Autumn in NYC without my Alfie – 2nd of 4 blogs: Governor’s Island, Botanic Garden etc

It was time to return to one of my favourite places in NYC – Governor’s Island, luckily still open until October 31st. It was a very windy and cold Sunday – I started by taking Ellie for a run around the park and then set off for the 11 a.m. ferry.


I was determined to ‘fill in the gaps’ from my visits this summer and was successful.


Not having Alfie with me, and with Debbie staying at home because she was trying to shrug off a chest infection, I was solo and able to run around all the bits of the island I hadn’t yet visited, including the 3 hills, the farm (and chickens) and ‘hammoc grove’ as well as the huge exhibition in the church and the exhibition in the fort: ‘Rock, Mosquito and Hummiongbird – a prehistory of Governor’s Island” by David Brooks, that literally digs down to the core of Governor’s Island.


There were also exhibitions in some of the old houses. As Halloween was fast approaching they had ‘Pumpkin Point’ with hundreds of pumpkins lying around the trees and being sold.


I took the 3 pm ferry back and then hopped on to the subway to take me over to Brooklyn to do the iconic walk back over the bridge, after I had checked out some of the Halloween decorations and venues around the river


With Debbie’s television lacking a picture, after I had cooked supper we watched 2 episodes of ‘Bull’ on her laptop before bed.


On Monday my musician friend Tony was having his dog groomed for a couple of hours (they spend a FORTUNE here grooming their dogs) so we met on Columbus Avenue and went to our UK equivalent of a ‘greasy spoon’ to have breakfast of bagels, eggs and coffee and a good laugh.


Leaving Tony and his freshly-groomed dog, I hopped on a bus that took me down to 50th where they were filming with Chris Meloni – lots of trailers but no actors.

I walked through Central Park for a while then met up with Debbie to take her to a shoe shop. Being totally blind, she is dependent on people giving her advice. I was pleased she found 3 pairs of shoes she really liked in the cut-price shoe shop ‘DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse’


Walking past the Rockefeller Center I took photos of the ice rink and the pumpkins – Halloween meets Christmas. I then meandered through Hell’s Kitchen – another really interesting area. I popped into ‘Housing Works’ charity shop. They are SO much more expensive than in the UK. In fact, it would be cheaper to buy new in “Primani”!!

Tuesday 23rd was the day I had arranged with Natalie to teach Mindfulness Meditation at her Asset Management Company on West 57th Street. Her workmates are lovely and appreciative and I always sell some of my books. Like last time, I took some photos from the office windows over Central Park. Afterwards, we went for an expensive sushi meal at Nobu paid for by her company as a thanks for my teaching. It was great!


While Natalie went back to her office, I walked over the East Side and the New York Society of Illustrators for the opening of a delightful Maurice Sendak exhibition.

I met the owners of the works and took loads of photos to send to my son who was a big fan when he was a child. I found out about the exhibition from my e mail from “The Skint” – a must for those visiting NYC


I strolled through Central Park and hopped on the 1 back to 116th, made soup for Debbie and myself and then we went to the Hudson River for “Tear of the Cloud” an intriguing exhibition of light and sound with projections into the water and onto gantries.


Debbie is a jazz musician who plays with various friends, including Doug the drummer who lives in the Bronx. He had asked to meet up, so on Wednesday I made my way to the the Bronx to walk around the New York Botanic Garden with him.

Although it was October there were still some lovely roses in the Peggy Rockefeller rose garden where I took a picture of a beautiful rose.

They also had the largest pumpkin in the USA this year.


We enjoyed strolling around, having a coffee in the large coffee shop and meeting a lovely young artist from Germany who bought my book from me.

In the evening, Deb and I met up with David and Tiffany at the Juilliard for “Landrieu/Marsalis – Voices of New Orleans” – a conversation with Mitch Landrieu (the 61st Mayor of New Orleans) Wynton Marsalis – director of jazz studies at the Juilliard and a world-renowned trumpeter and Damian Woetzel who is the (new) 7th president of the Juilliard. There was musical accompaniment by some fantastic jazz music students. Afterwards we were treated to some great New Orleans food.


On Thursday I had booked tickets for Debbie and me to attend a live recording of ‘The View’ at ABC studios.


Whoopi Goldberg is one of the presenters and they had ‘Dr Phil’ as the guest. It is a long process to finally get seated in the studio! We took Ellie-dog with us and she lay quietly at the front.


In the afternoon, I made a trip to ‘TJ Maxx’ as they call our ‘TK Maxx’ in the US. I found some lovely leather gloves. At the Time Warner Building I chatted to some of the NYPD about the bomb that had arrived there at the CNN offices the day before. Crazy aggression from Right Wing T fans… I cannot write that man’s name out in full. So many unhappy people in NYC at the moment, observing the destructive behaviour of the person is in power.

Walking up the road, I took a typical NYC photo of steam coming out of a vent in  the road.

I walked across Central Park, and past the ice-rink, to meet Holly, a lovely young friend who has a dog called Walter, for a ‘gallery crawl’ in the Upper East Side.



The galleries were serving copious amounts of alcohol – but as usual I stuck to fizzy water.

It was great seeing the art work and very interesting to meet the different types of people. We met a delightful couple of students at the last gallery we visited – that was extremely busy.


As seems to happen to me, I attracted a narcissistic man. This time, a charming Russian (fan of Mr P). I declined his offer to walk me through Central Park (and laughed out loud when he told me he had ‘never killed a man’ – reminding him that I am a woman). He was good looking, slightly younger than me and intelligent but when I use ‘charming’ to describe a man it is an insult. Holly, the young couple and I left the gallery while he was talking to the owner and ran around to the next cross street, to avoid him. The young couple went off for food, and Holly and I walked along 79th street that goes through Central Park, then took the 1 train to Debbie’s where I added toppings to a pizza that we all enjoyed together.

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