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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
                 Wednesday, August 20 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

One from the Great White Way - vacation journal, part 1

August 13 - Photo gallery related to this day's journal (18 photos)

New York City — It's been a successful trip thus far but there have been many changes to the planned schedule, the biggest of which was something of a national catastrophe we got caught in last Thursday in New York. But first, some background.

We departed on schedule on American Airlines Flight 288 at 11:15 Wednesday, having been delivered to the airport by Kevin, who was able to take a break in work to deliver us to San Jose International. I had been almost ill the evening before, even forgoing my normal evening exercise at my club, because of severe pain in my left abdomen, and general crampiness, and questioned the wisdom of even going, but felt just well enough to hope I'd be getting better rather than worse as time went on. (I strongly suspected the pain was from a strain caused by stretching too far.) Sitting in the plane was, thankfully, not hard on my aching side. The flight was fairly routine, the first direct (nonstop) coast-to-coast flight I've made in years. After deplaning at JFK, we found a Hertz shuttle to take us to their JFK Airport office to negotiate for our prereserved car. Mike had inadvertently scheduled us to pick up the car on our arrival on Wednesday, but we didn't really want to take it until Friday morning when we planned to leave New York, so we asked the clerk if we could leave it there and pick it up later. Nothing doing. We argued to no avail, and when she showed us a list of Hertz parking garages in Manhattan where we could leave it for $12 per 24-hour day, we decided to bite the bullet and go for that. Mike drove us on into Manhattan and we looked for our "hotel," the White House, on The Bowery near Fourth Street, in the East Village. Finding a parking garage within a short walk from the hotel that offered parking for $20 per 24 hours, including tax (which made it approximately $5 per diem net over the Hertz parking when the tax was added to the calculation, and as the Hertz location was much farther away, we decided to accept that).

Our "hotel," where I'd booked us for $30 each for two nights, proved to be a hostel. Its only amenity compared with most hostels was that instead of "dorm" rooms, with four or more persons per room, unrelated by anything other than circumstances and luck of the draw, we got two thick foam rubber mattresses and bedding on a single high stationery platform in a lockable compartment that had barely room enough to stand at the foot of the bed and squeeze up one side of it. But the "walls" didn't extend to the ceiling, but only to about a foot below it. Any noises any of our floor mates made, we heard, and vice versa. And we were next to a common shower room that was also only partially partitioned. But I've stayed in worse (though I'm fairly resolved now to not do so again!). Before retiring to this compartment, we went for dinner at the Cozy Diner Soup and Burgers, a deli-diner place a block or two west of The Bowery. Mike was greatly enthused at his super burger, so much so that he took a photo of it, though my fried chicken was not tender enough and the side dishes not exceptional. Despite my continued discomfort with my side and cramps, we then walked around Greenwich Village, stopping in Washington Square for a while, enjoying the gentle ambience of the city that is so appreciated in this era that's in contrast with the frantic fearfulness it exuded when I paid many visits there in the mid-'60's through early '70's. It is truly a transformed city, where we felt no more fear than in London or Paris last summer, or San Francisco in several daytrips earlier this summer.

Though it was getting late in New York, by our California watches it was still early when we retired to our compartment. And despite all the noises, the overhot room (cooled only and minimally through those gaps in the walls from ceiling fans in the "corridor"), despite the pain I experienced each time I tried to turn to a new position and, a new problem, charleyhorses in one of my feet, we did eventually sleep.

We arose on Thursday, our full day to spend in Manhattan, shortly after 8 a.m., and opted to get breakfast at McDonald's to take advantage of their offer of an hour's free wi-fi Internet access for my laptop, with a purchase. I had difficulty getting the account to work, and soon my battery was dead (there having been no outlets in the "compartment" in which to plug the computer into overnight as would normally have been done). So I walked back to the White House (forced to hobble by my continued side pain) while Mike waited at McDonald's with my laptop, to fetch the AC power supply. After that and getting a more readable instruction card on how the system worked, I was able to connect okay and send out the day's page, the Old News from the Journal and NTAMHS, which I had formatted and edited on the plane the previous day. I also wrote an email to my associate editor, Judy Rose in Pennsylvania, to let her know our progress thus far and let her know we were on schedule even despite disruptions to it.

Then, me with my laptop in its bag over my shoulder and Mike with his camera, we set off for a day of sightseeing, our main objectives to visit the Guggenheim Museum and the Empire State Building. After much walking in the area near the Village to find the location of the Guggenheim shown on our AAA map and which had been confirmed by a couple of workers in a nearby art gallery who said it was nearby, we were told by an obliging cabby standing by his hack that the Guggenheim is not in that part of town, but in the Upper East Side, Fifth Avenue and 89th Street. We thanked him and looked for the nearest subway station. There we bought a $10 six-ride ticket that we were able to share and figured would take us through the day. How little we knew....

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

More memories of the fabulous 'fifties

Here are some other things I would have told my son about my
childhood if I had figured his system could handle it.


When you were sick, the doctor actually came to your house. No, I am not making this up. Drugs were something you purchased at a pharmacy in order to cure an illness.

If we dared to "sass" our parents, or any other grown-up, we immediately found out what soap tasted like. For more serious infractions, we learned about something called a "this hurts me more than it hurts you." I never did quite understand that one.

— Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz

Thought for today

Twenty-one things to always remember—

1. No one can ruin your day without your permission.
2. Most people will be about as happy as they decide to be.
3. Others can stop you temporarily, but only you can do it permanently.

— Sent by Sallie Covolo

Top daily news stories linked from our sister webpage
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