Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving in New York City

River to river, with a harbor in-between
Out of the past and into the future
Sunrise to sunset, every day and any day
There's no end to downtown New York

My continuing love affair with New York City just gets better and better. And I am so happy to be sharing the passion now with my youngest daughter. We arrived last Wednesday night, just in time to watch the inflating of the balloons that would be featured in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday morning. Long lines, barricades, glimpses of the balloons, and a vague sense of what was going to be unveiled during the actual parade.

The inflating of the balloons was a good time, and I recommend it. But from there, things got even better. We moved on to Times Square. I wish I had words to describe the way my daughter's whole face lit up when we walked out of the subway and into that amazing space. She was enthralled. (And so was I!)

Bright lights, big city.

Thursday, after the parade (which I have described in a previous posting), we sailed aboard the ferry to Staten Island, passing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, to share a meal with the family of a friend of mine, a Navy Corpsman who joined the military as a path to citizenship.

Our host family was very gracious, feeding 16 people around their table. We were a diverse group: they are immigrant Italians; other guests includes people from Jamaica, Trinidad, Mexico, and sort of Welsh-Scottish-English-German hybrids. It was warm and wonderful. The Island of Tears and the Land of Opportunity. What a memory.

Friday, er, Black Friday, was filled with more fun in the shops and stores on Times Square.

We even got to meet and jam with Floyd Lee, 80 year old blues man, subject of the upcoming documentary called Full Moon Lightning. The Floyd Lee band was playing in the subway near Grand Central Station. Imagine hearing Mr Lee howling over his electric guitar and the amped waling of his outstanding harmonica man, "Bright lights, big city!"

In a very short 48-hour period, we had just enough time to see Central Park once by night and once by day, Times Square night and day, Staten Island by ferry, and Brooklyn by bridge. We can hardly wait to go back!