“The Bronx is up and the Battery is down, New York, New York…it’s a hell of a town!”
(lyrics by Kander & Ebb).
I couldn’t resist. All I have to do is sing that one line and I always know which way is north (Bronx) and south (Battery Park). Yes, New York inspires writers of – songs, books, plays, films and now blogs.
After finally coming down from the high of running the Boston Marathon …I’m in a “New York state of mind” (can’t stop myself).
Train Trip from Boston
After a 4 ½ hour peaceful, scenic train ride – through Massachusetts, Rhode Island (not an island!), Connecticut, and New Jersey (less scenic) – we arrived at Penn Station a few blocks from Times Square and the Carter Hotel (cheap and basic, with a good location).
Being in NY makes me…
feel as if I should be having clever thoughts – be taller, richer and more fashionable. I’ll go with the clever thoughts that will… change the world. Or at least fill a decent blog post.
Looking up at the Empire State Building
I try to absorb the momentum that surrounds me, stare in awe at tall buildings, get jostled by the constant crowd of people, and get blinded by the yellow blur of taxis as they pass by without stopping, and…
Buy a pretzel – take a breath and head to the zoo.
The Bronx Zoo – founded in 1899.
We (my daughter & partner) took the Number 2 train north to Pelham Parkway through the Bronx. Once the train left the dark tunnel, we were met with bright sunshine and blocks of red brick apartment buildings.
Dragonfly on window at 149th Street Station
A dragonfly stained glass window at 149th station decorated the platform area. An image of East 149th street in 1915 was superimposed on the glass. A subtle reminder of the past.
A ten minute walk from the subway station, the zoo was set in a forested area away from traffic and buildings.
Ornate Gate at Bronx Zoo
The spaciousness of the setting felt like there was room to breath. Elegant buildings were from another century when fashionable people came for a day at the zoo. The exhibits ranged from a mechanical dinosaur safari to a butterfly-filled tropical forest. Worth the 40 minute subway ride.
Battery Park Ferry to Statue of Liberty
Lady Liberty on the Hudson River
Of course we found ourselves in Battery Park and took the ferry over to the green lady. Sailing on the Hudson River away from the city, we gawked at the scope of the skyline. Once we landed on Liberty Island, we looked up at Lady Liberty who proudly prodded us to think about all the possibilities of life.
Nikola Tesla’s Room at the New Yorker Hotel
Tesla holding incandescent light bulb
After taking in the usual sights, I was eager to find Nikola Tesla’s hotel for a project I was researching. I didn’t know what to expect, but I needed to make the pilgrimage to the New Yorker hotel where he lived for 30 years. It was the inspiration I needed to continue writing my story.
Passing through the grand lobby of the New Yorker with an art deco vibe, we got on the elevator and pushed the button for the 33rd floor. A brown wooden bench, beige walls and cream-colored marble floors greeted us as we stepped off. It felt as if it was the original decor when Tesla lived there from (1913-43). Room 3327 was where he slept. My timing was great since the cleaning staff had just prepared the room and allowed me to take a look. The room was approx. 10′ x 12′ ft with a bathroom attached. Out his window was a partial view of the Empire State building. Room 3328 was his office where he spent time thinking about electricity and the ways it could be used to create an easier life for people.
He was in NY at the beginning of the 20th century at a time when innovation and motivation was high. High as the towers that were being built. Now I can almost picture Tesla getting up every morning, getting dressed in his suit (which he always wore) and going next door to his office to work.
The second draft of “Tesla’s Neighbour” is percolating in my brain and New York motivated me to continue writing it.