A Day

Date:                           September 10, 2010


Location:                    Plattekill, NY




            Each morning we awake and rather than jump out of bed and attack the world, my wife and I turn on the TV and see what has happened while we slept.  This may, very well, be a mistake.  We are bombarded, no pun intended, by stories of fires, devastation and the constant example of man’s lack of tolerance for his fellow brother.  Inhumanity seems to be the only constant running through this society of supposed human animals.  All of this exaggerated and pontificated on by the cadre of morons that walk in the guise of news reporters.  Turning on the television in the morning to catch up on the news is a sign of habitual stupidity and I must plead guilty.


            There are the few mornings on which we have too demanding of an agenda to waste time listening to the babble of soup selling idiots called  news reporters and it is these mornings that are most memorable.  As happened on Tuesday of this week we arose at 6:30 am after going to bed after midnight and neither of us complained; we had adventures to explore and experiences to enjoy.  It was our “weekend” and our escape chariot awaited us to whisk us off to a land of no news, no pontificating idiots that are paid to be blithering failures, and into the largest city in our land.  We were heading to the Metro-North Railway and a ride into Grand Central Station.  Sometimes it is easier to escape from the chaos if you head into the center of the action.


            We arrived at the rail terminal in plenty of time to find a parking spot some eleven miles away from our train stop.  It seemed like eleven miles away.  We actually are getting so adapt at taking the commuter rail into the city that a little foreign lady on her first excursion ask us for help in paying for her parking and purchasing her train ticket.  We actually knew the answer to her questions and helped her find her way to the train platform where we searched out our morning coffee and a Danish and she latched on to some other locals for help in whatever else she needed.


            A cup of coffee, a couple of apple pastries and an hour and an half train ride later Connie and I were entering the main terminal hall at Grand Central Station in Manhattan.  If you do not look too closely we actually look like we know what we are doing and we almost blend in with the other hundreds of people as we wander though this beautiful example of an architectural era from the past.  Grand Central Station is indeed grand and worth the trip if that was all that you managed to visit.  But, on this visit to New York we had other objectives and new adventures to explore, so we just walked through the terminal and great hall and headed down to the green line and a subway ride uptown.  Do I sound like a New Yorker or what?


            Our main objective on this visit was to visit some of the great master’s works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  This museum is so vast and fantastic that you must have a sectional destination or you are totally overwhelmed by the options offered as you enter the building.  Our section of explorations was located on the second floor and took us through the European Master.  Any time I visit an art museum I am in awe of the amount of knowledge that I find out I did not know that I did not know.  Viewing a Titian, or a Van Gogh, or a Monet up close and personal is not just a viewing pleasure it is a learning experience.  It is not just the picture that is informative, it is also the technique and brush strokes and the blending of colors that illicit emotion and feeling as you try to understand each picture.  You can almost feel the emotion of the artist as you stand as near as he must have stood to place the paint on the canvas and than step back to gain the full effect he wanted to express in his artistic creation.  If only I understood all that I saw.


            A couple of hours of exercising our brains caused us both to find an inner hunger that could be only satisfied in the museum grill.  Yes, we ate lunch at the Metropolitan Museum of art. Yes it was not cheap.  And, yes I am not a bit sorry we enjoyed out lunch looking out at Central Park with a view of Cleopatra’s Needle just out our window.  When can you eat lunch under a 1600 year old obelisk in the largest city in the nation and be surrounded by trees and artistic master pieces?  It was a special moment.


            After lunch we decided to stroll through the lower section of the museum and found ourselves at a temple along the Nile in Egypt.  The Dendur Temple had been relocated from the banks of the Nile River in Egypt to save it from being submerged by the Aswan Damn.  It now stands in a special exhibit at the Met.  It was not an exhibit that I thought we wanted to see, but after accidentally discovering it, it was awesome.  As visitors you felt transported back to the actual location with a glimpse into the history that this temple exemplified.  From European Masters to ancient Egyptian artifacts, we had had a long journey on our day’s visit to the Metropolitan.


            Our brains on over load, our tummies full it was time to take leave of the museum and find new adventure.  We decided to go shopping at Macy’s.  I looked at our subway map and decided that if we walked through Central Park we could catch the C train to 34th street and be right at Macy’s.  All of this was true, except for one small miss calculation.  Once I enter Central Park my inner GPS goes berserk.  I planned on getting the subway at 86th street, a simple straight walk through the park from where we were.  We ended up at 72nd street, only a mile or so from where we wanted to be.  Luckily there was a subway stop there also.  New York subways are wonderful.  Once you find a station you are but a few stops from where ever it was you wanted to be.  4 stops, sore feet and a case of confusion placed us at the 34th street subway station and just out side of one of the many entrances to Macy’s.  The Empire State Building stood elegantly silhouetted against a beautiful blue sky and Macy’s stood before us awaiting our exploration.  I knew where I was going all the time.


            We did explore the seven floors of Macy’s and managed to not buy a thing.  Each floor is larger than most malls and dedicated to one style of clothing.  One floor had my wife’s favorite designer while the next floor would have put our granddaughter into style heaven.  It was very surprising to see how many people seemed to be actually buying things.  We were not any of those people.  We just explored and enjoyed the sights, and were a bit over whelmed I am sure.


            After shopping and not buying, learning how much we did not know we did know and walking all over Central Park we were again hungry and lucky for us there was a quaint grill in the cellar of Macy’s.  There are actually quite a few places to replenish your energy levels in Macy’s on almost every floor.  We choose the Cellar Grill because of its Miracle on 34th Street atmosphere.  How you could you not want to eat dinner with Natalie Wood and Santa Claus.  By the way, the food was excellent, but then we are getting used to fantastic food at every restaurant in the city.


            After dinner we strolled through Time Square for a couple of hours as if we had not walked enough already.  When you are in the city and meandering around the streets it is very easy to loose track of your actual location and the amount of miles you have traveled.  The visual stimulation and mass of humanity that you experience tends to transport you to another world of lights and sounds.  By ten o’clock we found ourselves headed toward Grand Central Station and our chariot ride back to the reality call Newbugh KOA.  Our day had been not only full and entertaining it had been a long and tiring.  It was a good type of tired and we had a few muscle with aches.  We had been to Europe and seen the art master’s work up close and personal; We had been to Egypt and visited a Nile Temple; We had joined the thousands of humanity that had chosen this time to explore Times Square; And now it was time to head home before we turned into a pumpkin.  All of this and not once did we have to listen to someone talk about man’s inhumanity to man, or how intolerant we each can be on almost any given subject, especial the practice of our religion and faith.  It had not been just a good day; it had been a great day in the center of the universe.