, we were going to sight see, and shop...but my main mission was the visiting the Churches.

Since I was a child, made to wait in Catholic churches quietly for my mother, who was having great length theological conversations with the priest, I have been very much at home and fascinated with great architecture of the sacred kind.

High vaulted ceilings, long naves, marble floors, carved sculptures, and stained glass do it for me.

So, we packed our saddlebags and headed out on a pilgrimage to the Cathedral, as so many before me have done.

It was dark when we boarded our magic bus, cinnamon coffee and bagel in hand for the long trip. But I was sitting with my dear ones, and we were on an adventure! The day dawned bright and clear and mild for a December day and we pulled into New York City and were dropped off at Macy's on 34th. It was a miracle :). I have longed to go here to bang around, but have been warned by folks how awful the city is, or that I shouldn't wear my jewelry, or that I would be mugged, it would be too expensive, or, or, or, or ad nauseum.
I did not listen to these naysayers. I went with my silver on, my bag over my shoulder and my friends and maps at the ready. I was undaunted.
After all....
It can't be THAT big and bad!

After checking our compass.....
You are Here! (but Where the F is Here???)
 We decided to head in the direction of the Cathedral and Rockefeller Center, but first trying to find a restaurant that was recommended to us. We walked past the Carnegie Deli (altho' we'd LOVED to have stopped there...the line was a full BLOCK long. I shit you not). We instead found "McGee's Irish Pub and Restaurant" on 55th and 8th Ave. We walked right in and altho we had no reservations, we got a table in the first 5 minutes we were there. Rubens, Pints and Shots of Jameson's were acquired :)

After our Noonday repast, we walked until we found Rockefeller Center and such a crowd was there, enjoying the skating rink,

Mercury sculpture and the enormous Christmas tree of renown!
As were we!
 We should have a pic of us in front of the tree! :)

But there was only one place I really really wanted to go see....
and we set our feet ...
Across the street from Rockefeller Center was the JEWEL of our day.
St. Patrick's Cathedral!!
I was THRILLED to say the least!!
 When I walked through those big doors, I have to tell you, that I was overwhelmed by it's beauty, it's charm and it's ethereal space. I was nearly in tears. So LONG had I waited to see this place!! And I was HERE.
One of the most amazing things about this place, was that it was open to the public, it was swarming with people....AND? It was QUIET.
 There was an inner peace that all these people came to experience here. Even tho, by rights, with all that hard surface stone and metal, the sound should've been bouncing around like was like a hushed bunch of whispers from the crowd.
Jesse and  I lit candles for ourselves and others. I prayed at the feet of Mary and of St. Brigit. (a pagan Goddess ensconced here at this beautiful sacred space). I marveled at all the side chapels, the statues, the Nativity....I was indeed blessed and felt it in my heart.

We walked a 1000 miles this day and it was worth it.

We saw so many things...we window shopped a couple of fiddles for Harry :)
 We saw many things: Times Square, a 1/2 naked cowboy minstrel, Radio City Music Hall,
a "flare of NYC fire fighters"
A Statue of Liberty man
 A bling store, the fashion district, Herald for sale outside in December!
We then walked another 1000 miles back to Macy's area where we decided to go in.

We had a whip, a chair and a machete. We were armed and ready.

I have never in my whole life seen a bigger swarm of people in a building before in my life. ANTS. Ants punctuated by display cases. The shoe department on the 5th floor was RAVISHED. All the displays knocked over, people trying to find shoes. The clerks were in shell shock. How do people WORK there? How do people SHOP there?? There was a constant and steady flow of people on the escalator, fully filled, every second of every minute of every hour there. There was a clerk stationed at the bottom of each floor of the exiting escalator chanting, "Step Forward! Move OUT!"
(otherwise the crushing crowd of shoppers would have puddled up and pooled in a melee of mangled limbs on the last step of the escalator).
The constant common comment phrase heard while we were here was "Don't fucking PUSH ME". little old grey haired ladies.
Yes. Macy's. "Cattle R Us"
We escaped with our LIVES and went to find our last meal of the day at "Andrew's Cafe" next door to Macy's. My body ached with the walking. My hips hurt. I was dehydrated. We saw a sign that said, "Bacon and Beer" and in we went. (wouldn't YOU? :)

It was AWESOME. We got a table right away (again!) and sat in the back and ate, drank, were merry and pounded Ibuprofen and Coronas with lemon. And designer pizzas.

The four of us had SUCH a wonderful day of adventure, friendship and fun! We all went loaded for bear with shopping money...but ...aside from eating and drink money...the TOTAL HAUL for the FOUR of us was:



I bought it at the bling store for my Victorian costuming. $10 bucks.

The rest of the money was spent on ourselves and having a damn good time.

We all had a FABULOUS adventure with each other and we took a bite out of the Big Apple :)

And it was YUMMY!

1 comment:

Lynnie said...

We had the same kind of experience. We never once had a feeling of ill ease or that we were going to be shot for our phones. We also spent more time wandering, looking, people watching (and zig zagging through the enormous crowds... Omg!) than we did money on anything. There are things we missed, so we have a nice excuse to go back... Someday.
Oh, we also didn't experience food waiting- even on Thanksgiving day. A friend suggested it's because we ate at off hours and because there are truly so many places to eat they can't all be full all the time. We went past McGee's twice. How was it?
I'm so glad your trip was so wonderful! Memories and photos are worth more than tchotchke any day! :-)