Monday 22 June 2009: On my first morning in New York, I went for breakfast at Artopolis on the corner of Amsterdam & West 113th street and planned the week ahead. All the quoted passages come from my paper diary; click on the photos for full sizes.
“As I walked down W113th Street this morning it occurred to me that I was walking on US soil. It’s almost surreal because so much seems ‘familiar’ from watching US television all my life but this is the real thing”.
“I stopped by a cafe this morning for a savoury crepe. Alex, my hostess, had told me about it last night. Crepes, hotdogs and bananas are my weaknesses, so I knew I was heading straight here this morning. $5.75 for an olive, sundried tomato and feta crepe plus coffee. I think I just had my first taste of half and half!”
It was “half and half” and now I know why Americans miss it so much when they are overseas! It is a mixture of half cream, half milk and it is delicious. A far cry from the skim milk I usually opt for.
It is a testament to how busy I was that week that I never got to do some of the things I thought I would that were closest to “home”. One of those things was to visit Columbia University, which was just around the corner. The other was to go into the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine which is apparently the largest gothic cathedral in the world and was right on my doorstep!
Thankfully I got these photos on that first morning because despite walking past it the rest of the week, I took no more photos of this magnificent church! What amazing detail though.
I was very excited to see an authentic New York firehouse across the road from Alex’s apartment. I was even more excited to see that I was turning the firemen’s heads as much as they were turning mine! I have to admit to having a weakness for firemen and I brought Ste home a FDNY shirt.
I just loved looking at all the old apartment blocks in New York. They are ancient and have such… quaint designs! The interior of our apartment block in particular was like something from a bygone era and was quite exquisite. Can any of my art loving friends help me place this particular era? Art nouveau?
By this stage of the morning, I had realised that my plans to visit both Boston and Washington DC had been too ambitious and I went back to the apartment to let Josef know I wouldn’t be able to visit. This made me very sad! A combination of heat and the time lag had given me a headache and so I lay down for a brief nap and left the apartment just after 3pm for a walk through Central Park.