Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Morning in Manhattan & Drive to Scarsdale, NY

"Go to your bosom. Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know." ~William Shakespeare

September 8: I'd left a phone and email message last night with Jon's cousin, Cathleen, who lives in Manhattan. She returned my call about 8:30 am this morning, just as I was checking my email messages.

In the middle of Brooklyn Brewery's warehouse in the middle of Brooklyn, I found an unsecured wireless network available, so I "borrowed" it. Nice to have an office right in my trailer!

Cathleen told me which subway trains to take to catch up with her on the edge of Central Park. We went for a nice brisk hike past the folks camped since yesterday trying to snag free tickets to the last "Shakespeare in the Park" of the summer. Then we walked around the reservoir. I'd never been to Central Park. It's a very spendy neighborhood. I really liked it! If I lived in New York City, I'd be lusting after some digs nearby. (Photo of us in Central Park above. Note Manhattan skyline in the background.)

After our hike, Cathleen treated me to lunch at a trendy bistro called "Nice Matin." She picked the place because it had a great beer menu. How thoughtful!

During our walk, Cathleen had told me what her favorite beers were: Several brands of imported lagers that come in green bottles. She's a foodie, so I thought I could turn her on to some more interesting beers. Since she already liked bottled beer, I ordered two draft beers from Belgium. (Photo of us at lunch below.)
Cathleen enjoyed our Wit and Belgian Golden ales. But she was intrigued by the Saison DuPont stories I told her; how it played a role in Jon's and my courtship. Since we were talking too much to eat quickly (okay, that was me), we ordered the bottle of Saison DuPont to enjoy with the second half of our meals. Cathleen liked the Saison DuPont best of all. Score!

After lunch I got a quick tour of the apartment Cathleen shares with her son William, and then I took the train back to Brooklyn.

Back at the warehouse, I got the trailer and van road-ready, then the warehouse manager directed me as I backed my rig at an angle out of the warehouse. Whew! I did it. I sure didn't want to have to disconnect the trailer to push it out.

The drive from Brooklyn to Scarsdale, New York, was like a roller-coaster ride. My knuckles were white from clutching the steering wheel; the lines painted between the lanes were 50% closer together than they are on any freeways in California or Oregon, so I had the added thrill of wondering when that semi-truck in the next lane would shear off my trailer mirror-extensions. The highways seemed to be under construction so the lanes were rerouted with sharp turns that wove in and out of what should be the road's shoulder. The van and trailer bounced up and down over the bumps of the road's zig-zag transitions. They sounded like a squeeky bed.

Arrived in Scarsdale in good shape. Not me - the van and trailer. My cousin Michael expertly backed my rig into his narrow driveway. I met his twin children, Brian and Valerie, both 13, whom I had not met before. The last time I saw Michael was when he and Ellen were married in 1984. They have an extended family, as Michael's mom, my Aunt Pat also lives with them. Michael grilled big juicy BBQ ribs for dinner, Ellen made home-made German potato salad with vinegar and bacon, and we sat down to a fine dinner.

Brian missed the feast. He was dressed to the teeth and off to a Bar-Mitzva party, a type of event that happens quite often in Scarsdale. The Bar-Mitzva's theme was Monte Carlo gambling, and I don't think Brian missed our little feast one bit.

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